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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Cited articles

Abramoff, R. Z. and Finzi, C.: Are above- and below-ground phenology in sync?, New Phytol., 205, 1054–1061, 2015.
Andréassian, V.: Waters and forests: from historical controversy to scientific debate, J. Hydrol., 291, 1–27, 2004.
Andréassian, V., Parent, E., and Michel, C.: A distribution-free test to detect gradual changes in watershed behaviour. Water Resour. Res., 39, 1252,, 2003.
Beck, H. E., Bruijnzeel, L. A., van Dijk, A. I. J. M., McVicar, T. R., Scatena, F. N., and Schellekens, J.: The impact of forest regeneration on streamflow in 12 mesoscale humid tropical catchments, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 17, 2613–2635,, 2013.
Bradshaw, C. J. A., Sodhi, N. S., and Brook, B. W.: Tropical turmoil: a biodiversity tragedy in progress, Front. Ecol. Environ., 7, 79–87, 2009.
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.