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Siberian Journal of Forest Science

2018 year, number 5


A. A. Onuchin1,2, T. A. Burenina1, H. Balzter3, A. G. Tsykalov4
1V. N. Sukachev Institute of Forest, Russian Academy of Sciences, Siberian Branch, Akademgorodok, 50/28, Krasnoyarsk, 660036 Russian Federation
2Academician M. F. Reshetnev Siberian State University of Science and Technology, Prospekt Krasnoyarskiy Rabochiy, 31, Krasnoyarsk, 660014 Russian Federation
3University of Leicester, Bennett Building, G04 (CLCR), University Road, Leicester, LE1 7RH United Kingdom
4Ministry of Industry, Energy, Housing and Communal Services of Krasnoyarsk Krai, Lenin str., 125, Krasnoyarsk, 660009 Russian Federation
Keywords: бореальные леса, лесная гидрология, гидрологические циклы, баланс снеговой влаги, географический детерминизм, boreal forests, forest hydrology, hydrological cycles, snow moisture balance, geographical determinism


The article is concerned with the discussion of the reasons for the contradictions existing in the assessment of the hydrological role of forests. The authors believe that the accumulation of new information related to seemingly well-studied processes and phenomena necessitates revisions of traditional views and leads to new knowledge of the hydrological role of forests. Various conceptual approaches to assessing the hydrological role of forests in different geographic conditions are considered. System analysis of the materials obtained by the authors and literature data made it possible to identify the features of the hydrological cycle depending on the structure of forests and climatic conditions. The data of 460 snow surveys in the period of maximum snow reserves in 212 forest stands growing in different climatic and ecological conditions were used. The comparison of the features of snow moisture balance of the forest and treeless ecosystems in different climatic conditions contributed to understanding the reasons for the contradictory assessments of the hydrological role of forests. The authors showed that in the conditions of mild and warm winters, forests are more powerful evaporators of snow moisture than treeless sites and in conditions of severe winters with frequent snowstorms, they are the accumulators of snow moisture and sources of river flow. The paper presents a conceptual model describing the mechanisms of water cycle in the forests of the boreal zone, which determine the features of the influence of forest ecosystems on the river runoff depending on the geophysical background.