Objectives and hypothesis

The general objective of this research program is to better understand the linkages between water (river) and land cover (and forest) dynamics to be able to integrate the implementation of nature base solutions on water resource planning. A secondary objective is to link hydrological and thermal regimens from climate and land cover dynamics to river ecosystem functioning patterns.
Specific objectives of WATERLANDs
  1. Improving the understanding of the role of different land cover and forest types on specific hydrological processes (e.g., evapotranspiration, interception, soil infiltration and soil water retention).
  2. Incorporating land cover and forest dynamics on the water response to global change scenarios.
  3. Linking land cover, forest and climatic changes to specific changes on hydrological and thermal regimens in streams and rivers.
  4. Determining cause-effect relationships between hydrological and thermal changes on river ecosystem functioning.
  5. Developing a methodology to generate scenarios of global change and assess their effects on water resources and river ecosystem processes.
Main general hypothesis
  1. Climate change will generate different hydrological and thermal responses depending on land cover and forest dynamics.
  2. Land cover and forest dynamics will affect key hydrological processes that will cascade down to affect river ecosystem functioning.
  3. Young native forests, mature native forests and tree plantations will differ on key hydrological processes and thermal buffering to river ecosystems.
  4. Hydrological and thermal regimens imposed by climate and LULC scenarios will have a great effect on river ecosystem functioning.
  5. Addressing land cover and forest dynamics will help improving water resource management and adaptation to climate change.