This project explores the potential impact of ditch cleaning as a means to improve drainage and forest productivity. However, there is a concern that disturbing the near-stream zone and lowering groundwater tables during ditch cleaning could release previously stable carbon from deeper soil horizons or peat-rich areas. This could lead to adverse climate feedback and impact forest management strategies. The project objectives are to investigate how forest ditch cleaning affects the age composition of carbon exported to surface waters and to determine if the process mobilizes aged carbon, identifying the timing and duration of such mobilization. The study involves intensive monitoring of ground and stream water within the controlled experimental catchments of Trollberget where forest harvest and ditch cleaning are carried out.
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