Canadian Forest Service Publications

Quickflow response to forest harvesting and recovery in a northern hardwood forest landscape. 2018. Buttle, J.M.; Webster, K.L.; Hazlett, P.W.; Jeffries, D.S. Hydrological Processes:

Year: 2018

Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 39416

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1002/hyp.13310

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Plain Language Summary

Forest harvesting often increases catchment water delivered rapidly to the stream channel (i.e. quickflow) which can influence chemical and sediment export. This paper presents a 31-year examination of quickflow delivery from treatment (clearcut, selection harvest, shelterwood harvest) and control (uncut) catchments at the Turkey Lakes Watershed Harvesting Experiment. Root-zone water storage capacity demarcated shifts in the hydrologic regime arising from forest harvesting and subsequent regeneration. Clearcutting showed a post-harvest decline in root-zone water storage capacity followed by a rise to pre-harvest values. Prior to harvesting, there was no significant increase in quickflow with precipitation amount below a threshold P of 35 – 45 mm; however, there was a significant qucikflow vs. precipitation relationship below this threshold for all treatments post-harvest. Clearcutting increased the number of quickflow events for the entire post-harvest period and the first 9 years post-harvest compared to the other treatments; nevertheless, evidence for inter-treatment differences in total quickflow depth delivered from the catchments during the growing season was inconclusive. Our work suggests that changes in threshold relationships between quickflow and precipitation amounts, coupled with knowledge of the physical processes underlying them, are useful when evaluating hydrologic responses to forest harvesting.