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The effects of large-scale forest disturbances on hydrology : an overview with special emphasis on karst aquifer systems
Urša Vilhar, Janez Kermavnar, Erika Kozamernik, Metka Petrič, Nataša Ravbar, 2022, izvirni znanstveni članek

Povzetek: Large-scale forest disturbances (LSFD) are an essential component of forest ecosystem dynamics. The effects of rapid loss of forest cover and other changes in forest ecosystems are inextricably linked to hydrologic processes such as evapotranspiration, soil and recharge processes. Among all hydrogeological systems, karst aquifers are important because of their exceptionally rich and unique biodiversity, biomass, and groundwater resources. At the same time, they are characterized by specific hydrological processes that make them highly vulnerable to environmental changes. Therefore, this study paid special attention to the effects of LSFD on karst hydrology. Using the PRISMA checklist, a thorough literature review of studies published between 2001 and 2020 was compiled into a comprehensive matrix dataset. In addition, an initial assessment of the global and regional distribution of forests on carbonate rocks was made based on publicly available geodatabases of forests and karst aquifers. The compiled information provides the first global overview of hydrological processes affected by LSFD, and identifies important knowledge gaps and future research challenges. The matrix dataset contained 117 full-text articles with a total of 160 case studies. Most publications were from 2011 to 2017, with more than half of the studies at the plot level and more than one-third at the catchment level. Studies on the effects of fires and pest and diseases infestations predominated. However, no articles were found on the effects of ice storms on hydrology in general or on the effects of pest and disease infestations on hydrology in karst areas. Of the 45.6 M km2 of forested land worldwide, 6.3 M km2 or 13.9% of all forests are underlain by carbonate rocks. Carbonate rocks cover about 15% of the land surface, which means that 31.3% of the world's karst aquifers are covered by forest. 29% of all case studies were conducted in karst areas, which is a high proportion compared to the proportion of forests in karst areas. However, these studies are unevenly distributed geographically. Most studies were conducted at the plot level, and only 21% of studies focused on natural LSFD, so forest management and land use change studies predominated. Although studies on the effects of LSFD on evapotranspiration processes between vegetation, air and soil are fairly well represented, infiltration and recharge processes in karst areas remain poorly understood and knowledge is lacking, particularly on groundwater flow and related hydrological processes. Regional studies and impacts on groundwater resources are also insufficient. The results indicate an urgent need for an integrated holistic interdisciplinary approach and a comprehensive understanding of the individual influencing factors, which would allow more accurate modelling of hydrological processes in forested karst aquifers.
Ključne besede: natural disasters, climatic changes, evapotranspiration, hydrology, karst aquifers
Objavljeno v DiRROS: 19.05.2023; Ogledov: 189; Prenosov: 116
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