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Keywords:

  • forest hydrology;
  • meteorology/climatology;
  • surface water hydrology;
  • Canada

ABSTRACT: The effects of changes in the landscape and climate over geological time are plain to see in the present hydrological regime. More recent anthropogenic changes may also have effects on our way of life. A prerequisite to predicting such effects is that we understand the interactions between climate, landscape and the hydrological regime. A semi-distributed hydrological model (SLURP) has been developed which can be used to investigate, in a simple way, the links between landscape, climate and hydrology for watersheds of various sizes. As well as using data from the observed climate network, the model has been used with data from atmospheric models to investigate possible changes in hydrology. A critical input to such a model is knowledge of the links between landscape and climate. While direct anthropogenic effects such as changes in forested area may presently be included, the indirect effects of climate on landscape and vice versa are not yet modeled well enough to be explicitly included. The development of models describing climate-landscape relationships such as regeneration, development and breakup, water and carbon fluxes at species, ecosystem and biome level is a necessary step in understanding and predicting the effects of changes in climate on landscape and on water resources. Forest is the predominant land cover in Canada covering 453 Mha and productivity/succession models for major forest types should be included in an integrated climate-landscape-water simulation.