Published in Water, Volume 12, Issue 1, January 19, 2020.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.3390/w12010293.
This study evaluates the hydrologic response of restoration of a montane meadow by removal of encroached Pinus contorta and thinning of the adjacent forest. It is now a follow-up with four years of post-restoration data, on a previous analysis of a hydrologic response of the same meadow one year following restoration. A hydrologic change was evaluated through a statistical comparison of soil moisture and depth to groundwater between the restored Marian Meadow and a Control Meadow. Meadow water budgets and durations of water table depths during the growing season were evaluated. The four years following restoration of Marian Meadow had an increase in volumetric soil moisture during the wet season, but decreased soil moisture during the dry season. An average decrease in depth to groundwater of 0.15 m was found, which is consistent with the first-year post-restoration. The water budget confirms the first-year results that the hydrologic change following removal of encroached conifers was primarily due to a reduction of vegetation interception capture. There was no measurable difference in depth to groundwater or soil moisture following the upslope forest thinning likely due to the low level of forest removal with 2.8 m2/hectare reduction of the forest basal area. The cost of restoration to water gained was $0.69 USD/1000 L ($2.62 USD/1000 gal.).
© 2020 The Authors
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