Changes in Saxony's hydrological budget were largely due to forest decline

8. April 2014
In the past decades forest decline in Saxony caused major changes in the hydrological budget compared to climate change. An interdisciplinary research team of hydrologists, meteorologists and landscape ecologists of the Technical University Dresden, the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research and the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry in Jena analyzed 68 catchment areas over a period of 60 years (1950-2009).
The resulting data clearly show the effects of climate warming on the regional evaporation and the hydrological budget in Saxony. However, the main cause for changes in the water balance was found to be industrial air pollution. For the ridges of the mid-mountain areas the forest decline due to air pollution was the critical factor.

Original publication:
Separating the effects of changes in land cover and climate: a hydro-meteorological analysis of the past 60 yr in Saxony, Germany
Renner, M., Brust, K., Schwärzel, K., Volk, M., Bernhofer, C. (2014). Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 18, 389-405.

Contact at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry:
Dr. Maik Renner
Ph.: +49 3641 57 – 6223

Photo (clipping): Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-1989-1206-012 / CC-BY-SA
Fichtelberg im Erzgebirge bei Oberwiesenthal
Author Heinz Hirndorf, December 1989
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