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Carbon sequestration potential of process-based river restoration
  • Sarah Hinshaw,
  • Ellen Wohl
Sarah Hinshaw
Colorado State University

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Ellen Wohl
Colorado State University
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Floodplain restoration can enhance capacity for carbon sequestration by facilitating higher water tables, deposition of fine sediment, and increased input and residence time of organic matter. We measured floodplain soil organic carbon stocks in nine stream restoration projects across the western United States and compared them to nearby degraded and reference condition floodplains. Degraded floodplains had the lowest soil mean carbon stocks in the majority of floodplains measured (range 161-894 Mg C/ha), and reference stocks had the highest stocks (range 391-904 Mg C/ha) of those with statistically significant differences between the three categories. Across all sites measured, stream restoration sites, referred to as treatment sites, had stocks (range 203-1028 Mg C/ha) similar to degraded condition floodplains but the largest range. When modeled under degraded conditions, four out of nine of the treatment sites had significantly higher OC stocks than predicted. Climate and geologic variables are most influential in predicting carbon stocks, and floodplains in the interior western USA have the highest carbon stocks. As the demand for carbon sequestration increases due to climate change, ecologically responsible floodplain restoration provides a significant opportunity for carbon storage. However, despite the statistically significant relationships we observed in this dataset, the variations within the data in relation to degraded/treatment/reference categories illustrate the uncertainties in quantifying the effects of restoration on floodplain carbon stocks.
03 Apr 2023Submitted to River Research and Applications
03 Apr 2023Submission Checks Completed
03 Apr 2023Assigned to Editor
09 Apr 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
11 Apr 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
23 May 2023Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
21 Jun 20231st Revision Received
22 Jun 2023Submission Checks Completed
22 Jun 2023Assigned to Editor
22 Jun 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
24 Jun 2023Editorial Decision: Accept