Supporting, Regulating, and Provisioning Hydrological Services
The natural regulation of the water cycle by tropical montane forests is an important ecosystem service. Within this chapter we focus on water balance and regulation of the water cycle. Differences of rainfall-runoff generation across scales change from a near-surface event water driven system in pristine rainforest-covered micro-catchments to a more groundwater pre-event water dominated one on the mesoscale. The highly dynamic discharges are often correlated with total suspended sediment loads. However, we also observed total suspended sediment peaks at times of low flow, indicating a decoupling of erosion and stream transport and a triggering of landslides not directly related to hydrological processes. We also summarize likely future trends of water-related ecosystem services and expect an increase in human use and benefits of fresh water use whereas changes in water regulation and water purification services remain unchanged on a high level.
We thank Amelie Bücker, Patricio Crespo and Edison Timbe as well as many undergraduate and graduate students for their extended support during field work.
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