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Fast-growing forest management to regulate the balance between wood production and water supply

ABSTRACT:

Increasingly, fast-growing forest plantations are able to support the wood supply but may simultaneously reduce water availability. The trade-off between wood production and water supply is more evident in areas with low water availability, high seasonal variation, or high water demand from local communities. The management regime adopted in forest plantations can either increase or reduce this trade-off. Thus, we assess herein the water and wood supply under different fast-growing forest plantation management regimes to understand how forest management practices can balance the provision of these services. The study was conducted at two catchments with a predominance of fast-growing forest plantations, namely, the mosaic management catchment (MMC) and the intensive management catchment (IMC). Rainfall and streamflow were monitored for three water years. Hydrological indexes were calculated to assess the hydrological regime of both catchments, and make inventories of the forest to assess forest growth rates. MMC had streamflow coefficients, baseflow index and baseflow stability higher than those of IMC. Mean annual wood increment was 32.73 m3 ha-1 yr-1 in MMC, with a mean age of 15 years, and 44.40 m3 ha-1 yr-1 in IMC at coppice in the second year. MMC hydrological indexes remained stable over the period studied, while in IMC the hydrological indexes were affected by climatic variations, mainly in drier years. MMC showed potential for supplying both water and wood. However, in IMC there was a trade-off between wood supply at the expense of the water supply. Thus, the intensity of fast-growing management can be adjusted to achieve a balance between water and wood supply on a catchment scale.

Keywords:
provision services; forest plantation; hydrological regime; climate change

Introduction

Land use change on a catchment scale has a direct influence on water resources, especially in the case of the establishing of a new forest or the harvesting of an existing one (Brown et al., 2005Brown, A.E.; Zhang, L.; McMahon, T.A.; Western, A.W.; Vertessy, R.A. 2005. A review of paired catchment studies for determining changes in water yield resulting from alterations in vegetation. Journal of Hydrology 310: 28-61. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2004.12.010
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; Jackson et al., 2005Jackson, R.B.; Jobbagy, E.G.; Avissar, R.; Roy, S.B.; Barrett, D.J.; Cook, C.W.; Farley, K.A.; Le Maitre, D.C.; McCarl, B.A.; Murray, B.C. 2005. Trading water for carbon with biological carbon sequestration. Science 310: 1944-1947. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1119282
https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1119282...
; Neary, 2016Neary, D.G. 2016. Long-term forest paired catchment studies: what do they tell us that landscape-level monitoring does not? Forests 7: 164. https://doi.org/10.3390/f7080164
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). Forest management modifies water provision throughout the forest rotation (Scott and Prinsloo, 2008Scott, D.F.; Prinsloo, F.W. 2008. Longer-term effects of pine and eucalypt plantations on streamflow. Water Resources Research 44: W00A08. https://doi.org/10.1029/2007WR006781
https://doi.org/10.1029/2007WR006781...
; Van Dijk and Keenan, 2007Van Dijk, A.I.J.M.; Keenan, R.J. 2007. Planted forests and water in perspective. Forest Ecology and Management 251: 1-9. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2007.06.010
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) and the provision of ecosystem services may differ according to forest management practices (Baral et al., 2016Baral, H.; Guariguata, M.R.; Keenan, R.J. 2016. A proposed framework for assessing ecosystem goods and services from planted forests. Ecosystem Services 22: 260-268. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoser.2016.10.002
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoser.2016.10...
). The establishment of fast-growing forest plantations can reduce streamflow dramatically (Jackson et al., 2005Jackson, R.B.; Jobbagy, E.G.; Avissar, R.; Roy, S.B.; Barrett, D.J.; Cook, C.W.; Farley, K.A.; Le Maitre, D.C.; McCarl, B.A.; Murray, B.C. 2005. Trading water for carbon with biological carbon sequestration. Science 310: 1944-1947. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1119282
https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1119282...
); however, it contributes to water recycling in the atmosphere and wood production (Christina et al., 2017Christina, M.; Nouvellon, Y.; Laclau, J.P.; Stape, J.L.; Bouillet, J.P.; Lambais, G.R.; Maire, G. 2017. Importance of deep water uptake in tropical eucalypt forest. Functional Ecology 31: 509-519. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2435.12727
https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2435.12727...
), resulting in an ecosystem service trade-off.

Eucalyptus plantations in Brazil occupy 6.97 million hectares. These forest plantations are managed in short rotation cycles of less than ten years, with mean annual increments of 35.3 m3 ha–1 yr–1 (IBA, 2020), reaching 62 m3 ha–1 yr–1 at sites without water limitations (Stape et al., 2010Stape, J.L.; Binkley, D.; Ryan, M.G.; Fonseca, S.; Loos, R.A.; Takahashi, E.N.; Silva, C.R.; Silva, S.R.; Hakamada, R.E.; Ferreira, J.M.A.; Lima, A.M.N.; Gava, J.L.; Leite, F.P.; Andrade, H.B.; Alves, J.M.; Silva, G.G.C.; Azevedo, M.R. 2010. The Brazil Eucalyptus potential productivity project: influence of water, nutrients and stand uniformity on wood production. Forest Ecology and Management 259: 1684-1694. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2010.01.012
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2010.01...
). In fact, water availability is probably the main resource controlling forest productivity in tropical regions (Stape et al., 2004Stape, J.L.; Binkley, D.; Ryan, M.G. 2004. Eucalyptus production and the supply, use and efficiency of use of water, light and nitrogen across a geographic gradient in Brazil. Forest Ecology and Management 193: 17-31. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2004.01.020
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2004.01...
; Santana et al., 2008; Stape et al., 2010Stape, J.L.; Binkley, D.; Ryan, M.G.; Fonseca, S.; Loos, R.A.; Takahashi, E.N.; Silva, C.R.; Silva, S.R.; Hakamada, R.E.; Ferreira, J.M.A.; Lima, A.M.N.; Gava, J.L.; Leite, F.P.; Andrade, H.B.; Alves, J.M.; Silva, G.G.C.; Azevedo, M.R. 2010. The Brazil Eucalyptus potential productivity project: influence of water, nutrients and stand uniformity on wood production. Forest Ecology and Management 259: 1684-1694. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2010.01.012
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2010.01...
), as it is directly related to annual rainfall (Zhang et al., 2001Zhang, L.; Dawes, W.R.; Walker, G.R. 2001. Response of mean annual evapotranspiration to vegetation changes at catchment scale. Water Resources Research 37: 701-708. https://doi.org/10.1029/2000WR900325
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). There are projections of increases or decreases in mean annual rainfall for the different regions of Brazil (IPCC, 2021Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [IPCC]. 2021. Sixth assessment report – Working Group I: The physical science basis. Available at: https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg1/ [Accessed Sept 22, 2021]
https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg1/...
). In modeled scenarios of rainfall reduction, a decrease in catchment streamflow (Feikema et al., 2012Feikema, P.; Beverly, C.; Morris, J.; Lane, P.; Baker, T. 2012. Process-based modeling of vegetation to investigate effects of climate and tree cover change on catchment hydrology. p. 74-81. In: Webb, A.A.; Bonell, M.; Bren, L.; Lane, P.N.J.; McGuire, D.; Neary, D.G.; Nettles, J.; Scott, D.F.; Stednick, J.D.; Wang, Y., eds. Revisiting experimental catchment studies in forest hydrology. IAHS, Wallingford, UK.) was observed. In forest plantations, silvicultural practices can mitigate or even accelerate the effects of climate change on water supply (Ford et al., 2011Ford, C.R.; Laseter, S.H.; Swank, W.T.; Vose, J.M. 2011. Can forest management be used to sustain water-based ecosystem services in the face of climate change? Ecological Applications 21: 2049-2067. https://doi.org/10.1890/10-2246.1
https://doi.org/10.1890/10-2246.1...
).

