Kaisa_2012_3_photo by Veikko Somerpuro

5.5.2020 at 08:00 - 25.5.2020 at 23:59



MSc and PhD students

Basic knowledge of soil science, reasonable numerical skills and proficiency of working with MS Excel are required.

After completing the course the student will be able to understand and interpret the hydrology and water balance of forest ecosystems. The student will be able to model and construct a water balance for a forest stand and have the tools (models) for doing so. The student will be able to appraise the central role water plays in many processes affecting the functioning of forest ecosystems.

IV period

The course deals with how precipitation interacts with forests and soils. The components of the water balance (rainfall, snowfall, canopy interception, evapotranspiration, snowmelt, soil water storage, soil water movement, drainage/percolation and runoff) are systematically covered from the theoretical, measurement and modelling points of view.

The main emphasis will be at the forest stand scale, but that of the small catchment (watershed) will also be covered. Solar radiation as the driver for evapotranspiration, the effects of tree species and stand structure, soil physical and hydraulic properties, and the hydrology of peatlands are also covered. The last part of the course deals with applied aspects of forest hydrology: the impacts of forest management, land-use change, and climate change on the water balance.

The weekly individual home assignments deal with the calculation and modelling of the water balance components for boreal coniferous forest ecosystems. For the final assignment, students in small groups (2-3) will apply a simple water balance model (WATBAL) and a climate generator model (LocClim) to world locations (chosen by each group) and the results presented in a seminar.

The course consists of twice 2 h weekly lectures (attendance is recorded), individual home assignments, a group assignment, and reading. The weekly home assignments are based on real-world data. The last assignment, water balance modelling, is done in groups (2-3 students) and started in class when students should bring their own laptops for software installation. The exam takes place at the end of the course.

All course and teaching materials (including data sets and free software for installation on own laptops) are available on Moodle.

Recommended reading for the course: Dingman S.L. 2002. Physical Hydrology. 2nd Edition. Macmillan Publishing Company. (Most important chapters: 4, 5, 6 and 7 are available on Moodle)

Scale 0–5. Individual home assignments 40%, Exam 60%. Lecture attendance may be taken into account in final grading.

Due to current COVID-19 situation general examinations in lecture halls are cancelled. You can contact the teacher to ask about alternative completion methods.

University lecturer Mike Starr

Replaces the former course 83678 Forest ecosystem hydrology and water balance, 5 cr.