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

This is a Preprint and has not been peer reviewed. The published version of this Preprint is available: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-1940-6.

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Authors

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

Abstract

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.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.31223/osf.io/8jpx6

Subjects

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

Keywords

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

Dates

Published: 2019-07-25 09:18

Last Updated: 2020-02-24 21:38

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License

CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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