An adaptive management strategy for fast-growing forest plantation can be formulated to align the wood and water supply, mainly in places with water conflict or in water-limited regions (Calder, 2007Calder, I.R. 2007. Forests and water-ensuring forest benefits outweigh water costs. Forest Ecology and Management 251: 110-120. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2007.06.015
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2007....
; Ferraz et al., 2019Ferraz, S.F.B.; Rodrigues, C.B.; Garcia, L.G.; Alvares, C.A.; Lima, W.P. 2019. Effects of Eucalyptus plantations on streamflow in Brazil: moving beyond the water use debate. Forest Ecology and Management 453: 117571. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2019.117571
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2019.11...
). The use of more heterogeneous management, for example, with uneven age stands in the catchment may reduce variations in groundwater levels throughout the year (Almeida et al., 2007Almeida, A.C.; Soares, J.V.; Landsberg, J.J.; Rezende, G.D. 2007. Growth and water balance of Eucalyptus grandis hybrid plantations in Brazil during a rotation for pulp production. Forest Ecology and Management 251: 10-21. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2007.06.009
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2007.06...
), thus, stabilizing the streamflow while maintaining forest productivity (Ferraz et al., 2013Ferraz, S.F.B.; Lima, W.P.; Rodrigues, C.B. 2013. Managing forest plantation landscapes for water conservation. Forest Ecology and Management 301: 58-66. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2012.10.015
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2012.10...
). Balancing wood production and water supply may be necessary to meet the new demands of a developing society and have more resilient forest plantations to tolerate climate change. In this study, we assess water and wood supply under different fast-growing forest plantation management regimes to understand how forest management practices can balance the provision of these services.

Materials and Methods

Study area

The two catchments studied were located in Itatinga-São Paulo/Brazil (23°03’ S, 48°39’ W, altitude of 850 m) (Figure 1). The climate in the region is Cwa, according to Köppen’s classification, with dry winters and hot summers (Alvares et al., 2013Alvares, C.A.; Stape, J.L.; Sentelhas, P.C.; Gonçalves, J.L.M.; Sparovek, G. 2013. Köppen’s climate classification map for Brazil. Meteorologische Zeitschrift 22: 711-728. https://doi.org/10.1127/0941-2948/2013/0507
https://doi.org/10.1127/0941-2948/2013/0...
) and mean annual rainfall of 1.372 mm (CEPAGRI, 2016Centro de Pesquisas Meteorológicas e Climáticas Aplicadas à Agricultura [CEPAGRI]. 2016. São Paulo municipalities climate = Clima dos Municípios Paulistas. Available at: http://www.cpa.unicamp.br/outras-informacoes/clima_muni_271.html/ [Accessed Apr 20, 2018] (in Portuguese).
http://www.cpa.unicamp.br/outras-informa...
). The aridity index (PET/P) in the municipality of Itatinga is 0.7 slightly below the threshold of 0.76 that would represent a risk to water availability due to the presence of fast-growing forest plantations (Ferraz et al., 2019Ferraz, S.F.B.; Rodrigues, C.B.; Garcia, L.G.; Alvares, C.A.; Lima, W.P. 2019. Effects of Eucalyptus plantations on streamflow in Brazil: moving beyond the water use debate. Forest Ecology and Management 453: 117571. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2019.117571
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2019.11...
).

Figure 1
Location and land use map of the Mosaic Management Catchment (MMC) and the Intensive Management Catchment (IMC).

The water year was determined with reference to the normal climatological water balance available for Itatinga-São Paulo/Brazil (Sentelhas et al., 2003Sentelhas, P.C.; Marin, F.R.; Ferreira, A.S.; Sá, E.J.S. 2003. Brazilian climate database: municipalities in the State of São Paulo; Itatinga = Banco de dados climáticos do Brasi: municípios do Estado de São Paulo; Itatinga. Available at: https://www.cnpm.embrapa.br/projetos/bdclima/index.html [Accessed Oct 15, 2020] (in Portuguese).
https://www.cnpm.embrapa.br/projetos/bdc...
). The water year starts in the month following the month with the greatest water deficit in the soil, which coincides with the month with the lowest streamflow (Gordon et al., 2004Gordon, N.D.; McMahon, T.A.; Finlayson, B.L.; Gippel, C.J.; Nathan, R.J. 2004. Stream Hydrology: An Introduction for Ecologists. 2ed. Wiley, Chichester, UK.). Thus, the water year for Itatinga is from Sept to Aug.

Soil types of catchments are Hapludox Typic and Rhodic (Table 1), with texture varying from sandy loam to sandy clay loam, respectively (Gonçalves et al., 2012Gonçalves, J.L.M.; Alvares, C.A.; Gonçalves, T.D.; Moreira, R.M.; Mendes, J.C.T.; Gava, J.L. 2012. Soil and productivity mapping of Eucalyptus grandis plantations, using a geographic information system. Scientia Forestalis 40: 187-201 (in Portuguese, with abstract in English).), with the same underlying geology (Sandstone from sedimentary rocks). Topographic conditions of both catchments are quite similar in terms of elevation range and slope (Table 1).

