Comparative water balance study of forest and fallow plots

Norbert Móricz, Csaba Mátyás, Imre Berki, Ervin Rasztovits, Zoltan Vekerdy, Zoltan Gribovszki

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikelBegutachtung


Increasing pressure on groundwater due to land use change (e.g., afforestation) and future climate change will alter the recharge of groundwater aquifers, causing shifts in water table levels and hence influencing the available groundwater resources. The effect of land use change on groundwater resources has initiated a major scientific debate during the last decades between foresters and experts in water management in Hungary and in several other countries. The aim of this study was to compare water balances of two different vegetation covers, a groundwater dependent oak forest and a nearby fallow area in the Hungarian Lowland. Water balance components for an oak and a fallow plots, exposed to similar weather conditions and with similar soils, were estimated and compared by calibrating the Hydrus 1-D model using measured soil water content and groundwater levels. The difference in the groundwater consumption was analyzed in details during dry and wet growing seasons. Transpiration at the fallow plot was only about two-thirds of that in the oak forest, while groundwater consumption was three times higher in the forest than at the fallow plot throughout the two-year study. During the dry growing season, the proportion of groundwater use from the total transpiration reached up to 90% at the oak plot. According to the model, in the dry growing season in 2007 both vegetation covers relied significantly on groundwater resources, while in 2008 the consumption of groundwater was notably reduced due to the wet weather at both plots.
Seiten (von - bis)188-196
FachzeitschriftiForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2013

Research Field

  • Ehemaliges Research Field - Energy


  • Water Balance
  • Oak
  • Fallow
  • Groundwater Consumption


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