Forest-to-Faucet Partnership: University of Massachusetts Amherst/U.S. Forest Service

Land Use Effects on Streamflow and Water Quality in the Northeastern United States (2007)

Publisher's Book Flyer and Ordering Information

  • Comprehensive review and synthesis of peer-reviewed literature from 1980 to 2005
  • Combines essential background material and a state-of-the-science summary in a single, integrated volume
  • Deliberate integration of land use history, ecology, hydrology, chemistry, and resource management throughout the book
  • Numerous examples of watershed management principles and practices
  • Unified set of illustrations and graphs prepared by a graphic artist
  • Rigorously reviewed by a distinguished panel of scientists and watershed managers

This book was designed and written in two parts that anticipate the needs and interests of watershed managers, foresters, landscape architects, planners, engineers, scientists, legislative and NGO staff members, students, teachers, and community leaders. The scope, scale, and complexity of watershed protection and restoration efforts—and the associated scientific literature—have grown exponentially since the 1980s. Most watersheds are a patchwork of different land uses (i.e., forests, farms, suburbs, urban areas, etc.) and present a wide range of management challenges and opportunities. This book provides a synthesis of and gateway to the diverse scientific literature that is urgently needed to solve contemporary problems.

Part I of the book summarizes the scientific principles and processes that define and govern the interactions between activities on the land and conditions in streams, lakes, and estuaries. Chapter 2 reviews and explains the hydrologic processes and key watershed characteristics referred to throughout the book. Chapter 3 describes the chemical processes, transport mechanisms, and environmental effects of the most common pollutants: nutrients, pesticides, and metals. Chapter 4 describes freshwater ecosystems and explains how aquatic organisms can be used to evaluate stream health. Chapter 5 focuses on the structure and function of riparian areas and the effectiveness of riparian buffers. The importance of the physical environment (climate, topography, geology, and soils) and local conditions as a source of site-specific variation in streamflow and water quality is discussed throughout Part I.

Part II builds directly on the principles and processes discussed in Part I to examine the streamflow and water quality effects of specific land uses: forest management, agriculture, and urban development (Chapters 6, 7, and 8, respectively). A wide variety of published case studies are used to present and assess best management practices and innovative technologies for stormwater management, nonpoint source pollution mitigation, and aquatic ecosystem restoration. Chapter 9 summarizes large scale studies of mixed land use watersheds. It also explores the spatial, temporal, and cumulative effects of land use. Key findings are summarized in Chapter 10 then used as the basis of widely applicable watershed management guidelines and recommendations. (hardcover, 319 pages)