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Data from: The hydrological legacy of deforestation on global wetlands

Citation

Woodward, Craig A. et al. (2015), Data from: The hydrological legacy of deforestation on global wetlands, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.m62gj

Abstract

Increased catchment erosion and nutrient loading are commonly recognized impacts of deforestation on global wetlands. In contrast, an increase in water availability in deforested catchments is well known in modern studies but is rarely considered when evaluating past human impacts. We used a Budyko water balance approach, a meta-analysis of global wetland response to deforestation, and paleoecological studies from Australasia to explore this issue. After complete deforestation, we demonstrated that water available to wetlands increases by up to 15% of annual precipitation. This can convert ephemeral swamps to permanent lakes or even create new wetlands. This effect is globally significant, with 9 to 12% of wetlands affected, including 20 to 40% of Ramsar wetlands, but is widely unrecognized because human impact studies rarely test for it.

Usage Notes

Location

Global coverage