SLM-32806 Ecohydrology


Studiepunten 6.00

Individual Paper1
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. JC van Dam
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. K Metselaar
prof. dr. ir. SEATM van der Zee
dr. ir. JC van Dam
Examiner(s)dr. ir. K Metselaar
prof. dr. ir. SEATM van der Zee
dr. ir. JC van Dam

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

SLM-20806 Water Quantity and Quality; MAQ-22806 Atmosphere-Vegetation-Soil Interactions.

Continuation courses:

SLM-33306 Advanced Hydrological System Analysis.


Vegetation develops in close interaction with surrounding atmosphere, soil and water. In this course we present main findings and issues of inductive and deductive ecohydrological research. We consider ecohydrological interactions both at local and regional scale, and at daily and seasonal time scale. We look at positive and negative feedbacks between vegetation and main habitat factors and how plant growth efficiency is affected by their ability to capture water, sunlight and nutrients. We highlight rain fed and groundwater fed systems, including their transition along a hydrological transect. An important item is the regional interaction between vegetation, soil moisture and groundwater. In addition we analyse the occurrence and origin of typical vegetation patterns. We discuss implications of simple system theory for complex ecosystems and employ both conceptual and physical models for soil water flow and vegetation growth. We discuss experimental techniques to determine soil hydraulic functions and groundwater recharge which are input to physical models. We analyse the flow and connectivity of surface runoff and groundwater systems. We address topical issues in ecohydrology by presenting current ecohydrological research in various climatic regions and by reviewing recently submitted papers. In computer assignments either models are constructed from scratch or advanced (eco)hydrological models will be applied.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- assess main physical habitat factors that govern vegetation growth;
- construct, analyze and evaluate ecohydrological feedbacks for typical biosphere environments;
- construct horizontal vegetation pattern formation due to spatial ecohydrological interactions;
- judge how soil and vegetation properties affect overland flow self-organisation;
- appraise how runoff and subsurface flow affect vegetation and ecosystem resilience;
- judge the impact of abiotic conditions on vegetation composition and diversity;
- understand regional interaction between vegetation, soil moisture and groundwater;
- analyse infiltration, root water uptake, percolation and capillary rise with Richards equation;
- simulate plant growth in relation to environmental conditions;
- analyse interception and evapotranspiration of agricultural and natural vegetation;
- evaluate ecohydrological models and their application in recent studies.


- attending lectures;
- executing assignments;
- performing review professional paper.


- assignments (65%);
- formulate proper examination questions with answers (35%).


Powerpoint sheets, manual Ecohydrology, assignments, and relevant papers in Brightspace.

Keuze voor: MEEEarth and EnvironmentMScC: Biology and Chemistry of Soil and Water2AF
MEEEarth and EnvironmentMScA: Hydrology and Water Resources2AF