Comment on Evaristo & McDonnell, Global analysis of streamflow response to forest management

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James W Kirchner, Wouter Berghuijs , Scott Allen , Markus Hrachowitz, Rolf Hut , Donna M. Rizzo


Forests play a key role in the water cycle, so both planting and removing forests can affect streamflow. In a recent Nature article1, Evaristo and McDonnell used a gradient-boosted-tree model to conclude that streamflow response to forest removal is predominantly controlled by the potential water storage in the landscape, and that removing the worlds forests would contribute an additional 34,098 km3 yr 1 to streamflow worldwide, nearly doubling global river flow. Here we report several problems with Evaristo and McDonnells1 database, their model, and the extrapolation of their results to continental and global scale. The main results of the paper1 remain unsubstantiated, because they rely on a database with multiple errors and a model that fails validation tests.



Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Forest Management, Forest Sciences, Hydrology, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Water Resource Management


forest, hydrology, water yield, ecohydrology, clearing, felling


Published: 2019-07-25 11:18

Last Updated: 2020-02-24 22:38

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