A Small Catchment Scale Approach for Modeling Effects of Forest Management on Water Cycle in Boreal Landscape

  • Harri KoivusaloEmail author
  • Hannu Hökkä
  • Ari Laurén
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 212)


Forested areas in Europe are part of a mosaic-structured landscape with high diversity of land use types, soils, and vegetation. Quantification of hydrological processes in such areas deals with range of temporal and spatial scales. In the boreal region a large share of landscape is covered with managed forests. Such forest is typically a mosaic of tree stands with patches having relatively homogeneous species composition and age. Hydrological processes are one of the key factors controlling the growth condition of forests and the environmental impacts of forest management. Soil moisture conditions in the root zone affect stand transpiration and runoff is the carrier for nutrients and sediment from managed areas to lakes and rivers. There is a need to develop modelling tools where hydrological processes, solute transport, and forest management scenarios are implemented and integrated in the same scale. We address the questions related to water balance and forest management in boreal forests and provide an example of modelling approach in small catchment scale. The methodology demonstrated here is applicable to other land-use scenarios as well.


Forest Management Hydrological Model Hydrological Process Stream Network Landscape Unit 
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.



Finnish Forest Research Institute research projects ‘Hydrological nutrient losses and methods of water quality protection on peatlands drained for forestry purposes’ and ‘Prediction and mitigation of nutrient and sediment load from forested catchments’ are acknowledged for permitting the authors to participate in this COST action.


