New research found out that forests offer less protection against flood risks than had been hoped. Researchers have conducted research in forest sites in Ireland and the UK and found out that forests can suppress small storm flows but they make minimal difference in reducing the devastating impacts of floods.
Researchers from Trinity College Dublin and Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in the UK have conducted this research and their research has been published in Science of the Total Environment journal.
The Assistant Professor in Trinity’s School of Engineering, Liwen Xiao said that since COP-26, the world leaders have focused on the potential environmental benefits of large-scale forest planting. It is true that forests can lock up a huge amount of carbon in it and can help in environmental rehabilitation. But the very common idea between many natural resource managers and the public that forests can reduce the chances of flood events was not well examined before.
The new research has shown us that forests are able to reduce storm flows when the peaks of the floods were below average. But when flood events increased in size, the impact of forests were not noticeable.
Though forests have many environmental benefits to us, but this research work has raised a red flag for those developers and land managers who are planting tress to prevent the risks of serious flood damage.