Beyond the disciplinary silos of the past, hydrology has evolved into an integrated science that accounts for interactions between multiple processes across substrates and scales. With wider availability of diverse collocated data sets, development of advanced computing platforms, and improved understanding of the physical environment, the time is ripe to fully explore the interactions between hydrologic, ecologic, geomorphic, atmospheric, and social systems for improving predictions. Using two examples, here we highlight how discounting of relevant interactions may have led to incorrect conclusions in the previous studies. The first example will reveal feedback of climate forcing on human actions, and their consequent impacts on hydrology. In contrast to the previously reported role of expansion of agriculture on wetland consolidation in prairie pothole regions, the example hypothesizes that an extended wet period encouraged farmers to drain their fields resulting in an enhanced rate of wetland consolidation. The second example will shine a light on the oft-reported predicted increase in tree mortality in future driven by more-extreme projected drought regimes. We show that the potential impacts on ecohydrological response is expected to be greatly moderated when the concurrent impacts of increase in CO2 concentrations and humidity are also considered. These examples underscore the need to diagnose the missing links in our models and appropriately account for them.
Kumar, Mukesh, Christopher Krapu, Yanlan Liu, Anthony Parolari, Gabriel George Katul, Amilcare M Porporato, Mark E Borsuk (2019): Forgotten Interactions: Missing Link in the Ecohydrologic Prediction Puzzle. American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA, December 9-13, 2019.
This Paper/Book acknowledges NSF CZO grant support.