  1. Ahti E, Hökkä H (2006) Effects of the growth and volume of Scots pine stands on the level of the water table on peat in central Finland. In: Proceedings of an International conference on hydrology and management of forested wetlands, 8–12 April 2006. New Bern, NC, pp 309–315Google Scholar
  2. Becker A, Braun P (1999) Disaggregation, aggregation and spatial scaling in hydrological modelling. J Hydrol 217:239–252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Blöschl G, Sivapalan M (1995) Scale issues in hydrological modelling: A review. Hydrol Process 9:251–290CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Callegari G, Ferrari E, Garfì G, Iovino F, Veltri A (2003) Impact of thinning on the water balance of a catchment in Mediterranean environment. Forest Chron 79:301–306Google Scholar
  5. Feddes RA, Kowalik PJ, Zaradny H (1978) Simulation of field water use and crop yield. Simulation monographs, Pudoc, Wageningen, The NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  6. Flügel WA (1995) Delineating hydrological response units by geographical information system analyses for regional hydrological modelling using PRMS/MMS in the drainage basin of the River Bröl, Germany. Hydrol Process 9:423–436CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Grayson RB, Moore ID, McMahon TA (1992) Physically based hydrologic modeling, 2, is the concept realistic? Water Resour Res 28:2659–2666CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Gustafsson D (2002) Boreal land surface water and heat balance – modelling soil-snow-vegetation-atmosphere behaviour. Stockholm: Land and Water Resource Engineering, TRITA-LWR. PHD, ISSN:1650-8602Google Scholar
  9. Hökkä H, Salminen H (2006) Utilizing Information on Site Hydrology in Growth and Yield Modeling: Peatland Models in the MOTTI Stand Simulator. In: Proceedings of an international conference on hydrology and management of forested wetlands, 8–12 April 2006. New Bern, NC, pp 302–308Google Scholar
  10. Hökkä H, Repola J, Laine J (2008) Quantifying the interrelationship between tree stand growth rate and water table level in drained peatland sites within Central Finland. Can J For Res 38:1775–1783CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hynynen J, Ojansuu R, Hökkä H, Siipilehto J, Salminen H, Haapala P (2002) Models for predicting stand development in MELA System. Metsäntutkimuslaitoksen tiedonantoja. Finnish Forest Research Institute, Research Papers 835. 116 pp ISBN 951-40-1815-XGoogle Scholar
  12. Jansson PE, Halldin S (1979) Model for the annual water and energy flow in a layered soil. In: Halldin S (ed) Comparison of forest and energy exchange models. Society for Ecological Modelling, Copenhagen, pp 145–163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Jansson PE, Karlberg L (2001) Coupled heat and mass transfer model for soil-plant-atmosphere systems. Royal Institute of Technology, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stockholm, Sweden, 321 ppGoogle Scholar
  14. Joensuu S (2002) Effects of ditch network maintenance and sedimentation ponds on export loads of suspended solids and nutrients from peatland forests, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Res. Papers, 868, VantaaGoogle Scholar
  15. Karvonen T (1988) A model for predicting the effect of drainage on soil moisture, soil temperature and crop yield. Ph.D. thesis, Helsinki University of Technology, Publications of the Laboratory of Hydrology and Water Resources Engineering, Otaniemi, 1, 215 ppGoogle Scholar
  16. Karvonen T, Koivusalo H, Jauhiainen M, Palko J, Weppling K (1999) A hydrological model for predicting runoff from different land use areas. J Hydrol 217:253–265CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kirkby MJ (1985) Hillslope hydrology. In: Anderson MG, Burt TP (eds) Hydrological Forecasting. Wiley, Chichester, UK, pp 37–75Google Scholar
  18. Kite GW, Kouwen N (1992) Watershed modeling using land classifications. Water Resour Res 28:3193–3200CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Klingseisen B, Metternicht G, Paulus G (2008) Geomorphometric landscape analysis using a semi-automated GIS-approach. Environ Modell Softw 23:109–121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Koivusalo H (2002) Process-oriented investigation of snow accumulation, snowmelt and runoff generation in forested sites in Finland. Ph.D. thesis, Helsinki University of Technology, Water Resources Publications, TKK-VTR-6, Espoo, 2002Google Scholar
  21. Koivusalo H, Kokkonen T (2003) Modelling runoff generation in a forested catchment in Southern Finland. Hydrol Process 17(2):313–328CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Koivusalo H, Kokkonen T, Laurén A, Ahtiainen M, Karvonen T, Mannerkoski H, Penttinen S, Seuna P, Starr M, Finér L (2006) Parametrisation and application of a hillslope hydrological model to assess impacts of forest clear-cutting on runoff generation. Environ Modell Softw 21:1324–1339CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Koivusalo H, Hökkä H, Laurén A, Nikinmaa E, Laine J, Ahti E (2008) Splitting the water balance of drained peatland forests into hydrological components. In: Farrel C, Feehan J (eds) Proceedings of the 13th International Peat Congress. After wise use – the future of peatlands, 8–13 June 2008. Tullamore, Ireland, International Peat Society, pp 485–487Google Scholar
  24. Kokkonen T, Koivusalo H, Karvonen T (2001) A semi-distributed approach to rainfall-runoff modelling - a case study in a snow affected catchment. Environ Modell Softw 16:481–493CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kokkonen T, Koivusalo H, Laurén A, Penttinen S, Starr M, Kellomäki S, Finér L (2006) Implications of processing spatial data from a forested catchment for a hillslope hydrological model. Ecol Modell 199:393–408CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Krysanova V, Müller-Wohlfeil DI, Becker A (1998) Development and test of a spatially distributed hydrological/water quality model for mesoscale watersheds. Ecol Modell 106:261–289CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kummu M (2008) Spatio-temporal scales of hydrological impact assessment in large river basins: the Mekong case. Ph.D. thesis, Water & Development Publications – Helsinki University of Technology, TKK-WD-04Google Scholar
