Published works

Published works

Calibration of water balance using digital photography

TitleCalibration of water balance using digital photography
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsGharun, M, Possell, M, Bell, T
Document Number241
Date Published01/2017
InstitutionBushfire and Natural Hazards CRC
Report Number241

Prescribed fires impact the hydrological cycle in forested catchments because they remove vegetation and modify the amount of evapotranspiration (ET) that occurs. Evapotranspiration is the most important component of the hydrological cycle and perturbations to it can substantially affect the water balance of an ecosystem. However, our understanding of ET responses to disturbance is very limited and this makes post-fire assessment of water balance difficult.

In this study we used relationships between tree size and tree water use, and leaf area index (LAI) and forest water use to investigate the impact of fuel-reduction burning (FRB) on water availability. Leaf area index is an important input for estimating ET and measurement techniques such as digital photography can potentially be used by land managers as a means of rapidly quantifying the impact of FRB on water balance at both the plot- and catchment-scale. Our results will enable land managers to identify hydrologically sensitive areas in accordance with their management objectives.

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