Advancing ecohydrology in the 21st century: A convergence of opportunities

A.J. Guswa, D. Tetzlaff, J.S. Selker, D.E. Carlyle-Moses, E.W. Boyer, M. Bruen, C. Cayuela, I.F. Creed, N. van de Giesen, D. Grasso, D.M. Hannah, J.E. Hudson, S.A. Hudson, S. Iida, R.B. Jackson, G.G. Katul, T. Kumagai, P. Llorens, F. Lopes Ribeiro, B. MichalzikK. Nanko, C. Oster, D.E. Pataki, C.A. Peters, A. Rinaldo, D. Sanchez Carretero, B. Trifunovic, M. Zalewski, M. Haagsma, D.F. Levia* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)
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Nature-based solutions for water-resource challenges require advances in the science of ecohydrology. Current understanding is limited by a shortage of observations and theories that can further our capability to synthesize complex processes across scales ranging from submillimetres to tens of kilometres. Recent developments in environmental sensing, data, and modelling have the potential to drive rapid improvements in ecohydrological understanding. After briefly reviewing advances in sensor technologies, this paper highlights how improved measurements and modelling can be applied to enhance understanding of the following ecohydrological examples: interception and canopy processes, root uptake and critical zone processes, and up-scaled effects of land use on streamflow. Novel and improved sensors will enable new questions and experiments, while machine learning and empirical methods provide additional opportunities to advance science. The synergy resulting from the convergence of these parallel developments will provide new insight into ecohydrological processes and thereby help identify nature-based solutions to address water-resource challenges in the 21st century.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2208
Number of pages14
Issue number4
Early online date23 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

This paper stems from discussions at the Ettersburg Ecohydrology Workshop, which was held in Ettersburg, Germany, in October 2018. Funding for the Ettersburg Ecohydrology Workshop was graciously provided by the UNIDEL Foundation, Inc. and the University of Delaware. The authors kindly recognize the administrative support of Sandy Raymond before, during, and after the workshop. Her attention to detail and high degree of professionalism helped make the workshop a success. B. Michalzik is recognized for finding the Schloss Ettersburg (the venue of the workshop) and serving as the local point of contact for the workshop. Finally, the authors thank the staff of the Schloss Ettersburg, especially Frau S. Wagner, for a memorable workshop experience. The authors kindly thank David Aldred for drafting Figure 1b. The authors declare no conflict of interest.


  • environmental sensing
  • measurement
  • machine learning
  • modelling
  • interception
  • critical zone processes
  • land use
  • streamflow


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