Table 1
Description of the Mosaic Management Catchment (MMC) and the Intensive Management Catchment (IMC).

The mosaic management catchment (MMC) has forest stands with different species and ages, mainly as a result of being an experimental area. The longest forest experiment in MMC was implemented in 1992 and the most recent in 2014. The main species in MMC is Eucalyptus spp., occupying 76 % of the catchment with different ages (Table 1).

Intensive management catchment (IMC) has a fast-growing forest management regime for pulp and cellulose production, with stands of the same clone of eucalyptus and even age (Figure 1), in which forestry operations are carried out on all stands concomitantly. The management is usually coppiced with a seven-year rotation period. The last harvest was in 2014, harvesting 80 % of IMC area, followed by eucalyptus regrowth. Both catchments have a native riparian forest occupying approximately 8 % and 12 % of MMC and IMC areas, respectively, which is protected by Brazilian Environmental Law and must be preserved without management (Table 1).

Hydrological dataset

Rainfall was measured continuously at 30-min intervals between catchments (Figure 1) with an automatic rain gauge (TR-5251) for three water years (1 Sept 2013 to 31 Aug 2016). The water years were 2013-2014 (WY13), 2014-2015 (WY14) and 2015-2016 (WY15). Annual rainfall was used to characterize each water year.

The streamflow was measured through an H-flume structure and automatic water level sensor (pressure transducer HOBO U20), at 15-min intervals in each catchment. The HOBO U20 sensors were installed in Oct 2013, 50 days after the beginning of the first water year (WY13). Missing data from this period were estimated by a linear function between the daily rainfall and daily mean streamflow data. Over the three water years, the sensors failed 11 % and 3 % of the time in MMC and IMC, respectively. The data series failures were filled with data from a backup water level sensor (Orpheus mini). Daily and annual streamflow (mm) were used to characterize the hydrological regime of the catchments.

Hydrological indicators

The water supply was characterized by the annual streamflow (Q), baseflow index (BFI) (Brogna et al., 2017Brogna, D.; Vincke, C.; Brostaux, Y.; Soyeurt, H.; Dufrêne, M.; Dendondcker, N. 2017. How does forest cover impact water flows and ecosystem services? Insights from “real-life” catchments in Wallonia (Belgium). Ecological Indicators 72: 675-685. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolind.2016.08.011
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolind.2016.0...
), streamflow coefficient (Q/R), flow variability (Q10/Q90) and baseflow stability index (Q90/Q50).

The baseflow index (BFI) was calculated using the digital filtering method of Lyne and Hollick (1979) described by Grayson et al. (1996)Grayson, R.B.; Argent, R.M.; Nathan, R.J.; McMahon, T.A.; Mein, R. 1996. Hydrological Recipes: Estimation Techniques in Australian Hydrology. Cooperative Research Centre for Catchment Hydrology, Clayton, Australia.. The BFI was calculated from the daily streamflow in three passes with a filter coefficient of 0.925. The streamflow coefficient (Q/R) is the ratio between the annual amount of streamflow and the annual amount of rainfall.

Flow Duration Curves (FDCs) were drawn using daily streamflow for each water year and for the entire period studied. The daily streamflow data were sorted from largest to smallest, classified in frequency classes and plotted on a logarithmic scale (Gordon et al., 2004Gordon, N.D.; McMahon, T.A.; Finlayson, B.L.; Gippel, C.J.; Nathan, R.J. 2004. Stream Hydrology: An Introduction for Ecologists. 2ed. Wiley, Chichester, UK.). The low flow (Q90), median flow (Q50) and storm flow (Q10) were extracted from the FDCs representing the flow values that were equaled or exceeded 90 %, 50 % and 10 % of the time, respectively. The ratio between Q10 and Q90 (Q10/Q90) was used to assess flow variability (Richards, 1990Richards, R.P. 1990. Measures of flow variability and a new flow-based classification of great lakes tributaries. Journal of Great Lakes Research 16: 53-70.; Strauch et al., 2015Strauch, A.M.; Mackenzie, R.A.; Giardina, C.P.; Bruland, G.L. 2015. Climate driven changes to rainfall and streamflow patterns in a model tropical island hydrological system. Journal of Hydrology 523: 160-169. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2015.01.045
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2015.0...
) and the ratio between Q90 and Q50 (Q90/Q50) was used to calculate a baseflow stability index (Strauch et al., 2015Strauch, A.M.; Mackenzie, R.A.; Giardina, C.P.; Bruland, G.L. 2015. Climate driven changes to rainfall and streamflow patterns in a model tropical island hydrological system. Journal of Hydrology 523: 160-169. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2015.01.045
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2015.0...
).

Forest inventory

Wood production was estimated for one forest inventory in each catchment. The stands of the mosaic management catchment (MMC) were grouped by genus and age, and 40 random stratified sampling plots of 540 m2 were selected (Table 2). The intensive management catchment (IMC) had five plots selected by simple random sampling (Table 2). The diameter at breast height (DBH) of all trees and the height of 15 trees were measured. A relation between the DBH and height was calculated for each plot to estimate the height of all trees, and the volume was computed based on the cylinder volume equation multiplied by a form factor of 0.5 (Oliveira et al., 1999Oliveira, J.T.S.; Hellmeister, J.C.; Simões, J.W.; Tomazello Filho, M. 1999. Characterization of seven eucalypt wood species to civil construction. 1. dendrometrics evaluations of the trees. Scientia Forestalis 56: 113-124 (in Portuguese, with abstract in English).). The mean annual increment (MAI) was calculated by dividing the volume (m3 ha–1) by the age of each group. For MMC, after computing the MAI per group, the MAI for the catchment was calculated by the average MAIs weighted by the occupied area of each group.

Table 2
Forest inventory for the Mosaic Management Catchment (MMC) and Intensive Management Catchment (IMC).

Results

Hydrological data

The first and last water years showed atypical rainfall (Table 3). The annual rainfall in WY13 was 34 % lower than the mean annual rainfall expected for the region (1,372 mm), representing an example of a dry year, with monthly rainfall below 100 mm in the summer. Conversely, in the WY15 it was 88 % higher than the mean annual rainfall, representing a wet year, with monthly rainfall of over 100 mm in the winter. The two water years preceding the study and WY14 had annual rainfall close to the mean annual rainfall.

