Reply to Comment by Jonathan J. Rhodes on ‘‘Modeling of the Interactions between Forest Vegetation, Disturbances, and Sediment Yields’’

Charles H. Luce
David G. Tarboton, Utah State University
Erkan Istanbulluoglu
Robert T. Pack



Rhodes [2005] brings up some excellent points in his comments on the work of Istanbulluoglu et al. [2004]. We appreciate the opportunity to respond because it is likely that other readers will also wonder how they can apply the relatively simple analysis to important policy questions. Models necessarily reduce the complexity of the problem to make it tractable and synthesize some diverse sources of information. It may be helpful at times for readers to understand the high dimension of the complexity sacrificed in order to obtain the synthesis and the reasons for reducing the complexity in a particular manner. Rhodes [2005] comments on three things: (1) the omission of roads and landings from the analysis; (2) the implicit assumption that fire does not occur with harvesting; and (3) the overestimation of water repellency. We will respond to each of these, clarifying and elaborating on the basis for our modeling choices.