Soil carbon and nitrogen eroded after severe wildfire and erosion mitigation treatments

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Erosion of soil carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) following severe wildfire may have deleterious effects on downstream resources and ecosystem recovery. Although C and N losses in combustion and runoff have been studied extensively, soil C and N transported by post-fire erosion has rarely been quantified in burned landscapes. To better understand the magnitude and temporal pattern of these losses, we analysed the C and N content of sediment collected in severely burned hillslopes and catchments across the western USA over the first 4 post-fire years.

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