Articles | Volume 20, issue 3
Research article
01 Apr 2016
Research article |  | 01 Apr 2016

Does drought alter hydrological functions in forest soils?

Katharina F. Gimbel, Heike Puhlmann, and Markus Weiler

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Cited articles

Albert, K. R., Ro-Poulsen, H., Mikkelsen, T. N., Michelsen, A., van der Linden, L., and Beier, C.: Effects of elevated CO2, warming and drought episodes on plant carbon uptake in a temperate heath ecosystem are controlled by soil water status, Plant Cell Environ., 34, 1207–1222,, 2011.
Annabi, M., Le Bissonnais, Y., Le Villio-Poitrenaud, M., and Houot, S.: Improvement of soil aggregate stability by repeated applications of organic amendments to a cultivated silty loam soil, Agr. Ecosyst. Environ., 144, 382–389,, 2011.
Bachmair, S., Weiler, M., and Nützmann, G.: Controls of land use and soil structure on water movement: Lessons for pollutant transfer through the unsaturated zone, J. Hydrol., 369, 241–252,, 2009.
Barthlott, W. and Neinhuis, C.: Purity of the sacred lotus, or escape from contamination in biological surfaces, Planta, 202, 1–8,, 1997.
Bisdom, E., Dekker, L. W., and Schoute, J.: Water repellency of sieve fractions from sandy soils and relationships with organic material and soil structure, Geoderma, 56, 105–118,, 1993.
Short summary
It is usually assumed that soil properties are not affected by drought events. We used dye tracer experiments to test this assumption on six forest soils, which were forced into drought conditions. The results of this study show clear evidence for changes in infiltration pathways. In addition, most soils developed soil water repellency. Overall, the results suggest that the past climatic conditions are more important than the actual soil moisture status regarding hydrophobicity and infiltration.