Assessing the sources and residence times of water and solutes in headwater catchments, vegetation and topographic controls on the hydrograph, impacts of increasing hydroclimatic variability on water quality and quantity.
Interactions between terrestrial vegetative communities and the hydrologic cycle, upscaling site-level hydrological processes to larger watersheds, global change impacts on water resources from headwater catchments to the national scale.
importance of research
Forests are the headwaters for water supply for millions of people in the US. A large number of ecosystem services across the Southeast region (e.g., water supply, forest productivity, forest and stream biodiversity) depend on water balance in forested watersheds. Forest conditions are changing, and changes are expected to accelerate in the coming decades as a result of new and continuing pressures for timber, biofuels and wood products. The knowledge base for estimating the impacts of changing forest condition on hydrologic processes is inadequate, because water quality and quantity may be altered by changes in forest structure, species composition, climate, land use, and land management that are outside the boundaries of historical experience, experiments, and data.
Impacts of changes in land cover, climate, and water use on water supply stress, streamflow, and ecosystem carbon dynamics from catchment to continental scales; nutrient and sediment loading impacts on water quality, linkages between groundwater dynamics and wetland plant communities.