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Can isolated and riparian wetlands mitigate the impact of climate change on watershed hydrology? A case study approach.

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Fossey, Maxime; Rousseau, Alain N. (2016). Can isolated and riparian wetlands mitigate the impact of climate change on watershed hydrology? A case study approach. Journal of Environmental Management , vol. 184 . p. 327-339. DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2016.09.043.

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Résumé

The effects of wetlands on stream flows are well established, namely mitigating flow regimes through water storage and slow water release. However, their effectiveness in reducing flood peaks and sustaining low flows is mainly driven by climate conditions and wetland type with respect to their connectivity to the hydrographic network (i.e. isolated or riparian wetlands). While some studies have demonstrated these hydrological functions/services, few of them have focused on the benefits to the hydrological regimes and their evolution under climate change (CC) and, thus, some gaps persist. The objective of this study was to further advance our knowledge with that respect. The PHYSITEL/HYDROTEL modelling platform was used to assess current and future states of watershed hydrology of the Becancour and Yamaska watersheds, Quebec, Canada. Simulation results showed that CC will induce similar changes on mean seasonal flows, namely larger and earlier spring flows leading to decreases in summer and fall flows. These expected changes will have different effects on 20-year and 100-year peak flows with respect to the considered watershed. Nevertheless, conservation of current wetland states should: (i) for the Becancour watershed, mitigate the potential increase in 2-year, 20-year and 100-year peak flows; and (ii) for the Yamaska watershed, accentuate the potential decrease in the aforementioned indicators. However, any loss of existing wetlands would be detrimental for 7-day 2-year and 10-year as well as 30-day 5-year low flows.

Type de document: Article
Mots-clés libres: isolated wetlands; riparian wetlands; HYDROTEL; watershed-scale modelling; climate change; hydrological indicators
Centre: Centre Eau Terre Environnement
Date de dépôt: 16 févr. 2018 22:22
Dernière modification: 16 févr. 2018 22:22
URI: http://espace.inrs.ca/id/eprint/5163

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