Key finding: advances in eco-hydrologic modeling can help us better estimate how fuel treatments alter water, carbon, and nutrient cycling and how fuel treatment impacts may change with climate.

Some interesting findings:

Fuel treatments can stimulate growth of neighboring trees; BUT this may also lead to increase water use and water demands

Below ground water storage properties of soil and bedrock that plant access can dramatically later how forest water use and drought risk respond to fuel treatments

Subsurface properties can alter the rate of regrowth following either fire or fuel treatments; for the Sierra, a fuel treatment that removed 30% of the above-ground biomass would need to be repeated approximately every 3 years in deep soils versus 8 years in shallow soils to achieve the same impacts on the water cycle

 

How does forest water use recover after treatment?

It depends on soil and the weather in the years following treatment.

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Bars show variation across climate (e.g wet versus dry versus average years following treatment)