Canadian Forest Service Publications

The role of forests in regulating water: the Turkey Lakes Watershed case study. 2005. Foster, N.W.; Beall, F.D.; Kreutzweiser, D.P. The Forestry Chronicle 81: 142-148.

Year: 2005

Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 25660

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.5558/tfc81142-1

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Long-term experimental catchment studies, applied to relatively undisturbed ecosystems, provide reliable hydrologic data that are highly relevant to forest management decisions on water supply and quality. A number of large-scale, longterm catchment studies have been conducted in North America to examine these linkages and processes in support of watershed management decisions.Among these the Turkey Lakes Watershed (TLW), a rare example of a long-term fully integrated examination of the biology and chemistry of the atmosphere, forests, soils, streams, and lakes, is presented as a case study.Multi-agency, interdisciplinary research at the TLW, which has strong links nationally and internationally, has included hydrological studies, examination of landscape influences on nutrient export to surface waters, and impacts of catchment disturbance on water yield, nutrient flux, carbon cycling, and sedimentation in streams. Application of partial cut harvest systems in the TLW tolerant hardwood forest resulted in reduced runoff and improved water quality (sediment, nitrate and calcium concentrations) relative to clearcut harvest. Twenty years after the initiation of reductions in atmospheric S emissions losses of SO42- from some headwater basins remain high and there is little evidence of acidification recovery in TLW surface waters. The TLW research approach can be used globally to scientifically assess how natural and human actions affect the important services provided by forested watersheds. For example, TLW results have contributed to international policy on acid rain reductions and air quality agreements.