Table 3
Rainfall (R), annual streamflow (Q), streamflow coefficient (Q/R), baseflow index (BFI), storm flow (Q10), median flow (Q50), low flow (Q90), flow variability (Q10/Q90) and baseflow stability (Q90/Q50) of the Mosaic Management Catchment (MMC) and the Intensive Management Catchment (IMC) for water years 2013-2014 (WY13), 2014-2015 (WY14), 2015-2016 (WY15) and for the tree water years (3WY).

The mean daily streamflow in the study period was 0.55 mm and 0.26 mm for MMC and IMC, respectively, with maximum values of 2.32 mm and 3.25 mm and minimum values of 0.18 mm and 0.00 mm, respectively (Figure 2A and B). The IMC had two days with zero flow at the end of WY13. The annual streamflow was higher in MMC for the entire study period (Table 3), although this difference has decreased over time, annual streamflow in MMC was 4.78 times higher than in IMC in WY13, and just 1.34 times higher in WY15.

Figure 2
Catchment hydrological regime: A) Mosaic Management Catchment (MMC), 14 % planted in June 2014 (perpendicular dashed line), and B) Intensive Management Catchment (IMC), 80 % harvested in Apr 2014 (perpendicular dashed line).

Hydrological indicators

The streamflow coefficient (Q/R) was higher for MMC than for IMC in all water years (Table 3), it was five times higher in MMC than in IMC in the dry year (WY13). The Q/R for WY15 was half of that for WY13 in MMC, although the annual streamflow was 32 % higher in WY15. The IMC had a 75 % increase in Q/R, which corresponded to an increase of 370 % in annual streamflow, from WY13 to WY15.

Changes in BFI between water years have taken a different course in each catchment, and whereas BFI decreased in MMC over time, BFI increased in IMC (Table 3). The baseflow for the whole period (3WY) was 80 % and 56 % of total streamflow in MMC and IMC, respectively.

The stability of the hydrological regime of MMC is reflected in the baseflow stability and variability index (Table 3). MMC shows less variability in streamflow (Q10/Q90, average of 2.1) and more stability (Q90/Q50, average of 0.51) than IMC (averages of 10.5 and 0.14, respectively). WY15 brought more pronounced changes in IMC, increasing its stability, and decreasing its variability, approaching the hydrological regime of MMC. The variability index (Q10/Q90) was ten times higher for IMC compared to MMC, and the baseflow stability index (Q90/Q50) was three times lower for IMC compared to MMC for the entire period of study (3WY-1095 days) (Table 3). The differences between the hydrological regimes of the catchments are also presented through FDCs (Figure 3A, B and C). Despite the atypical rainfall years, the FDCs were very similar between water years for MMC (Figure 3A) while IMC shows steeper FDCs in WY13 and WY14.

Figure 3
Catchment Flow Duration Curves (FDC), A) Mosaic Management Catchment (MMC), B) Intensive Management Catchment (IMC) (WY13 = water year 2013-2014, WY14 = water year 2014-2015, WY15 = water year 2015-2016), and C) Flow duration curves for the three water years (3WY).

Wood production

The MMC forest inventory had an estimated wood volume of 29,236 m3 in 2018 (Table 2) which represents a mean annual increment (MAI) of 32.73 m3 ha–1 yr–1. The MAI in MMC groups ranged from 9.7 to 59.7 m3 ha–1 yr–1, in native and eucalyptus, respectively, and the mean age of MMC groups was 15 years. The IMC forest inventory by the second year of coppice regrowth was estimated at an MAI of 44.40 m3 ha–1 yr–1, which leads to an estimated volume of 25.22 m3 for 2021 at the time of harvest.

Discussion

Water and wood supply at different forest management intensities

Water availability at MMC was higher than at IMC for the three water years. MMC had a streamflow coefficient higher than 10 %, being at the upper limit of the expected for catchments with fast-growing forest plantations in Brazil, which is 5 % to 11 % (Ferraz et al., 2019Ferraz, S.F.B.; Rodrigues, C.B.; Garcia, L.G.; Alvares, C.A.; Lima, W.P. 2019. Effects of Eucalyptus plantations on streamflow in Brazil: moving beyond the water use debate. Forest Ecology and Management 453: 117571. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2019.117571
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2019.11...
). Conversely, in IMC, the streamflow coefficient was less than 7 % in the three years of study, being 4 % in the first two years, which demonstrates a relatively high level of water use (Baral et al., 2013Baral, H.; Keenan, R.J.; Fox, J.C.; Stork, N.E.; Kasel, S. 2013. Spatial assessment of ecosystem goods and services in complex production landscapes: a case study from south-eastern Australia. Ecological Complexity 13: 35-45. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecocom.2012.11.001
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecocom.2012.11...
), even higher than that observed in other studies in Brazil (Cabral et al., 2010Cabral, O.M.R.; Rocha, H.R.; Gash, J.H.C.; Ligo, M.A.V.; Freitas, H.C.; Tatsch, J.D. 2010. The energy and water balance of a Eucalyptus plantation in southeast Brazil. Journal of Hydrology 388: 208-216. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2010.04.041
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2010.0...
; Ferraz et al., 2019Ferraz, S.F.B.; Rodrigues, C.B.; Garcia, L.G.; Alvares, C.A.; Lima, W.P. 2019. Effects of Eucalyptus plantations on streamflow in Brazil: moving beyond the water use debate. Forest Ecology and Management 453: 117571. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2019.117571
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2019.11...
; Rodrigues et al., 2019Rodrigues, C.B.; Taniwaki, R.H.; Lane, P.; Lima, W.P.; Ferraz, S.F.B. 2019. Eucalyptus short-rotation management effects on nutrient and sediments in subtropical streams. Forests 10: 519. http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/f10060519
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/f10060519...
).

