Ecohydrology or hydroecology: Time-space and scale-metric aspects.
Shmagin, Boris*,1, Johnston, Carol2, Bridgham , Scott3, 1 Water Resources Institute, Brookings, SD2 Center for Biocomplexity Studies, Brookings, SD3 Center for Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies Program, Eugene, OR
ABSTRACT- There is discussion in the literature about the name and content of an emerging scientific discipline dealing with water in relation to ecosystems. The results of hydrological research for the US part of the Great Lakes basin were used as an example to clarify the content of this discipline. Stream flow data were used to evaluate a landscape hierarchy ranging from the Ontonagon River watershed (OW) to the upper peninsula of Michigan (MUP) to the entire Great Lakes basin (GLB). Flow records (1926 1988) were obtained for 45 USGS gauging stations within the GLB with drainage areas of 100-1450 sq. mi. Data were arranged in five initial matrixes with number of time series from 14 to 45. Factor analysis of average annual flow revealed from three to six patterns of stream runoff within distinct regions of the GLB. A typical watershed was selected to represent each of the five distinct regions identified for the period 1956-88, and its data were used to analyze monthly average flow values. This analysis identified two to five groupings of months with similar flow characteristics. Similar analysis was completed for the MUP and OW. A distribution of monthly proportions of annual streamflow was controlled by landscape properties within each of the three hierarchical levels. The multilevel and multidimensional time-spatial structure of watershed characteristics was discovered with factor analysis. This kind of structure of watershed characteristics is considered as the hydrological structure for landscape analysis. Every scientific discipline deals with its own time and space. Multilevel and multidimensional time spatial structure discovered with statistical analysis allows the formulation of more precise research tasks. Regardless of whether referred to as Ecohydrology or Hydroecology, the characteristic watershed structure for landscapes creates a new discipline that describes the multilevel hydrologic time-spatial diversity.
Key words: Ecohydrology, Hydroecology, Watershed, Landscape
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