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Geochemical responses of forested catchments to bark beetle infestation: Evidence from high frequency in-stream electrical conductivity monitoring
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
Number of Authors: 3
2017 (English)In: Journal of Hydrology, ISSN 0022-1694, E-ISSN 1879-2707, Vol. 550, 635-649 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Under the present conditions of climate warming, there has been an increased frequency of bark beetle induced tree mortality in Asia, Europe, and North America. This study analyzed seven years of high frequency monitoring of in-stream electrical conductivity (EC), hydro-climatic conditions, and vegetation dynamics in four experimental catchments located in headwaters of the Sumava Mountains, Central Europe. The aim was to determine the effects of insect-induced forest disturbance on in-stream EC at multiple timescales, including annual and seasonal average conditions, daily variability, and responses to individual rainfall events. Results showed increased annual average in-stream EC values in the bark beetle-infected catchments, with particularly elevated EC values during baseflow conditions. This is likely caused by the cumulative loading of soil water and groundwater that discharge excess amounts of substances such as nitrogen and carbon, which are released via the decomposition of the needles, branches, and trunks of dead trees, into streams. Furthermore, we concluded that infestation-induced changes in event-scale dynamics may be largely responsible for the observed shifts in annual average conditions. For example, systematic EC differences between baseflow conditions and event flow conditions in relatively undisturbed catchments were essentially eliminated in catchments that were highly disturbed by bark beetles. These changes developed relatively rapidly after infestation and have long-lasting (decadal-scale) effects, implying that cumulative impacts of increasingly frequent bark beetle outbreaks may contribute to alterations of the hydrogeochemical conditions in more vulnerable mountain regions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 550, 635-649 p.
Keyword [en]
Forest disturbance, Bark beetle infestation, Streamflow, Electrical conductivity, Multiple timescales
National Category
Civil Engineering Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-145338DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2017.05.035ISI: 000404816000049OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-145338DiVA: diva2:1128711
Available from: 2017-07-27 Created: 2017-07-27 Last updated: 2017-07-27Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
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  • de-DE
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  • nn-NB
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Output format
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