  28. Laurén A, Koivusalo H, Ahtikoski A, Kokkonen T, Finér L (2007) Water protection and buffer zones: How much does it cost to reduce nitrogen load in a forest cutting? Scand J Forest Res 22(6):537–544CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Laurén A, Finér L, Koivusalo H, Kokkonen T, Karvonen T, Kellomäki S, Mannerkoski H, Ahtiainen M (2005) Water and nitrogen processes along a typical water flowpath and streamwater exports from a forested catchment and changes after clear-cutting: a modelling study. Hydrol Earth Syst Sci 9:657–674CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lin YP, Wu PJ, Hong NM (2008) The effects of changing the resolution and land use modelling on simulations of land-use patterns and hydrology for a watershed land-use planning assessment in Wu-Tu, Taiwan. Landsc Urban Plann 87:54–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Mäkitalo K (2009) Soil hydrological properties and conditions, site preparation, and the long-term performance of planted Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) on upland forest sites in Finnish Lapland. Dissert Forest 80:71, Google Scholar
  32. Maréchal D, Holman IP (2005) Development and application of a soil classification-based conceptual catchment-scale hydrological model. J Hydrol 312:277–293CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Naiman RJ, Fetherston KL, McKay SJ, Chen J (1998) Riparian forests. In: Naiman RJ, Bilby RE (eds) River ecology and management. Springer-Verlag, New York, NY, pp 289–323CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Oldak A, Pachepsky Y, Jackson TJ, Rawls WJ (2002) Statistical properties of soil moisture images revisited. J Hydrol 255:12–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Ott M, Su Z, Schumann AH, Schultz GA (1991) Development of a distributed hydrological model for flood forecasting and impact assessment of land-use change in the international Mosel river basin. In: Hydrology for the water management of large river basins (Proceedings of the Vienna symposium, Aug 1991). IAHS Publ. no. 201, pp 183–194Google Scholar
  36. Palviainen M, Finér L, Laurén A, Mannerkoski H, Piirainen S, Starr M (2007) Development of ground vegetation biomass and nutrient pools in a clear-cut disc-plowed boreal forest. Plant Soil 297:43–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Refsgaard JC (1997) Parameterisation, calibration and validation of distributed hydrological ­models. J Hydrol 198:69–97CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Salminen H, Lehtonen M, Hynynen J (2005) Reusing legacy FORTRAN in the MOTTI growth and yield simulator. Comput Electron Agric 49(1):103–113CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Schneider MK, Brunner F, Hollis JM, Stamm C (2007) Towards a hydrological classification of European soils: preliminary test of its predictive power for the base flow index using river discharge data. Hydrol Earth Syst Sci 11:1501–1513CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Schröder B (2006) Pattern, process, and function in landscape ecology and catchment hydrology – how can quantitative landscape ecology support predictions in ungauged basins? Hydrol Earth Syst Sci 10:967–979CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Scipal K, Scheffler C, Wagner W (2005) Soil moisture-runoff relation at the catchment scale as observed with coarse resolution microwave remote sensing. Hydrol Earth Syst Sci 9:173–183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Seppälä K (1969) Kuusen ja männyn kasvun kehitys ojitetuilla turvemailla. English Summary: Post-drainage growth rate of Norway spruce and Scots pine on peat. Acta For Fenn 93:1–89 (In Finnish with English Summary)Google Scholar
  43. Singh R, Helmers MJ, Crumpton WG, Lemke DW (2007) Predicting effects of drainage water management in Iowa’s subsurface drained landscapes. Agric Water Manage 92:162–170CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Teich M, Bebi P (2009) Evaluating the benefit of avalanche protection forest with GIS-based risk analyses-A case study in Switzerland. For Ecol Manage 257:1910–1919CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Vivoni ER, Entekhabi D, Bras RL, Ivanov VY (2007) Controls on runoff generation and scale-dependence in a distributed hydrologic model. Hydrol Earth Syst Sci 11:1683–1701CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Western AW, Blöschl G (1999) On the spatial scaling of soil moisture. J Hydrol 217:203–224CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Wigmosta MS, Vail LW, Lettenmaier DP (1994) A distributed hydrology-vegetation model for complex terrain. Water Resour Res 30:1665–1679CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Woolhiser DA (1996) Search for physically based runoff model - a hydrologic El Dorado. J Hydraul Eng – ASCE 122:122–129CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Wu J, Levin SA (1997) A patch-based spatial modeling approach: conceptual framework and simulation scheme. Ecol Modell 101:325–346CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Zhang GP, Savenije HHG (2005) Rainfall-runoff modelling in a catchment with a complex groundwater flow system: application of the Representative ElementaryWatershed (REW) approach. Hydrol Earth Syst Sci 9:243–261CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringAalto University School of Science and TechnologyAaltoFinland
  2. 2.Rovaniemi Research UnitFinnish Forest Research InstituteRovaniemiFinland
  3. 3.Joensuu Research UnitFinnish Forest Research InstituteJoensuuFinland

Personalised recommendations