Preprint under review for HESS(discussion: open, 6 comments)
It is a deeply rooted perception that soil is key in hydrology. In this opinion paper, we argue that it is the ecosystem, not the soil that is in control of hydrology. Firstly, in nature, the dominant flow mechanism is preferential, which is not particularly related to soil properties. Secondly, the ecosystem not the soil determines land-surface water balance and hydrological processes. Moving from soil- to ecosystem-centered perspective allows more realistic and simpler hydrological models.