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Forests and Water (FRST90022)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2018
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeFRST90022
Semester 1
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

Forest hydrology deals with the interaction between forests and the water cycle. Forests strongly influence both the quantity and the quality of surface and groundwater resources. This subject will provide students with knowledge to understand the complex relationship between forests and water, and skills to apply this knowledge to a range of contemporary catchment management issues.

Content includes:

  • Hydrological cycle - components and the inherent randomness and variability
  • Forests - the complex role of forests in the catchment water balance
  • Rainfall and runoff - Role of surface and groundwater flow. Characteristics of short-term and long-term variation
  • Evapotranspiration processes – the fundamental biophysical processes of forest water use and loss, and how this varies as a function of forest type and climatic setting
  • Water quality and its measurement – key issues in forested ecosystems
  • Wildfire - How does fire impact on short and long term stream flow and water quality?
  • Climate change - potential effects of changes in climate on vegetation function and catchment hydrology
  • Modelling of water resources - A brief introduction to spreadsheet and other modelling of water resource issues
  • Ecohydrology - the integrated study of water and vegetation in landscapes. What is the link between hydrology and forest ecology?
  • Global forests - Hydrologic functioning of contrasting forest types under varying climatic conditions

The subject will include a 2 day field trip and practical work in Victoria’s forested water supply catchments

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this subject students should:

  • Have a detailed understanding of the forest hydrologic cycle
  • Have insights into how forest management and growth dynamics, forest disturbance (including wildfire), and climate change can influence the water balance
  • Develop an understanding of forest hydrologic processes in a range of forested landscapes
  • Have an exposure to field experimental methods in forest research

Last updated: 23 October 2017