Water and soilsThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
In the second chapter, Ge Sun and others discuss the effects of management of southern forests on water quantity and quality. Their thorough review of water quality and quantity research in the South provides valuable insights. This research has shown that the greatest changes in streamwater yield or ground-water table occur immediately following forest land disturbances. The overall water-quantity impact of silvicultural operations is much less on wetlands than in areas having greater relief and shallow soils. Silvicultural practices in the South cause relatively minor water-quality problems. Roads managed without regard to best management practices (BMP) are the major source of sedimentation from forestry operations. Studies of the cumulative effects of land use changes on water quality are lacking. The capability of existing computer modeling tools to describe the forest hydrologic processes and provide practical guidance in designing forest BMPs is limited.