Our work shows how drought and extreme changes in seasonality affect the soils’ ability to store water and carbon.
Extreme changes in seasonality in the Sierra Nevada can have lasting impacts on meadow health and could mean less water and carbon storage in high elevation wetlands, according to research conducted at UC Merced.
The results of our work indicate that changes in meadow soils and vegetation caused by extreme weather conditions in the mountains over the past three years have decreased the ability of those meadows to bank water and store carbon.
The paper, just published in PLOS ONE, is entitled “Early Spring, Severe Frost Events and Drought-Induced Rapid Carbon Loss in High Elevation Meadows,” and indicates that snowfall and snowmelt timing play critical roles in the development and sustainability of meadow ecosystems.
For more on this article see the UC Merced press release here