The baseflow index is higher in MMC than in IMC during the period studied. The BFI usually reflects the effects of catchment geology (Smakhtin, 2001Smakhtin, V.U. 2001. Low flow hydrology: a review. Journal of Hydrology 240: 147-186. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0022-1694(00)00340-1
https://doi.org/10.1016/S0022-1694(00)00...
) although the catchments studied are in the same geological formation, on Oxisols (Gonçalves et al., 2012Gonçalves, J.L.M.; Alvares, C.A.; Gonçalves, T.D.; Moreira, R.M.; Mendes, J.C.T.; Gava, J.L. 2012. Soil and productivity mapping of Eucalyptus grandis plantations, using a geographic information system. Scientia Forestalis 40: 187-201 (in Portuguese, with abstract in English).) the differences in BFI may be due to other factors. The soil water content in deep soils is controlled by topographic features, climate conditions, vegetation characteristics and management practices (Cao et al., 2018Cao, R.; Jia, X.; Huang, L.; Zhu, Y.; Wu, L.; Shao, M. 2018. Deep soil water storage varies with vegetation type and rainfall amount in the Loess Plateau of China. Scientific Reports 8: 12346. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-30850-7
https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-30850...
). Thus, vegetation characteristics such as planting density (Fang et al., 2016Fang, X.; Zhao, W.; Wang, L.; Feng, Q.; Ding, J.; Liu, Y.; Zhang, X. 2016. Variations of deep soil moisture under different vegetation types and influencing factors in a watershed of the Loess Plateau, China. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 20: 3309-3323. https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-20-3309-2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-20-3309-201...
) and plant age (Wang et al., 2012Wang, Y.; Shao, M.; Liu, Z.; Warrington, D.N. 2012. Regional spatial pattern of deep soil water content and its influencing factors. Hydrological Sciences Journal 57: 265-281. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02626667.2011.644243
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02626667.2011....
) can affect water storage, and, consequently, the BFI in our catchments is probably affected by forest management intensity.

The FDCs were very similar over the three water years in the MMC, despite the differences in annual rainfall, which modified the storm flows, the FDCs were “flat”, demonstrating a uniform streamflow response (Burt and Swank, 1992Burt, T.P.; Swank, W.T. 1992. Flow frequency responses to hardwood-to-grass conversion and subsequent succession. Hydrological Processes 6: 179-188. https://doi.org/10.1002/hyp.3360060206
https://doi.org/10.1002/hyp.3360060206...
). Meanwhile, IMC curves were “steep” and more responsive to variations in rainfall and land cover changes, especially in the first and second water years. The Q90/Q50 and Q10/Q90 indexes confirm the flow stability and its low variability in MMC. When comparing the values of the indexes between catchments, the IMC has Q90/Q50 values at least twice as low as those of the MMC and Q10/Q90 values at least twice as high as those of the MMC, indicating a catchment with less stable and more variable streamflow. Thus, MMC presents greater regulation of its hydrological regime and water supply against rainfall variations and forestry operations compared to IMC, corroborating studies that suggest mosaic management may be an appropriate strategy for increasing flow regulation (Almeida et al., 2016Almeida, A.C.; Smethurst, P.J.; Siggins, A.; Cavalcante, R.B.L.; Borges, N. 2016. Quantifying the effects of Eucalyptus plantations and management on water resources at plot and catchment scales. Hydrological Processes 30: 4687-4703. https://doi.org/10.1002/hyp.10992
https://doi.org/10.1002/hyp.10992...
and Ferraz et al., 2013Ferraz, S.F.B.; Lima, W.P.; Rodrigues, C.B. 2013. Managing forest plantation landscapes for water conservation. Forest Ecology and Management 301: 58-66. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2012.10.015
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2012.10...
).

The management intensity in MMC changed from intensive to mosaic in 1997. Prior to 1997 MMC had an even-aged eucalyptus plantation, when this plantation was clear-cut, the streamflow of MMC increased (Câmara and Lima, 1999Câmara, C.D.; Lima, W.P. 1999. Clearcutting of a 50 years old growth Eucalyptus saligna plantation: impacts on water balance and water quality in an experimental catchment. Scientia Forestalis 56: 41-58 (in Portuguese, with abstract in English).) and had a gradual decrease over the first years of growth in the new forest plantation, demonstrating a hydrological regime that follows the “plantation effect” (Ferraz et al., 2013Ferraz, S.F.B.; Lima, W.P.; Rodrigues, C.B. 2013. Managing forest plantation landscapes for water conservation. Forest Ecology and Management 301: 58-66. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2012.10.015
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2012.10...
). However, after more than 20 years of mosaic management MMC has a stable hydrological regime. A new hydrological equilibrium is expected to take eight to 25 years to effect a permanent change in forest cover (Brown et al., 2013Brown, A.E.; Western, A.W.; McMahon, T.A.; Zhang, L. 2013. Impact of forest cover changes on annual streamflow and flow duration curves. Journal of Hydrology 483: 39-50. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2012.12.031
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2012.1...
). While at IMC, the dynamics of forestry operations with a short rotation (less than seven years) probably makes the hydrological regimes more responsive to land cover changes, as forest cover loss can lead to pronounced changes in streamflow (Zhang et al., 2017Zhang, M.; Liu, N.; Harper, R.; Li, Q.; Liu, K.; Wei, X.; Ning, D.; Hou, Y.; Liu, S. 2017. A global review on hydrological responses to forest change across multiple spatial scales: importance of scale, climate, forest type and hydrological regime. Journal of Hydrology 546: 44-59. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2016.12.040
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2016.1...
) and fast-growing forest plantation can reduce water resources in the first years of growth (Scott and Prinsloo, 2008Scott, D.F.; Prinsloo, F.W. 2008. Longer-term effects of pine and eucalypt plantations on streamflow. Water Resources Research 44: W00A08. https://doi.org/10.1029/2007WR006781
https://doi.org/10.1029/2007WR006781...
).

MMC can supply water while producing wood. Both MMC and IMC catchments showed MAIs of 32.73 m3 ha–1 yr–1 and 44.40 m3 ha–1 yr–1, respectively. Despite the 36 % higher wood productivity in IMC, the MAI of MMC can be compared to the MAI of eucalyptus plantations in Brazil, of 35.3 m3 ha–1 yr–1 (IBA, 2020Brazilian Tree Industry [IBA]. 2020. Report 2020 of the Brazilian tree industry. Available at: https://iba.org/eng/iba-publications/annual-reports [Accessed Sept 22, 2021]
https://iba.org/eng/iba-publications/ann...
), although certain stands of MMC had already been thinned, and part of its wood volume has been exploited over time.

