EFFECTS OF LAND USE / LAND COVER CHANGE ON THE HYDROLOGICAL PARTITIONING
AdvisorTroch, Peter A.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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EmbargoEmbargo: Release after 10/13/2011
AbstractCurrent global population growth and economic development accelerates the land cover conversion in many parts of the world and compromises the natural environment. However, the impacts of this land cover change on the hydrologic cycle at local to regional scales are poorly understood. The thesis presented here investigates the hydrologic implications of land use conversion in two different settings using two different approaches. The first study focuses in Southeast Asia and the expansion of rubber monocultures in a middle-sized basin. Field measurements suggest rubber has distinct dynamics compared to the area's native vegetation, depleting and exhausting the local water balance more than native vegetation. A phenology based evapotranspiration function is developed and used in a hillslope based hydrologic model to predict the implications of rubber expansion at a basin scale. The second study is centered in the semi-arid southwestern United States. This study challenges the traditional assumption that deforestation increases water yield at regional scales. Observations of water yield in basins affected by a regional piñon pine die-off show a decline in water yield during several years after die-off. These results suggest an increase in landscape sensitivity to vegetation disruption in semi-arid ecosystems as scale increases. Consequences of both studies have important implications for land and water managers in these different ecosystems.
Degree ProgramGraduate College