Connections between landscapes and waterscapes
It is increasingly recognised that the processes and connections in our landscapes are influencing the functioning of aquatic ecosystems. Fundamental scientific understanding of the functioning of both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems is required for an integrated and sustainable management of landscapes and waterscapes to maintain their ecosystem services and biological integrity at multiple scales. This talk will show how the interactions and feedbacks in ecohydrological systems can be quantitatively assessed through a number of novel, integrated approaches. Importantly, this talk will discuss the need to understand the role of vegetation on water partitioning at the terrestrial and aquatic interface. Land- and waterscapes are interacting at every scale level and cross-scale investigations are extremely useful to gain an integrated understanding of ecohydrological systems.
Environmental tracers are valuable tools to understand the functioning of ecohydrological systems at the landscape scale in terms of understand flow paths, sources of water and associated biogeochemical interactions. The talk will present findings from extensive empirical studies at the plot and hillslope scale to understand ecohydrological systems, and in particular, soil-vegetation-water interlinkages. This empirically based understanding is then integrated into spatially distributed, tracer-aided models to understand mixing of water, flows to the stream and water age distribution of ecohydrological fluxes at the catchment scale.