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Water Balance of Mediterranean Quercus ilex L. and Pinus halepensis Mill. Forests in Semiarid Climates: A Review in A Climate Change Context

AutorVicente, Eduardo; Vilagrosa, Alberto; Ruiz-Yanetti, Samantha; Manrique-Alba, Àngela; González-Sanchís, María; Moutahir, Hassane; Chirino, Esteban; del Campo, Antonio; Bellot, Juan
Fecha de publicación16-jul-2018
EditorMultidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
CitaciónForests 9 (7): 426 (2018)
ResumenForests provide many environmental services, especially those related to the water cycle. In semiarid areas where water is a limiting factor for ecosystem functioning, forested areas can have a strong impact on ground water recharge. In these areas, proper knowledge of forests&rsquo; water balance is necessary to promote management practices that may ensure ecosystem properties and environmental services like water or carbon fixation. In this article, we review several ecohydrology topics within the framework of Mediterranean water-limited environments in two representative ecosystems: Kermes oak (<i>Quercus ilex</i> L.) and Aleppo pine (<i>Pinus halepensis</i> Mill.) forests. Both are the commonest species in countries that surround the Western Mediterranean Basin. We analysed the Blue and Green water components, i.e., green water is the water demand of forests, represented by evapotranspiration and interception; while blue water is the part of the balance involving runoff and deep percolation, which can be regarded as water directly usable by society. In general, different studies conducted in Mediterranean areas have pointed out that the water balances of <i>Q. ilex</i> and <i>P. halepensis</i> forests have low values for the Blue to Green water (B/G) ratios. Adaptive forest management like forest thinning can compensate for these ratios. Thinning has demonstrated to reduce losses by interception, but at same time, it can also increase individual tree transpiration and evaporation rates. However, these practices lead to higher B/G ratios when considering the whole stand. In future global change scenarios, in which drought conditions are expected to intensify, management practices can improve the water balance in these ecosystems by minimizing the risk of plant mortality and species replacement due to intense competence by water resources.
Identificadoresdoi: 10.3390/f9070426
Aparece en las colecciones: Colección MDPI
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