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Trees in African drylands can promote deep soil and groundwater recharge in a future climate with more intense rainfall

Bargues-Tobella, Aida and Hasselquist, Niles and Bazié, Hugues R. and Bayala, Jules and Laudon, Hjalmar and Ilstedt, Ulrik (2020). Trees in African drylands can promote deep soil and groundwater recharge in a future climate with more intense rainfall. Land Degradation and Development. 31 , 81-95
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Abstract

Tropical regions are likely to experience more intense rainfall events in the future. Such an increase in rainfall intensities will affect soil and groundwater recharge, with potential consequences for millions of people. However, little is known about the impact of tree cover on soil and groundwater recharge under higher rainfall intensities. Here, we investigated the effect of tree cover and rainfall intensity on soil water drainage in an agroforestry parkland in West Africa. We collected soil water drainage from lysimeters located at 50 and 150 cm depth in both small and large open areas among trees, which represent contrasting degrees of tree cover, and analyzed a subset of water samples for delta O-18 and delta H-2 to gain insights into the mechanisms of water flow within the soil profile. We found that under high rainfall intensities (>20 mm d(-1)), the median daily soil water drainage amount at 150 cm was 13 times higher in the small compared with the large open areas, whereas at 50 cm, there were no significant differences. Low rainfall intensities (<10 mm d(-1)) resulted in little soil water drainage both at 50 and 150 cm depth, regardless of canopy opening size. The isotopic signature of soil water drainage suggested less evaporation and a higher degree of preferential flow in small compared with large open areas. Our results suggest that maintaining or promoting an appropriate tree cover in tropical African drylands may be key to improving deep soil and groundwater recharge under a future climate with more heavy rainfall.

Authors/Creators:Bargues-Tobella, Aida and Hasselquist, Niles and Bazié, Hugues R. and Bayala, Jules and Laudon, Hjalmar and Ilstedt, Ulrik
Title:Trees in African drylands can promote deep soil and groundwater recharge in a future climate with more intense rainfall
Year of publishing :2020
Volume:31
Page range:81-95
Number of Pages:15
Publisher:Wiley
ISSN:1085-3278
Language:English
Publication Type:Journal article
Refereed:Yes
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Soil Science
Keywords:drylands, groundwater recharge, intense rainfall, macropores, tree cover, water stable isotopes
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-102527
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-102527
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1002/ldr.3430
Web of Science (WoS)000506043200006
ID Code:16600
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(S) > Dept. of Forest Ecology and Management
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:05 Mar 2020 09:03
Metadata Last Modified:05 Mar 2020 09:03

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