8.01.04 - Water supply and quality
This international group of scientists focuses on the water relations of forests, which have two equally important aspects: water resource provision to humans and water supply to the forest itself. The water retention function of forest soils further provides some peak flow control as contribution to flood mitigation and the soil protection function against water erosion, fields where links to other IUFRO units exist.
The appraisal of forest management with respect to water relations is performed in a comprehensive eco-hydrological framework.
State of Knowledge
The water supply to forests in many regions of the world, as well as their function of providing an adequate water resource to the human population, is potentially at risk under a changing climate and changing land-management practices. The water budgets of forest ecosystems are heavily dependent on climate and forest structure. The latter is determined by the management measures applied in the forestry sector, such as tree species selection, stand structure and density management, harvesting methods, etc. In the next decades, both climate and forest-management practices are expected to change. A sound scientific basis is needed to assess the effects of those changes.