Stefanie Kaupa

Stefanie Kaupa

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Stefanie Kaupa
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Start Year

2018 (Cohort 5)

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PhD Project
PhD Title
Hydrological Impacts of Agricultural Land Abandonment in Nepal and Colombia
Research Theme
Primary Supervisor

Mark Mulligan

Primary Institution
Secondary Supervisor

Jane Catford

Secondary Institution

This study investigates the effects of land cover and land use change on soil recovery and the recovery of water quantity, quality and regulation services in mountain catchments in the Himalaya and Andes.

Agricultural land abandonment and its impacts on soil functions and hydrology are essential but understudied processes. This study examines change in land use and land cover along a timeline of abandonment and the impacts thereof on water balance, timing of water yield and water quality in two paired catchment setups. Research will take place in in hydrologically relevant ecosystems in Nepal and Colombia and plots will be selected to represent a timeline of land abandonment along agricultural and forest land.

Stream discharge, soil moisture and drainage as well as soil properties, macropore networks and water quality will be measured in each plot. Impacts of abandonment on water yield and timing will be analysed and compared between plots using stream discharge and soil moisture data. The extent of macropore networks under different post-abandonment land cover stages will be examined. Combining soil moisture and macropore data, the impacts of macropores and soil properties on infiltration dynamics will be explored. Based on the field data, water yield, timing and water quality under different land use and demographic scenarios will be projected.

Policy Impact
Background Reading


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