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Vegetation Function, Water and Resource Management

Derek Eamus   University of Technology, Sydney
Tom Hatton   CSIRO Land and Water
Peter Cook   CSIRO Land and Water
Christine Colvin   Natural Resources and the Environment (NRE), CSIR (South Africa)

Colour photographs, Illustrations
360 pages
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing

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Ecohydrology: Vegetation Function, Water and Resource Management describes and provides a synthesis of the different disciplines required to understand the sustainable management of water in the environment in order to tackle issues such as dryland salinity and environmental water allocation. It provides in the one volume the fundamentals of plant ecophysiology, hydrology and ecohydrology as they relate to this topic.

Both conceptual foundations and field methods for the study of ecohydrology are provided, including chapters on groundwater dependent ecosystems, salinity and practical case studies of ecohydrology. The importance of ecologically sustainable development and environmental allocations of water are explained in a chapter devoted to policy and principles underpinning water resource management and their application to water and vegetation management. A chapter on modelling brings together the ecophysiological and hydrological domains and compares a number of models that are used in ecohydrology.

For the sustainable management of water in Australia and elsewhere, this important reference work will assist land managers, industry, policy makers, students and scientists achieve the required understanding of water in landscapes.


  • Introduces and explains the fundamentals of several disciplines (plant physiology; hydrology; ecology; environmental science) required to successfully understand vegetation and groundwater interactions.
  • Case studies show how the integration of several disciplines has led to an understanding of the processes underlying ecosystem function.


1. Setting the scene: water and vegetation resources in Australia
2. Water relations of plants
3. Basics of hydrology
4. Techniques in ecohydrology
5. Hydrological models
6. Groundwater dependent ecosystems in Australia
7. Ecohydrology in action: case studies
8. Salinisation: an ecohydrological perspective
9. Policy and guidelines for managing water in relation to ecological health in Australia
10. Integrated water resource management in South Africa



 It is expected that the readership of this book will comprise students and practitioners of plant physiology, ecophysiology, ecology, hydrology, and landscape managers. Also postgraduates and professionals in environmental and resource management; water resource managers, hydrologists, soil scientists and ecologists; and upper undergraduate and postgraduate hydrology, geography, environmental science and forestry students.

Main overseas interest is likely to be from regions and countries facing similar groundwater issues to Australia, in particular Africa and South America.


 "The book is excellent for equipping the hydrologist with the tools of the trade. The authors need to be commended also for expanding their vision beyond steam gauges and hydraulic models to the role of vegetation in using water and contributing to restoring a degraded or badly eroded land mass."
The Water Journal, 2006

"I would not hestitate to recommend Ecohydrology for undergraduate students and resource managers… Eamus et al. have helped readers understand landscape function from more than one disciplinary perspective. As a result, they have achieved their main objective and have done so in a clearly structured and well-written text that makes for pleasurable reading."
Jane Catford, Austral Ecology, December 2006

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