King's College

Critical Zone Hydrology Group



Global change impacts

Permafrost hydrology
Flood forecasting
Cloud forest hydrology
Tropical deforestation

Sustainable aquifer use



Valorisation and services

Photo gallery


Cloud forest hydrology and effects of global change

Theme leader: Prof. Sampurno Bruijnzeel

Hydrologically speaking, cloud-affected ecosystems such as tropical montane cloud forests (TMCF) are amongst the least explored terrestrial vegetation types. The frequent presence of wind-driven fog and drizzle (occult precipitation) not only constitutes an additional input of water but also affects TMCF physiological functioning - mostly through the suppression of transpiration. Thus, for a given amount of rainfall, TMCF are likely to produce more streamflow than do 'regular' forests. TMCF are subject to rapid conversion to other forms of land use (notably pasture), the hydrological consequences of which are as yet poorly known. At the same time, the specific climatic conditions prevailing in TMCF render them particularly vulnerable to climatic drying.

The VU University Amsterdam had a long tradition of collaborative hydrological research in various TMCF environments, with studies completed to date (2015) in Puerto Rico, LaGomera, Costa Rica, Mexico, and SE Brazil and with new collaborative research underway in Tanzania and Kenya. Earlier work focused mostly on quantifying hydrological processes whereas the more recent research rather focuses on the impacts of cloud forest conversion and climate change.

Key research questions addressed by the programme include:

Key cloud forest hydrology review publications

Documentary DVD

Last modified: Wed Dec 30 12:23:02 CET 2015