The hydrological effects of the conversion of forested land to other land uses (and vice versa) are to a large degree unknown. The present study investigate the effect of natural regrowth of forest on the regional hydrological cycle, and in particular the effects on streamflow. The Dragonja catchment (covering SW Slovenia and NW Croatia) was chosen because the land use changed significantly in this region over the last 50 years. Satellite data and field observations were used to study the hydrological effect of land use change. Historical remote sensing data from Landsat and ASTER revealed a significant change from agriculture to forest within the catchment. From 1973 to 2002 26% changed from agricultural field to forest. In the same period both the baseflow and the storm and flood frequency dropped significantly. A large part of the streamflow changes may probably be linked to precipitation changes in this region, making the hydrological study on reforestation a difficult task. Until now no significant link between reforestation and changes in the hydrological cycle was found and more research is needed to fully understand the hydrological system in this region. © 2009 SPIE.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering|
|State||Published - Nov 17 2009|