Forests buffer against variations in precipitation

More forest, more stable rains:

We found a significant buffering effect of forests in the precipitation variability of 10 out of 14 biomes globally. On average, if 50% of precipitation originates from forest, then we find a reduction in the coefficient of variation of monthly precipitation of 60%. We also observed that a high fraction of precipitation from non-forest land sources tends to have the opposite effect, that is, no buffering effect. The average variation of monthly precipitation was 69% higher in areas where 50% of precipitation originates from non-forest land sources in the precipitationshed. Our results emphasize the importance of land cover composition in the precipitationshed to buffer precipitation variability downwind, in particular forest cover.

Leave a Reply