Erin’s firth paper was published in Biogeosciences. Among other things, this study shows that, in the Southern Sierra Nevada, annual rates of sediment export (for the time period between 2005 and 2011) varied from 0.4 to 177 kg/ha, while export of C in sediment was between 0.025 and 4.2 kg C/ha and export of N in sediment was between 0.001 and 0.04 kg N/ha. Sediment yield and composition showed high interannual variation. In our study catchments, erosion laterally mobilized OM-rich litter material and topsoil, some of which enters streams owing to the catchment topography where steep slopes border stream channels.The OM-rich nature of eroded sediment raises important questions about the fate of the eroded OM. If a large fraction of the soil organic matter (SOM) eroded from forest ecosystems is lost during transport or after deposition, the contribution of forest ecosystems to the erosion-induced C sink is likely to be small (compared to croplands and grasslands). Read more here.
This work was conducted as part of the Southern Sierra Critical Zone Observatory Project.