We supposed that mosaic management (MMC) reached 100 % of hydrological services, and the intensive management (IMC) reached 100 % of MAI, as a hypothetical exercise (Figure 4). Relative hydrological service for IMC was calculated by the average of its hydrological indicators, compared to the average of those seen in MMC (100 %), and the indicators were: Q/R, BFI, Q10/Q90 and Q90/Q50 of the 3WY (Table 4). The same was ascertained for MAI, calculating the relative MAI for MMC, compared to IMC (100 %) (Table 4). Relative gains for hydrological services (61 %) were twice as high as the relative losses of MAI (26 %) when management changed from IMC to MMC. Interestingly, each hydrological indicator had a different sensitivity to mean annual increment reduction, but it is possible that small reductions in productivity, for example, through the selection of less productive genetic materials (Gonçalves et al., 2017Gonçalves, J.L.M.; Alvares, C.A.; Rocha, J.H.T.; Brandani, C.B.; Hakamada, R. 2017. Eucalypt plantation management in regions with water stress. South Forests 79: 169-183. https://doi.org/10.2989/20702620.2016.1255415
https://doi.org/10.2989/20702620.2016.12...
), or with high water use efficiency (Hakamada et al., 2020Hakamada, R.E.; Hubbard, R.M.; Moreira, G.G.; Stape, J.L.; Campoe, O.; Ferraz, S.F.B. 2020. Influence of stand density on growth and water use efficiency in Eucalyptus clones. Forest Ecology and Management 466: 118125. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2020.118125
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2020.11...
), will promote substantial gains in hydrological services. In this case, as an example of intermediate management intensity, a small reduction in MAI can result in double the gains of hydrological services (Figure 4). It is worth mentioning that hydrological gains do not occur immediately after a management intensity change, as it takes some time for the catchment to reach a new equilibrium (Brown et al., 2013Brown, A.E.; Western, A.W.; McMahon, T.A.; Zhang, L. 2013. Impact of forest cover changes on annual streamflow and flow duration curves. Journal of Hydrology 483: 39-50. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2012.12.031
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2012.1...
).

Figure 4
Tradeoff between hydrological services and MAI due to changes in forest management intensity. Green circle represents Mosaic Management Catchment (MMC) and orange circle Intensive Management Catchment (IMC). When management intensity changed to mosaic management, lower relative losses in MAI (grey arrows) occurred when compared to relative gains in hydrological services (black arrow).
Table 4
Relative gain of water and wood supply indicators from change management (Q/R = Streamflow coefficient, BFI = baseflow index, Q10/Q90 = flow variability, Q90/Q50 = baseflow stability, MAI = mean annual increment, MMC = Mosaic Management Catchment, IMC = Intensive Management Catchment).

The proposal to adjust a balance between wood and water supply needs to be better tested as well as the magnitude of the tradeoffs in these resources, mainly under other climate and soil conditions. In this study, we present a case study based on only two catchments which can fuel the hypothesis that this relationship exists and can be managed. In addition, since the catchments are representative of a large part of the fast-growing forest plantations in Brazil being on Oxisols (Gonçalves et al., 2013Gonçalves, J.L.M.; Alvares, C.A.; Higa, A.R.; Silva, L.D.; Alfenas, A.C.; Stahl, J.; Ferraz, S.F.B.; Lima, W.P.; Brancalion, P.H.S.; Hubner, A.; Bouillet, J.P.; Laclau, J.P.; Nouvellon, Y.; Epron, D. 2013. Integrating genetic and silvicultural strategies to minimize abiotic and biotic constraints in Brazilian eucalypt plantations. Forest Ecology and Management 301: 6-27. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2012.12.030
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2012.12...
) our results can serve as a premise for a change to conventional management regimes.

The MMC is located at a forest experimental area, with stands of different ages and different species, forming a mosaic that may be not replicable for the eucalyptus pulpwood chain. However, this shows that it is possible to produce wood with less intensive management than those regimes currently applied in even-aged eucalyptus plantations supporting water supply (Whitehead and Beadle, 2004Whitehead, D.; Beadle, C.L. 2004. Physiological regulation of productivity and water use in Eucalyptus: a review. Forest Ecology and Management 193: 113-140. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2004.01.026
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2004....
). The reduction in forest management intensity is suggested for preserving water resources (Almeida et al., 2016Almeida, A.C.; Smethurst, P.J.; Siggins, A.; Cavalcante, R.B.L.; Borges, N. 2016. Quantifying the effects of Eucalyptus plantations and management on water resources at plot and catchment scales. Hydrological Processes 30: 4687-4703. https://doi.org/10.1002/hyp.10992
https://doi.org/10.1002/hyp.10992...
; Ferraz et al., 2019Ferraz, S.F.B.; Rodrigues, C.B.; Garcia, L.G.; Alvares, C.A.; Lima, W.P. 2019. Effects of Eucalyptus plantations on streamflow in Brazil: moving beyond the water use debate. Forest Ecology and Management 453: 117571. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2019.117571
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2019.11...
; Hakamada et al., 2020Hakamada, R.E.; Hubbard, R.M.; Moreira, G.G.; Stape, J.L.; Campoe, O.; Ferraz, S.F.B. 2020. Influence of stand density on growth and water use efficiency in Eucalyptus clones. Forest Ecology and Management 466: 118125. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2020.118125
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2020.11...
), with the potential benefit of improving biodiversity conservation (Brockerhoff et al., 2008Brockerhoff, E.G.; Jactel, H.; Parrotta, J.A.; Quine, C.P.; Sayer, J. 2008. Plantation forests and biodiversity: oxymoron or opportunity? Biodiversity and Conservation 17: 925-951. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10531-008-9380-x
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10531-008-9380-...
, 2013Brockerhoff, E.G.; Jactel, H.; Parrotta, J.A.; Ferraz, S.F.B. 2013. Role of eucalypt and other planted forests in biodiversity conservation and the provision of biodiversity related ecosystem services. Forest Ecology and Management 301: 43-50. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2012.09.018
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2012.09...
). However, the demand for these services at the local, regional, and global scale should be considered (Beier et al., 2015Beier, C.M.; Caputo, J.; Groffman, P.M. 2015. Measuring ecosystem capacity to provide regulating services: forest removal and recovery at Hubbard Brook (USA). Ecological Applications 25: 2011-2021. https://doi.org/10.1890/14-1376.1
https://doi.org/10.1890/14-1376.1...
; Schulte et al., 2014Schulte, R.P.O.; Creamer, R.E.; Donnellan, T.; Farrelly, N.; Fealy, R.; O’Donoghue, C.; O’hUallachain, D. 2014. Functional land management: a framework for managing soil-based ecosystem services for the sustainable intensification of agriculture. Environmental Science & Policy 38: 45-58. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envsci.2013.10.002
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envsci.2013.10...
) for assessing where reduction in management intensity is needed since it is important to find a balance between human needs and nature’s ability to provide products and resources (Foley et al., 2005Foley, J.A.; DeFries, R.; Asner, G.P.; Barford, C.; Bonan, G.; Carpenter, S.R.; Chapin, F.S.; Coe, M.T.; Daily, G.C.; Gibbs, H.K.; Helkowski, J.H.; Holloway, T.; Howard, E.A.; Kucharik, C.J.; Monfreda, C.; Patz, J.A.; Prentice, I.C.; Ramankutty, N.; Snyder, P.K. 2005. Global consequences of land use. Science 309: 570-574. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1111772
https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1111772...
).

