Bio-hydro-micrometeorology of a Sierra Nevada montane meadow

Authors: Suzanne Maher*, Chabot Community College, Andrew Oliphant, San Francisco State University , Jerry Davis, San Francisco State University
Topics: Geomorphology, Climatology and Meteorology, Water Resources and Hydrology
Keywords: Wetlands, Meadows
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Napoleon Foyer/Common St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Montane meadows are common geomorphological features of the Sierra Nevada. They store, filter and regulate water and support wetland and riparian plant communities, which in turn provide unique wildlife habitat. Many of these meadows have been degraded by enhanced runoff and gullying primarily due to agricultural and extractive industries. Restoration techniques are being utilized in select meadows to redress the gullying and return the water table to pre-disturbance levels. The objective of this study is to examine the role of restoration practices on the ecohydrology of meadow ecosystems, particularly atmospheric exchanges of water, carbon, and energy. The rate and sign of these exchanges were measured using eddy covariance in a restored Sierra Nevada montane meadow during the growing season. Sampling and analysis of vegetation and soil was also conducted both within the measurement footprint and in a degraded meadow for comparison. The restored meadow ecosystem provides a sink for atmospheric carbon and source of atmospheric water, and has a high ratio of latent to sensible heat flux. There was also significantly higher soil moisture and organic content, vegetation diversity and density, and above- and below-ground biomass in the restored meadow as compared to the degraded meadow.

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