Potential Hydrological Responses, and Carbon and Nitrogen Pools of a Two Distinct Watersheds to Rainfall and Brush Management

Friday, 19 December 2014
Ram L Ray, Ali Fares, Ripendra Awal and Alton B Johnson, Prairie View A & M University, Prairie View, TX, United States
Investigating the effects of brush management on hydrologic fluxes, in the parts of the Texas where brush is a dominant component of the landscape is essential for the State of Texas’s water management strategy and planning. The main goal of this study is to test the performance of brush management as an effective approach for protecting soil quality (carbon and nitrogen pools), and water resources management and planning. Specifically, this work reports on the potential i) hydrological response and ii) carbon and nitrogen pools of two watersheds, one in Colorado River Basin (arid) and the second one in Neches River Basin (humid), to brush management (uniform thinning vs. clear cutting) simulated using Regional Hydro-ecological Simulation System (RHESSys) model and site specific input data. The selected watersheds have similar potential evapotranspiration level, but their average elevations are 600 m and 250 m for the arid and humid watersheds, respectively. Results are showing that light thinning alone may not be enough to significantly impact water yield and soil quality. They further indicate that the streamflow response to brush reduction is a non-linear positive response.