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Carbon pools along headwater streams with differing valley geometry in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado (Abstract)


Dwire, Kathleen A.; Wohl, Ellen E.; Sutfin, Nicholas A.; Bazan, Roberto A.; Polvi-Pilgrim, Lina. 2012. Carbon pools along headwater streams with differing valley geometry in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado (Abstract). In: Proceedings of the American Water Resources Association 2012 Summer Specialty Conference; Riparian Ecosystems IV: Advancing Science, Economics and Policy; June 27-29, 2012; Denver, Colorado. Online: http://www.awra.org/proceedings/Summer2012/Riparian/index.html

Headwaters are known to be important in the global carbon cycle, yet few studies have investigated carbon (C) pools along stream-riparian corridors. To better understand the spatial distribution of C storage in headwater fluvial networks, we estimated above- and below-ground C pools in 100-m-long reaches in six different valley types in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. Valley types were distinguished based on downstream gradient and valley-bottom width relative to active channel width (valley geometry) and the presence of biotic drivers, such as beaver dams and channelspanning logjams associated with old-growth forest, that are capable of creating multi-thread channel patterns. The six contrasting valley types are: laterally confined valleys in old-growth forest; laterally unconfined valleys with multi-thread channels in old-growth forest; laterally unconfined valleys with single-thread channels in old-growth forest; laterally confined valleys in young forest; beaver-meadow complexes with multi-thread channels and mixed riparian vegetation (conifer, willow, and herbaceous); and abandoned beaver-meadow complexes with single-thread channels and dominated by herbaceous vegetation.

Keywords: headwaters, stream-riparian corridors, carbon pools


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Title: RMRS Other Publications: Carbon pools along headwater streams with differing valley geometry in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado (Abstract)
Electronic Publish Date: October 1, 2012
Last Update:
October 1, 2012

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