We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham Research Online
You are in:

Seeing the climate through the trees : observing climate and forestry impacts on streamflow using a 60-year record.

Burt, T.P. and Howden, N.J.K. and McDonnell, J.J. and Jones, J.A. and Hancock, G.R. (2015) 'Seeing the climate through the trees : observing climate and forestry impacts on streamflow using a 60-year record.', Hydrological processes., 29 (3). pp. 473-480.


Paired watershed experiments involving the removal or manipulation of forest cover in one of the watersheds have been conducted for more than a century to quantify the impact of forestry operations on streamflow. Because climate variability is expected to be large, forestry treatment effects would be undetectable without the treatment–control comparison. New understanding of climate variability provides an opportunity to examine whether climate variability interacts with forestry treatments, in a predictable manner. Here, we use data from the H. J. Andrews Experimental Forest, Oregon, USA, to examine the impact of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation on streamflow linked to forest harvesting. Our results show that the contrast between El Niño and La Niña events is so large that, whatever the state of the treated watershed in terms of regrowth of the forest canopy, extreme climatic variability related to El Niño-Southern Oscillation remains the more dominant driver of streamflow response at this location. Improvements in forecasting interannual variation in climate might be used to minimize the impact of forestry treatments on streamflow by avoiding initial operations in La Niña years.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Paired watershed, Forest hydrology, ENSO, H.J.Andrews.
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
Download PDF
Publisher Web site:
Publisher statement:This is the accepted version of the following article: Burt T. P., Howden N. J. K., McDonnell J. J., Jones J. A. and Hancock G. R. (2015) Seeing the climate through the trees: observing climate and forestry impacts on streamflow using a 60-year record, Hydrological Processes, 29 (3): 473-480, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Date accepted:17 November 2014
Date deposited:24 March 2015
Date of first online publication:22 November 2014
Date first made open access:No date available

Save or Share this output

Look up in GoogleScholar