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    Southern Cross University
    European Forest Institute Mediterranean Office (EFIMED)

    Can silvicultural treatments improve the water economy?

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    Vanclay, J.K., 2010. Can silvicultural treatments improve the water economy? Forêt Méditerranéenne 31(4):366-368 Four facts about water and forests are well-known and commonly accepted, but conflict with the commonly held view that trees use water to the detriment of water catchments: (1) trees can transpire relatively large amounts of water, which is often considered “lost”; (2) cloud condensation nuclei produced by forest canopies mean that forests may be important in clouds formation; (3) the atmosphere holds relatively little moisture, setting a limit to the amount of transpired water than can be retained in the atmosphere; and (4) and most water vapour in the atmosphere does not travel far before it falls back to earth. The apparent contradictions amongst these four points pose the question: what is the fate all the water “lost” from trees if it is not retained in the atmosphere, doesn’t travel far, and is likely to be condensed over forest? Is evapotranspiration “lost” or does it fall nearby as rain? These are important questions, but are infrequently addressed because relatively few researchers take a broad systems view that includes the atmosphere, and a narrower focus on individual trees can lead to a different (and potentially misleading) conclusion.

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    Description

    Title : Can silvicultural treatments improve the water economy?
    Author(s) : J.K. Vanclay
    Abstract : Vanclay, J.K., 2010. Can silvicultural treatments improve the water economy? Forêt Méditerranéenne 31(4):366-368 Four facts about water and forests are well-known and commonly accepted, but conflict with the commonly held view that trees use water to the detriment of water catchments: (1) trees can transpire relatively large amounts of water, which is often considered “lost”; (2) cloud condensation nuclei produced by forest canopies mean that forests may be important in clouds formation; (3) the atmosphere holds relatively little moisture, setting a limit to the amount of transpired water than can be retained in the atmosphere; and (4) and most water vapour in the atmosphere does not travel far before it falls back to earth. The apparent contradictions amongst these four points pose the question: what is the fate all the water “lost” from trees if it is not retained in the atmosphere, doesn’t travel far, and is likely to be condensed over forest? Is evapotranspiration “lost” or does it fall nearby as rain? These are important questions, but are infrequently addressed because relatively few researchers take a broad systems view that includes the atmosphere, and a narrower focus on individual trees can lead to a different (and potentially misleading) conclusion.
    Keywords : forest hydrology

    Subject : forest hydrology
    Area : Environmental studies
    Language : English
    Year : 2010

    Affiliations Southern Cross University
    Journal : Forêt Méditerranéenne
    Volume : 31
    Issue : 4
    Pages : 366-368
    Url : http://jkv.50megs.com/FMe.pdf

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    Jerome's Peer Evaluation activity

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    • Habiba Hassan Wassef, Senior professional, Independent international expert, United Nations, WHO, National Coordinator for the 7th European Framework Research Programme, National Research Center in Cairo, Egypt.
    • Thuy Nguyen, Student, Ph.D. Level, Silviculture Research Institute, Ha Noi, Vietnam, The University of Melbourne.
    • Guillaume Dupuy d'Angeac, Publisher, Collective Developments, HEC Alumni, Peerevaluation.
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