A better understanding of preferential water flow is important because water-related crises, i.e., water scarcity and security, are strongly associated with water retention rates in different landscapes. This review aims to evaluate significant advances in the main themes of preferential water flow to establish the inconsistent roles of preferential water flow in eco-hydrology and suggest promising areas for future work. Results showed that preferential water flow studies have made significant advances in our understanding of certain parameters functioning at multiple scales but that most studies focus on preferential water flow in the vadose zone, whereas few studies on the soil surface. Preferential water flow can have a positive effect on averting water crises, such as when it affects surface runoff soil erosion, soil formation as ecosystem services, nutrient cycling in root zone, and overall water regulation of the water cycle. Conversely, preferential water flow can have a negative effect on eco-hydrological issues via slope stability, gully erosion, geological disaster, waste treatment, water supply in root zone, and food production. Our review concludes that more information is required on preferential water flow before we can assess its role in mitigating water-related crisis events.
écoulement préférentiel de l’eau
hydrologie du sol
preferential water flow