Water supply in atypical years

The annual rainfalls in WY13 and WY15 were different from the mean annual rainfall expected for the region, raising questions about the effects of atypical rainfall on the hydrological regime of the catchments. Despite the brevity of our study, analyzing three years only, the hydrological indicators demonstrate that the catchments had different hydrological regimes during this period. Thus, the differences in management intensities could influence their capacity for supplying water in a climate change scenario of increasing or decreasing rainfall and we have discussed its potential for changing catchment streamflow.

MMC has stands of different species and ages with forestry operations in progress gradually over time, in small areas, which should not affect its hydrological regime. This observation corroborates studies showing that changes in land use with afforestation or harvesting in less than 20 % of the catchment area cannot be detected through variations in streamflow (Bosch and Hewlett, 1982Bosch, J.M.; Hewlett, J.D. 1982. A review of catchment to determine the effect of vegetation changed on water yield and evapotranspiration. Journal of Hydrology 55: 3-23. https://doi.org/10.1016/0022-1694(82)90117-2
https://doi.org/10.1016/0022-1694(82)901...
; Brown et al., 2005Brown, A.E.; Zhang, L.; McMahon, T.A.; Western, A.W.; Vertessy, R.A. 2005. A review of paired catchment studies for determining changes in water yield resulting from alterations in vegetation. Journal of Hydrology 310: 28-61. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2004.12.010
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2004.1...
; Stednick, 1996Stednick, J.D. 1996. Monitoring the effects of timber harvest on annual water yield. Journal of Hydrology 176: 79-95. https://doi.org/10.1016/0022-1694(95)02780-7
https://doi.org/10.1016/0022-1694(95)027...
). However, changes in annual streamflow were observed in MMC.

Annual rainfall was higher in WY14 than in WY13, but MMC had a decrease in annual streamflow in WY14. Although it is expected that the impacts of the previous year on water storage will be effectively removed by studying the water year (Brown et al., 2013Brown, A.E.; Western, A.W.; McMahon, T.A.; Zhang, L. 2013. Impact of forest cover changes on annual streamflow and flow duration curves. Journal of Hydrology 483: 39-50. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2012.12.031
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2012.1...
), the low rainfall of WY13 may have influenced the decline in streamflow in WY14. Eucalyptus forest plantations can access the deep water table to meet their demand (Christina et al., 2011Christina, M.; Laclau, J.P.; Gonçalves, J.L.M.; Jourdan, C.; Nouvellon, Y.; Bouillet, J.P. 2011. Almost symmetrical vertical growth rates above and below ground in one of the world’s most productive forests. Ecosphere 2: 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1890/ES10-00158.1
https://doi.org/10.1890/ES10-00158.1...
; Engel et al., 2005Engel, V.; Jobbágy, E.G.; Stieglitz, M.; Williams, M.; Jackson, R.B. 2005. Hydrological consequences of Eucalyptus afforestation in the Argentine Pampas. Water Resources Research 41: W10409. https://doi.org/10.1029/2004WR003761
https://doi.org/10.1029/2004WR003761...
; Rodríguez-Suárez et al., 2011Rodríguez-Suárez, J.A.; Soto, B.; Perez, R.; Diaz-Fierros, F. 2011. Influence of Eucalyptus globulus plantation growth on water table levels and low flows in a small catchment. Journal of Hydrology 396: 321-326. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2010.11.027
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2010.1...
; Silva et al., 2020Silva, V.E.; Nogueira, T.A.R.; Abreu-Junior, C.H.; He, Z.; Buzetti, S.; Laclau, J.P.; Teixeira Filho, M.C.M.; Grilli, E.; Murgia, I.; Capra, G.F. 2020. Influences of edaphoclimatic conditions on deep rooting and soil water availability in Brazilian Eucalyptus plantations. Forest Ecology and Management 455: 117673. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2019.117673
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2019.11...
), and in deep soils (more than eight meters), the use of water by eucalyptus can be higher than the annual rainfall (Bruijnzeel, 2004Bruijnzeel, L.A. 2004. Hydrological functions of tropical forests: not seeing the soil for the trees? Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 104: 185-228. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2004.01.015
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2004.01.0...
; Calder et al., 1997Calder, I.R.; Rosier, P.T.W.; Prasanna, K.T.; Parameswarappa, S. 1997. Eucalyptus water use greater than rainfall input: a possible explanation from southern India. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 1: 249-256. https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-1-249-1997
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-1-249-1997...
; Christina et al., 2017Christina, M.; Nouvellon, Y.; Laclau, J.P.; Stape, J.L.; Bouillet, J.P.; Lambais, G.R.; Maire, G. 2017. Importance of deep water uptake in tropical eucalypt forest. Functional Ecology 31: 509-519. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2435.12727
https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2435.12727...
). The catchment hydrological responses may be associated with their water storage capacity (Evaristo and McDonnell, 2019Evaristo, J.; McDonnell, J.J. 2019. Global analysis of streamflow response to forest management. Nature 570: 455-461. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-1306-0
https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-1306-...
). Thus, well-managed catchments, or less intensively managed catchments, with deep soils, could have greater resilience in drought situations. Therefore, the effects of the low rainfall in WY13 led to a reduction in MMC streamflow in the following year but maintained water availability.

