Int. J. Biosci.16(2), 231-240, February 2020
Water availability both at present and in the future is of primary importance for sustaining life on earth. The forest role in carbon sequestration and their impacts on water yield and the hydrological cycle is currently a burning issue within the scientific community. As a general concern, different forest types and cover may vary in their effects on water interception and discharge due to various structural and growth attributes, with implications to the water supply to downstream ecosystems. Changes in forest cover impose either positive or negative impacts on catchment hydrology depending on the direction and degree of changes. To reconcile the forest carbon sequestration and water conservation, there is a dire need to understand the mechanistic linkage between the two services. By conducting literature, we examine the impacts of forest cover change in the shape of deforestation on catchment water yield for contrasting forest types: coniferous forests and broadleaved forests. The results found that deforestation of 68% of broadleaved and 71% of needle leaved forests lead an increase in streamflow of up to 16% and 27% for broadleaved and needle-leaved forests, respectively. This research provides a scientific insight about when where and why to cut/plant the trees with a particular focus on sustainable forest management practices to mitigate the global warming issue for gaining maximum and long term socio-economic benefits.
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