Modelling the impacts of land cover change on streamflow dynamics of a tropical rainforest headwater catchment

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18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

modelling experiment is used to examine different land-use scenarios ranging from extreme deforestation (31% forest cover) to pristine (95% forest cover) conditions and related Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) schemes to assess whether a change in streamflow dynamics, discharge extremes and mean annual water balance of a 73.4-km2 tropical headwater catchment in Costa Rica could be detected. A semi-distributed, conceptual rainfall–runoff model was adapted to conceptualize the empirically-based, dominant hydrological processes of the study area and was multi-criteria calibrated using different objective functions and empirical constraints on model simulations in a Monte Carlo framework to account for parameter uncertainty. The results suggest that land-use change had relatively little effect on the overall mean annual water yield (<3%). However, streamflow dynamics proved to be sensitive in terms of frequency, timing and magnitude of discharge extremes. For low flows and peak discharges of return periods greater than one year, land use had a minor influence on the runoff response. Below these thresholds (<1-year return period), forest cover potentially decreased runoff peaks and low flows by as much as 10%, and non-forest cover increased runoff peaks and low flows by up to 15%. The study demonstrated the potential for using hydrological modelling to help identify the impact of protection and reforestation efforts on ecosystem services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1–19
Number of pages19
JournalHydrological Sciences Journal
Volume57
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Fingerprint

forest cover
headwater
rainforest
low flow
streamflow
land cover
peak flow
catchment
return period
runoff
ecosystem service
modeling
land use
water yield
hydrological modeling
peak discharge
reforestation
deforestation
land use change
water budget

Keywords

  • ecosystem services
  • PES
  • hydrological modelling
  • tropics
  • Costa Rica
  • land-use change

Cite this

@article{227d2cefe9e745dbb80ed9ffb509f42a,
title = "Modelling the impacts of land cover change on streamflow dynamics of a tropical rainforest headwater catchment",
abstract = "modelling experiment is used to examine different land-use scenarios ranging from extreme deforestation (31{\%} forest cover) to pristine (95{\%} forest cover) conditions and related Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) schemes to assess whether a change in streamflow dynamics, discharge extremes and mean annual water balance of a 73.4-km2 tropical headwater catchment in Costa Rica could be detected. A semi-distributed, conceptual rainfall–runoff model was adapted to conceptualize the empirically-based, dominant hydrological processes of the study area and was multi-criteria calibrated using different objective functions and empirical constraints on model simulations in a Monte Carlo framework to account for parameter uncertainty. The results suggest that land-use change had relatively little effect on the overall mean annual water yield (<3{\%}). However, streamflow dynamics proved to be sensitive in terms of frequency, timing and magnitude of discharge extremes. For low flows and peak discharges of return periods greater than one year, land use had a minor influence on the runoff response. Below these thresholds (<1-year return period), forest cover potentially decreased runoff peaks and low flows by as much as 10{\%}, and non-forest cover increased runoff peaks and low flows by up to 15{\%}. The study demonstrated the potential for using hydrological modelling to help identify the impact of protection and reforestation efforts on ecosystem services.",
keywords = "ecosystem services, PES, hydrological modelling, tropics, Costa Rica, land-use change",
author = "Christian Birkel and Christopher Soulsby and Doerthe Tetzlaff",
year = "2012",
doi = "10.1080/02626667.2012.728707",
language = "English",
volume = "57",
pages = "1–19",
journal = "Hydrological Sciences Journal",
issn = "0262-6667",
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number = "8",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Modelling the impacts of land cover change on streamflow dynamics of a tropical rainforest headwater catchment

AU - Birkel, Christian

AU - Soulsby, Christopher

AU - Tetzlaff, Doerthe

PY - 2012

Y1 - 2012

N2 - modelling experiment is used to examine different land-use scenarios ranging from extreme deforestation (31% forest cover) to pristine (95% forest cover) conditions and related Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) schemes to assess whether a change in streamflow dynamics, discharge extremes and mean annual water balance of a 73.4-km2 tropical headwater catchment in Costa Rica could be detected. A semi-distributed, conceptual rainfall–runoff model was adapted to conceptualize the empirically-based, dominant hydrological processes of the study area and was multi-criteria calibrated using different objective functions and empirical constraints on model simulations in a Monte Carlo framework to account for parameter uncertainty. The results suggest that land-use change had relatively little effect on the overall mean annual water yield (<3%). However, streamflow dynamics proved to be sensitive in terms of frequency, timing and magnitude of discharge extremes. For low flows and peak discharges of return periods greater than one year, land use had a minor influence on the runoff response. Below these thresholds (<1-year return period), forest cover potentially decreased runoff peaks and low flows by as much as 10%, and non-forest cover increased runoff peaks and low flows by up to 15%. The study demonstrated the potential for using hydrological modelling to help identify the impact of protection and reforestation efforts on ecosystem services.

AB - modelling experiment is used to examine different land-use scenarios ranging from extreme deforestation (31% forest cover) to pristine (95% forest cover) conditions and related Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) schemes to assess whether a change in streamflow dynamics, discharge extremes and mean annual water balance of a 73.4-km2 tropical headwater catchment in Costa Rica could be detected. A semi-distributed, conceptual rainfall–runoff model was adapted to conceptualize the empirically-based, dominant hydrological processes of the study area and was multi-criteria calibrated using different objective functions and empirical constraints on model simulations in a Monte Carlo framework to account for parameter uncertainty. The results suggest that land-use change had relatively little effect on the overall mean annual water yield (<3%). However, streamflow dynamics proved to be sensitive in terms of frequency, timing and magnitude of discharge extremes. For low flows and peak discharges of return periods greater than one year, land use had a minor influence on the runoff response. Below these thresholds (<1-year return period), forest cover potentially decreased runoff peaks and low flows by as much as 10%, and non-forest cover increased runoff peaks and low flows by up to 15%. The study demonstrated the potential for using hydrological modelling to help identify the impact of protection and reforestation efforts on ecosystem services.

KW - ecosystem services

KW - PES

KW - hydrological modelling

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KW - Costa Rica

KW - land-use change

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DO - 10.1080/02626667.2012.728707

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JO - Hydrological Sciences Journal

JF - Hydrological Sciences Journal

SN - 0262-6667

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ER -