Furthermore, IMC has deep soils with water storage capacity; however, it was submitted to an intensive forest management regime. Eucalyptus harvesting in 80 % of the IMC area in an atypical year, with low rainfall (WY13), helped to maintain streamflow since the reduction in evapotranspiration in the catchment could assist the mitigation of drought (Beier et al., 2015Beier, C.M.; Caputo, J.; Groffman, P.M. 2015. Measuring ecosystem capacity to provide regulating services: forest removal and recovery at Hubbard Brook (USA). Ecological Applications 25: 2011-2021. https://doi.org/10.1890/14-1376.1
https://doi.org/10.1890/14-1376.1...
). In a climate change scenario, an increase in the number of intermittent rivers is expected (Acuña et al., 2014Acuña, V.; Datry, T.; Marshall, J.; Barceló, D.; Dahm, C.N.; Ginebreda, A.; McGregor, G.; Sabater, S.; Tockner, K.; Palmer, M.A. 2014. Why should we care about temporary waterways? Science 343: 1080-1081. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1246666
https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1246666...
) in regions prone to drought (Larned et al., 2010Larned, S.T.; Datry, T.; Arscott, D.B.; Tockner, K. 2010. Emerging concepts in temporary-river ecology. Freshwater Biology 55: 717-738. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2427.2009.02322.x
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2427.2009...
). In atypical drought situations, harvesting forest plantations presents an alternative for maintaining water availability on a catchment scale. Considering that productivity is directly related to water availability (Stape et al., 2004Stape, J.L.; Binkley, D.; Ryan, M.G. 2004. Eucalyptus production and the supply, use and efficiency of use of water, light and nitrogen across a geographic gradient in Brazil. Forest Ecology and Management 193: 17-31. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2004.01.020
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2004.01...
; Stape et al., 2010Stape, J.L.; Binkley, D.; Ryan, M.G.; Fonseca, S.; Loos, R.A.; Takahashi, E.N.; Silva, C.R.; Silva, S.R.; Hakamada, R.E.; Ferreira, J.M.A.; Lima, A.M.N.; Gava, J.L.; Leite, F.P.; Andrade, H.B.; Alves, J.M.; Silva, G.G.C.; Azevedo, M.R. 2010. The Brazil Eucalyptus potential productivity project: influence of water, nutrients and stand uniformity on wood production. Forest Ecology and Management 259: 1684-1694. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2010.01.012
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2010.01...
), eucalyptus regrowth may have used the soil water storage as the productivity estimated for IMC showed that the forest plantation had not been affected by the dry year. However, the use of water reserves by forest plantations could have decreased water storage, affecting the resilience of the catchment in subsequent years.

In contrast, in years with higher annual rainfall, water accumulates in deep soil reserves, becoming available to forest plantations (Bruijnzeel, 2004Bruijnzeel, L.A. 2004. Hydrological functions of tropical forests: not seeing the soil for the trees? Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 104: 185-228. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2004.01.015
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2004.01.0...
) in the future. We observed an increase in annual streamflow in both catchments in the third water year (WY15). Thus, an escalation in rainfall increased the water availability in the catchments regardless of the management intensity (Ford et al., 2011Ford, C.R.; Laseter, S.H.; Swank, W.T.; Vose, J.M. 2011. Can forest management be used to sustain water-based ecosystem services in the face of climate change? Ecological Applications 21: 2049-2067. https://doi.org/10.1890/10-2246.1
https://doi.org/10.1890/10-2246.1...
).

MMC showed flat flow duration curves in the three water years and better indexes than those of IMC, having no effect on water supply, even though water years have experienced climate extremes in relation to rainfall. Meanwhile, IMC had an increase of 18.3 % in baseflow index between WY13 and WY15 and the flow duration curve of WY15 was flatter than that of WY13, showing that IMC has the potential to have a similar hydrological regime to that of MMC, but its intensive management makes it susceptible to climate variations (Ford et al., 2011Ford, C.R.; Laseter, S.H.; Swank, W.T.; Vose, J.M. 2011. Can forest management be used to sustain water-based ecosystem services in the face of climate change? Ecological Applications 21: 2049-2067. https://doi.org/10.1890/10-2246.1
https://doi.org/10.1890/10-2246.1...
), mainly in relation to rainfall reductions. Furthermore, if the reductions in rainfall are below potential evapotranspiration it will increase the dryness index and impair water availability. Therefore, in a climate change scenario, in places with water conflicts, the use of less intensive management should be a priority, and aim to maintain water availability.

The annual rainfall and the rainfall distribution during the study were atypical for the region, which may have skewed our results. Catchment hydrological regimes are usually analyzed between similar water years since streamflow is generally determined by rainfall (Brown et al., 2005Brown, A.E.; Zhang, L.; McMahon, T.A.; Western, A.W.; Vertessy, R.A. 2005. A review of paired catchment studies for determining changes in water yield resulting from alterations in vegetation. Journal of Hydrology 310: 28-61. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2004.12.010
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2004.1...
). The variation in rainfall could be seen as a limitation on our study; however, we saw it as an opportunity to understand the consequences of future climate changes.

The soils present in the catchments have different clay contents, Rhodic Hapludox soil present in 57.5 % of MMC is richer in clay content (32 %) than Typic Hapludox soil (16 %) present in both catchments. The capacity of water retention is controlled by soil texture (Geroy et al., 2011Geroy, I.J.; Gribb, M.M.; Marshall, H.P.; Chandler, D.G.; Benner, S.G.; McNamara, J.P. 2011. Aspect influence on soil water retention and storage. Hydrological Processes 25: 3836-3842. https://doi.org/10.1002/hyp.8281
https://doi.org/10.1002/hyp.8281...
). Thus, MMC may have a greater capacity for water retention than IMC. The soil characteristics of MMC may have contributed to our results, especially to BFI. However, due to differences observed in water yield, which is probably not affected by soil texture, and the magnitude of differences in flow regulation (in MMC, Q10/Q90 is ten times lower, and Q90/Q50 is three times higher than in IMC), we supposed that management intensity is responsible for significant changes in the hydrological regime.

Conclusions

The intensive management of forest plantations with short rotations and coppice practices, as well as promoting wood supply, leaves the catchment´s hydrological regime dependent on the rainfall amount. In years with below-average rainfall, intensive management can accelerate water storage depletion in the catchment and reduce the water supply to other users. On the other hand, mosaic management can maintain both the hydrological regime of the catchment, even during water years with atypical rainfalls, and the wood supply, demonstrating that forest management can be a tool for regulating the water and wood supply on a catchment scale. This study suggests that relative gains in hydrological resources could be higher than losses in wood productivity, raising the hypothesis that adjustments in forest management intensity can balance these resources and needs to be better understood. Furthermore, it is essential that the intensity of management of wood supply through fast-growing forest plantations should be adequate to meet local demands for water to avoid conflicts over this natural resource.

Acknowledgments

This study was supported by São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP grant n° 2013/22679-5), Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq grant n° 420423/2016-8) and Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Level Personnel (Capes-Finance Code 001). We gratefully acknowledge the staff team of Itatinga Forest Science Experimental Station (USP).

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Edited by

Edited by: Paulo Cesar Sentelhas / Thiago Libório Romanelli

Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    18 Feb 2022
  • Date of issue
    2023

History

  • Received
    21 June 2021
  • Accepted
    30 Oct 2021
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