Global pattern for the effect of climate and land cover on water yield

  • Author(s): Zhou, Guoy; Wei, Xiaohua; Chen, Xiuzhi; Zhou, Ping; Liu, Xiaodong; Xiao, Yin; Sun, Ge; Scott, David F.; Zhou, Shuyidan; Hano, Liusheng; Su, Yongxian
  • Date: 2015
  • Source: Nature Communications
  • Station ID: JRNL-SRS-2015

Abstract

Research results on the effects of land cover change on water resources vary greatly and the topic remains controversial. Here we use published data worldwide to examine the validity of Fuh’s equation, which relates annual water yield (R) to a wetness index (precipitation/ potential evapotranspiration; P/PET) and watershed characteristics (m). We identify two critical values at P/PET¼1 and m¼2. m plays a more important role than P/PET when mo2, and a lesser role when m42. When P/PETo1, the relative water yield (R/P) is more responsive to changes in m than it is when P/PET41, suggesting that any land cover changes in non-humid regions (P/PETo1) or in watersheds of low water retention capacity (mo2) can lead to greater hydrological responses. m significantly correlates with forest coverage, watershed slope and watershed area. This global pattern has far-reaching significance in studying and managing hydrological responses to land cover and climate changes.

  • Citation: . . Global pattern for the effect of climate and land cover on water yield. Nature Communications. doi: 10.1038/ncomms6918

Requesting Publications

You can order print copies of our publications through our publication ordering system. Make a note of the publication you wish to request, and visit our Publication Order Site.

Publication Notes

  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
  • Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact the SRS webmaster if you notice any errors which make this publication unuseable.
  • To view this article, download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.