Follow any river to its upper reaches and you will encounter the headwaters, the flowing streams that join to carry water, nutrients and life to downstream ecosystems and economies. Troubles here, at the river’s origins, quite literally trickle down. Headwaters are complex and notoriously difficult to study, but given their vital role, understanding where and how they are vulnerable is critical to making conservation decisions. A group of researchers from Chile and Bolivia developed a new method that relies on remote sensing to assess headwater vulnerability. Using the method, they assessed 2,292 headwaters in south-central Chile. According to their analysis, published in Science of The Total Environment, nearly two-thirds of the headwaters were affected by climate change, mostly in the Andean and coastal regions, and 23% by land use and land cover change, primarily in the north. The most vulnerable headwaters were concentrated in Chile’s Araucanía region. All of the headwaters were experiencing drought conditions. “We found that all of the headwaters are drier, even those in protected areas and those not impacted by deforestation,” Alberto Alaniz, the lead author of the study from the University of Santiago, Chile, told Mongabay.   Alaniz and colleagues used different variables to assess the vulnerability of headwaters and determine what is putting them at risk. Image courtesy of Alaniz et al. (2022). Using Google Earth Engine, Alaniz and colleagues examined 17 variables representing land use change, climate change, human disturbance, vegetation cover, potential water demand, and slope for each of the headwaters at…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

SRNF Nyhetsbrev

SRNF Nyhetsbrev

Åh hej där 👋 Det är trevligt att träffa dig

Registrera för att hålla dig uppdaterad både som MEDLEM eller PRENUMERANT.

* Vi gör inte spam!! Läs vår integritetspolicy för mer information.

close

SRNF Nyhetsbrev

SRNF Nyhetsbrev

Åh hej där 👋 Det är trevligt att träffa dig

Registrera för att hålla dig uppdaterad både som MEDLEM eller PRENUMERANT.

* Vi gör inte spam!! Läs vår integritetspolicy för mer information.