Fire and Water Yield: A Survey and Predictions for Global Change

  • Serge Rambal
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 107)


By the late 1800s it was apparent to some that burning (or clearing) the vegetation increased water flow and accelerated flood damage (Hibbert et al. 1974). However, these phenomena had already been described at the beginning of our era by Pliny the Elder in his Naturalis Historia (in Lieuthagi 1972). The first experiments to determine the role of vegetation on water yield began in 1900 in the Emmenthal Mountains, Switzerland, and in 1909 in Wagon Wheel, CO, USA. The effect of wildfire on streamflow was first documented by Hoyt and Troxell in 1932. They found that burning chaparral caused the average annual streamflow of Fish Creek, CA, to increase 29%, or about 40mm. In addition they found that peak discharges and sediment loads carried by the streams also increased. The same results have since been obtained by many other authors (e.g., Anderson 1949).


Leaf Area Index Water Yield Soil Evaporation Actual Evapotranspiration Actual Evaporation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1994

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  • Serge Rambal

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