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Relative change in river flow (unitless ratio of ?Q/Q) due to historical forest conversion to agriculture.

Map description and dataset provided by: Water Systems Analysis Group, Complex System Research Center, Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space, University of New Hampshire, USA

DescriptionChange In Discharge due to Deforestation (rel.)

This map shows gridded fields of the relative change in river discharge representing the ratio of the change in river discharge (?Q) due to historical deforestation divided by contemporary Q from Douglas et al. (2005). This historical scenario compared distributed river flow (Q) generated from pre-industrial land cover with river flow derived from contemporary landcover.

Interpretation

Across the pan-tropical domain, approximately 9.5 million km2 of tropical forest area has been converted to agricultural land use. One of the key factors in examining the effects of land use change, loss of biodiversity and hydrological function on human vulnerability is the recognition that populations affected by these changes are linked to disturbance through river networks. Thus affected populations could be living both in the areas where the land use change takes place and in areas far downstream. Over the pan-tropical area, 32% of forests have been converted to agriculture (as of the mid- 1990s) yielding an approximate 10% increase in annual basin water yield (a ratio of 1% water yield increase for every 3% forest area lost) from pre-industrial conditions. The largest proportion of both forest conversion and increased yield has occurred in southeast Asia, where a 44% forest conversion has yielded a 23% increase in annual basin yield.

Source

The dataset for this map was provided by: Charles J. Vörösmarty, Water Systems Analysis Group, Complex System Research Center, Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space, University of New Hampshire, USA

Background

This dataset was developed for the World Water Development Report II, Indicators for the World Water Assessment Program (http://wwdrii.sr.unh.edu/index.html) and in support of analysis outlined in Douglas et al.; 2005.

Citation

Please cite this map as: "GWSP Digital Water Atlas (2008). Map 54: Change In Discharge due to Deforestation (rel.) (V1.0). Available online at http://atlas.gwsp.org."

Contact Information

Charles J. Vörösmarty, Water Systems Analysis Group, Complex System Research Center, Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH USA 03824, This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it , Phone: +01.603.862.0850, Fax: +01.603.8

 
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