7.01.08 - Hydroecology
One of the major research fields of air pollution and climate change impacts on forests is "forest-water" relationships simply because water is the most important ecological factor affecting, shaping, and limiting forest ecosystems.
Air pollution and Climate change will/may change availability, quality and allocation of regional water resources by affecting water cycle. Besides water is a vital/major component of ecosystems. To shape them (climax vegetation) and to affect their health (drought, nutrient cycles, insects, etc.).
A specific discipline of ecology covers this field, called HYDROECOLOGY. It implies research at the interface between ecology and hydrology. The prefix "hydro" in "hydroecology" indicates it is a modifier of the word "ecology" and thus the discipline is more about ecology than hydrology.
State of Knowledge
Forest-water relationship affected by climate change and air pollution is a very significant issue and a very large research subject. The following research subjects will be studied more thoroughly with Hydroecoogy WP.
- Developing Best Forest Management Practices towards mitigating the effects of air pollution and climate change. This includes water saving silviculture,
- Responses of ecosystems to extreme events like drought and floods (side effects of climate change),
- Biodiversity influenced by changing hydrologic conditions. Hydrologic diversity and biologic diversity are very closely related subjects and affected from air pollution and climate change,
- Evapotranspiration and its components in changing climatic conditions or air pollution damages,
- Stream habitats and riparian ecosystems. This is a very hot topic and number of papers on these subjects is growing huge. The air pollution and climate change part of it is very important,
- Nutrient cycle-water cycle interaction. This is sometimes ignored but water cycle is the driving mechanism in nutrient cycles,
- Precipitation-runoff. A widely studied subject both by civil engineers and forest hydrologists. The climate change or forest damages affecting this coupling falls into the scope of suggested hydroecology WP,
- Erosion and sedimentation processes in forest ecosystems. Erosion is sometimes a major concern for forests because roads, logging, recreation and many other forestry treatments or activities are becoming sources of erosion. Besides, sedimentation is a mechanism that is shaping stream corridors. These natural or accelerated (by human impacts) processes are affected from changing climatic conditions as well as forest damages caused by air pollution. This in turn affects all stream habitats in a watershed system.