Climate Change Alters Soil Water Dynamics under Different Land Use Types
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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OriginalversjonSustainability. 2022, 14 (7), 1-17. 10.3390/su14073908
Land use and management affect soil hydrological processes, and the impacts can be further enhanced and accelerated due to climate change. In this study, we analyzed the possible long-term effects of different land use types on soil hydrological processes based on future climatic scenarios. Soil moisture and temperature probes were installed at four land use sites, a cropland, a vineyard, a meadow, and a forest area. Based on modeling of long-term changes in soil water content (SWC) using the HYDRUS 1D model, we found that changes in precipitation have a more pronounced effect on soil water content than changes in air temperature. Cropland is at the highest risk of inland water and SWC values above field capacity (FC). The number of days when the average SWC values are above FC is expected to increase up to 109.5 days/year from the current 52.4 days/year by 2081–2090 for the cropland. Our calculations highlight that the forest soil has the highest number of days per year where the SWC is below the wilting point (99.7 days/year), and based on the worst-case scenario, it can increase up to 224.7 days/year. However, general scenario-based estimates showed that vineyards are the most vulnerable to projected climate change in this area. Our study highlights the limitations of potential land use change for specific agricultural areas, and emphasizes the need to implement water retention measures to keep these agricultural settings sustainable.