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Table 2 Potential impacts of land use changes and relevance for components of hydrological cycle

From: Upstream-downstream linkages of hydrological processes in the Himalayan region

Processes Potential impact of land use change
Interception storage Greatly affected by vegetation changes (e.g. crop harvest, forest cutting); relevant for evapotranspiration/energy balance
Litter storage Affected by vegetation changes, in particular forest cutting; relevant for evapotranspiration/energy balance
Root zone storage Affected by management practices like tilling methods, relevant for evapotranspiration and storm runoff generation
Infiltration - excess overland flow Affected by crop cultivation and management practices; relevant for storm runoff generation in the case of high rainfall intensities and low soil conductivity; may be enhanced by soil siltation and crusting
Saturation - excess overland flow Only slightly affected by land use changes (process is controlled by topography and subsurface conditions)
Subsurface stormflow Only slightly affected by land use changes (process is controlled by topography and subsurface conditions)
Runoff from urbanized areas Highly affected by sewer system and sewage retention measures; relevant for storm runoff from urban areas
Decentralized retention in the landscape Affected by landscape structuring and agricultural rationalization of arable land; relevant for storm runoff concentration from arable land
  1. Land use changes on surface and near-surface hydrological processes. Source: Bronstert et al. ([2002]).