SWAT Literature Database for Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Title:Impact of land use change on water conservation: A case study of Zhangjiakou in Yongding River 
Authors:Pan, T., L. Zuo, Z. Zhang, X. Zhao, F. Sun, Z. Zhu and Y. Liu 
Volume (Issue):13(1) 
Article ID:22 
URL (non-DOI journals): 
Broad Application Category:hydrologic only 
Primary Application Category:land use change 
Secondary Application Category:hydrologic assessment 
Watershed Description:42,500 km^2 Yongding River, a tributary of the Haui River that drains parts of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, and Shanxi and Hebei Provinces, in northeast China. 
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Abstract:The implementation of ecological projects can largely change regional land use patterns, in turn altering the local hydrological process. Articulating these changes and their effects on ecosystem services, such as water conservation, is critical to understanding the impacts of land use activities and in directing future land planning toward regional sustainable development. Taking Zhangjiakou City of the Yongding River as the study area—a region with implementation of various ecological projects—the impact of land use changes on various hydrological components and water conservation capacity from 2000 to 2015 was simulated based on a soil and water assessment tool model (SWAT). An empirical regression model based on partial least squares was established to explore the contribution of different land use changes on water conservation. With special focus on the forest having the most complex effects on the hydrological process, the impacts of forest type and age on the water conservation capacity are discussed on different scales. Results show that between 2000 and 2015, the area of forest, grassland and cultivated land decreased by 0.05%, 0.98% and 1.64%, respectively, which reduces the regional evapotranspiration (0.48%) and soil water content (0.72%). The increase in settlement area (42.23%) is the main reason for the increase in water yield (14.52%). Most land use covered by vegetation has strong water conservation capacity, and the water conservation capacity of the forest is particularly outstanding. Farmland and settlements tend to have a negative effect on water conservation. The water conservation capacity of forest at all scales decreased significantly with the growth of forest (p < 0.05), while the water conservation capacity of different tree species had no significant difference. For the study area, increasing the forest area will be an effective way to improve the water conservation function, planting evergreen conifers can rapidly improve the regional water conservation capacity, while planting deciduous conifers is of great benefit to long-term sustainable development. 
Keywords:land use, water conservation, empirical regression model, forest age and type, SWAT