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River Discharge Question
Explain the effects of a deciduous forest on river discharge.
The forest will cause the river's discharge to decrease. This is because the vegetation will
intercept the perception delaying the time that it takes for the water to reach the river. The
trees/vegetation will also store the water for quite some time before excreting it. Stem
flow will also be high and a long lag time (the time difference between precipitation occurs
and when peak discharge). Surface run-off may be high however there are many obstacles
for the water to avoid which will increase the time that it will take for the water to reach the
river. Because it is a forest the soil will be permeable so water can easily be infiltrated into
the soil store and percolate between layers of the deeper soil. Water can also leave the
system due to transpiration and evaporation. In winter river discharge will decrease.