Impacts of forests and forestation on hydrological services in the Andes: A systematic review

Bonnesoeur, V., Locatelli, B., et al. 2019 Forest Ecology and Management, 433

Several Andean countries have planned to restore forest cover in degraded land to enhance the provision of multiple ecosystem services in response to international commitments such as the Bonn Challenge. Hydrological services, e.g. water supply, hydrological regulation and erosion mitigation, are particularly important to sustain the life of more than fifty million Andean people. While rapid and important forest cover changes have occurred during recent decades, critical information on the impact of forestation on hydrological services has not yet been synthesized in the context of Andean ecosystems.

To help improve decision-making on forestation in the Andes, we reviewed the available literature concerning the impacts of forestation on water supply, hydrological regulation and mitigation of erosion and landslides. We also examined available data on the most relevant hydrological processes such as infiltration, evapotranspiration and runoff in forest stands. Hydrological services from native forests were also included as a reference state for comparing processes and services provided by forestation. Following systematic review protocols, we synthesized 155 studies using different methods, including meta-analyses and meta-regressions.

Bonnesoeur, V., Locatelli, B., Guariguata, M.R., Ochoa-Tocachi, B.F., Vanacker, V., Mao, Z., Stokes, A. and Mathez-Stiefel, S.L., 2019. Impacts of forests and forestation on hydrological services in the Andes: A systematic review. Forest Ecology and Management433, pp.569-584.

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