Articles | Volume 20, issue 7
Research article
08 Jul 2016
Research article |  | 08 Jul 2016

Contradictory hydrological impacts of afforestation in the humid tropics evidenced by long-term field monitoring and simulation modelling

Guillaume Lacombe, Olivier Ribolzi, Anneke de Rouw, Alain Pierret, Keoudone Latsachak, Norbert Silvera, Rinh Pham Dinh, Didier Orange, Jean-Louis Janeau, Bounsamai Soulileuth, Henri Robain, Adrien Taccoen, Phouthamaly Sengphaathith, Emmanuel Mouche, Oloth Sengtaheuanghoung, Toan Tran Duc, and Christian Valentin


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Short summary
Laos and Vietnam have switched from net forest loss to net forest expansion between 1990 and 2015. Based on long-term field measurements of land use, river flows, and weather data, we demonstrate that forest expansion can have extreme, yet opposite, impacts on water resources, depending on how the newly established tree-based cover is managed. The conversion of annual crops to teak plantations in Laos or to naturally regrowing forests in Vietnam led to increased and decreased flows, respectively.