Seeing the climate through the trees: observing climate and forestry impacts on streamflow using a 60-year record

T. P. Burt*, N. J. K. Howden, J. J. McDonnell, J. A. Jones, G. R. Hancock

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Paired watershed experiments involving the removal or manipulation of forest cover in one of the watersheds have been conducted for more than a century to quantify the impact of forestry operations on streamflow. Because climate variability is expected to be large, forestry treatment effects would be undetectable without the treatment-control comparison. New understanding of climate variability provides an opportunity to examine whether climate variability interacts with forestry treatments, in a predictable manner. Here, we use data from the H. J. Andrews Experimental Forest, Oregon, USA, to examine the impact of the El Nino-Southern Oscillation on streamflow linked to forest harvesting. Our results show that the contrast between El Nino and La Nina events is so large that, whatever the state of the treated watershed in terms of regrowth of the forest canopy, extreme climatic variability related to El Nino-Southern Oscillation remains the more dominant driver of streamflow response at this location. Improvements in forecasting interannual variation in climate might be used to minimize the impact of forestry treatments on streamflow by avoiding initial operations in La Nina years. Copyright (C) 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-480
Number of pages8
JournalHydrological Processes
Volume29
Issue number3
Early online date14 Jan 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2015

Keywords

  • paired watershed
  • forest hydrology
  • ENSO
  • H. J. Andrews
  • SEA-SURFACE TEMPERATURE
  • SOUTHERN-OSCILLATION
  • UNITED-STATES
  • RESPONSES

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)

Cite this

Seeing the climate through the trees : observing climate and forestry impacts on streamflow using a 60-year record. / Burt, T. P.; Howden, N. J. K.; McDonnell, J. J.; Jones, J. A.; Hancock, G. R.

In: Hydrological Processes, Vol. 29, No. 3, 30.01.2015, p. 473-480.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Burt, T. P. ; Howden, N. J. K. ; McDonnell, J. J. ; Jones, J. A. ; Hancock, G. R. / Seeing the climate through the trees : observing climate and forestry impacts on streamflow using a 60-year record. In: Hydrological Processes. 2015 ; Vol. 29, No. 3. pp. 473-480.
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abstract = "Paired watershed experiments involving the removal or manipulation of forest cover in one of the watersheds have been conducted for more than a century to quantify the impact of forestry operations on streamflow. Because climate variability is expected to be large, forestry treatment effects would be undetectable without the treatment-control comparison. New understanding of climate variability provides an opportunity to examine whether climate variability interacts with forestry treatments, in a predictable manner. Here, we use data from the H. J. Andrews Experimental Forest, Oregon, USA, to examine the impact of the El Nino-Southern Oscillation on streamflow linked to forest harvesting. Our results show that the contrast between El Nino and La Nina events is so large that, whatever the state of the treated watershed in terms of regrowth of the forest canopy, extreme climatic variability related to El Nino-Southern Oscillation remains the more dominant driver of streamflow response at this location. Improvements in forecasting interannual variation in climate might be used to minimize the impact of forestry treatments on streamflow by avoiding initial operations in La Nina years. Copyright (C) 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.",
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note = "Acknowledgements The authors would like to thank two anonymous referees for their comments on the original manuscript. This research was begun when TPB and GRH were Visiting Fellows at the Institute for Water & Watersheds, College of Forestry, Oregon State University. Data sets were provided by the H. J. Andrews Experimental Forest research programme, funded by the National Science Foundation's Long-Term Ecological Research Program (DEB 0823380), US Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station and Oregon State University. Grateful thanks to Don Henshaw for updates. Funded by National Science Foundation's Long-Term Ecological Research Program. Grant Number: DEB 0823380 US Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station Oregon State University",
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N1 - Acknowledgements The authors would like to thank two anonymous referees for their comments on the original manuscript. This research was begun when TPB and GRH were Visiting Fellows at the Institute for Water & Watersheds, College of Forestry, Oregon State University. Data sets were provided by the H. J. Andrews Experimental Forest research programme, funded by the National Science Foundation's Long-Term Ecological Research Program (DEB 0823380), US Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station and Oregon State University. Grateful thanks to Don Henshaw for updates. Funded by National Science Foundation's Long-Term Ecological Research Program. Grant Number: DEB 0823380 US Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station Oregon State University

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N2 - Paired watershed experiments involving the removal or manipulation of forest cover in one of the watersheds have been conducted for more than a century to quantify the impact of forestry operations on streamflow. Because climate variability is expected to be large, forestry treatment effects would be undetectable without the treatment-control comparison. New understanding of climate variability provides an opportunity to examine whether climate variability interacts with forestry treatments, in a predictable manner. Here, we use data from the H. J. Andrews Experimental Forest, Oregon, USA, to examine the impact of the El Nino-Southern Oscillation on streamflow linked to forest harvesting. Our results show that the contrast between El Nino and La Nina events is so large that, whatever the state of the treated watershed in terms of regrowth of the forest canopy, extreme climatic variability related to El Nino-Southern Oscillation remains the more dominant driver of streamflow response at this location. Improvements in forecasting interannual variation in climate might be used to minimize the impact of forestry treatments on streamflow by avoiding initial operations in La Nina years. Copyright (C) 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

AB - Paired watershed experiments involving the removal or manipulation of forest cover in one of the watersheds have been conducted for more than a century to quantify the impact of forestry operations on streamflow. Because climate variability is expected to be large, forestry treatment effects would be undetectable without the treatment-control comparison. New understanding of climate variability provides an opportunity to examine whether climate variability interacts with forestry treatments, in a predictable manner. Here, we use data from the H. J. Andrews Experimental Forest, Oregon, USA, to examine the impact of the El Nino-Southern Oscillation on streamflow linked to forest harvesting. Our results show that the contrast between El Nino and La Nina events is so large that, whatever the state of the treated watershed in terms of regrowth of the forest canopy, extreme climatic variability related to El Nino-Southern Oscillation remains the more dominant driver of streamflow response at this location. Improvements in forecasting interannual variation in climate might be used to minimize the impact of forestry treatments on streamflow by avoiding initial operations in La Nina years. Copyright (C) 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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