Relations between vegetation and land use play an important role in water retention and runoff in the landscape.
Photo: ©LapaiIrKrapai/shutterstock

27.09.2019

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The type of vegetation and land use plays an important role in water retention and runoff in the landscape. An international team of scientists have developed a mathematical model that can reflect the complex interplays between vegetation, soil and water regimes.

The water regime of landscapes is commuting more and more between the extremes drought and flooding. The type of vegetation and land use plays an important role in water retention and runoff. Together with scientists from the United Kingdom and the USA, researchers from the German Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB) in Berlin have developed a mathematical model that can reflect the complex interplays between vegetation, soil and water regimes. They show, for example, that in beech forests water is increasingly cycled between soil and vegetation to increase evaporation to the atmosphere, while grass cover promotes groundwater recharge.

A mathematical model to quantify soil-water interplays

With the EcH2o-iso they have developed, the researchers can quantify where, how and for how long water is stored and released in the landscape. The model helps in better predicting the effects of land-use changes on the water balance under changing climatic conditions.

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