Resource Details

Effects of afforestation on water yield: a global synthesis with implications for policy

Literature: Journal Articles

Farley KA, Jobbagy EG, Jackson RB (2005) Effects of afforestation on water yield: a global synthesis with implications for policy. Global Change Biology 11: 1565-1576.

Contact Info

Kathleen A. Farley, Duke University, tel. 11 831 241 1236; fax 11 831 333 1736, e-mail:



  • Center on Global Change, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA
  • Department of Biology and Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA
  • Grupo de Estudios Ambientales – IMASL, Universidad Nacional de San Luis & CONICET, San Luis 5700, Argentina


Global Change Biology

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  • Authors synthesized data from global studies on reforested and afforested areas, as compared to grassland or shrubland areas, measuring the response in water runoff.
  • The study indicates that generally, when grassland or shrubland areas are afforested, water runoff will decrease as the trees increase evapotranspiration.
  • The absolute amount of runoff decrease is greatest in high-rainfall (rainforest) areas, while this change is less pronounced in drier regions; however, the decrease represents a greater percentage of the water budget in drier areas, suggesting that greater forest cover may have significant impacts on water resources in dry forest areas.

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