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Nutrient dynamics in ephemeral washes

Impacts of climate variability on structure and function of ephemeral streams in Arizona
-            Ephemeral streams make up a large proportion of surface waters in the Western United States, particularly in Arizona and desert southwest, yet little is known about their structure and function and how they will respond to changes in climate. To fill this gap, we are evaluating the structure and function of ephemeral washes in Arizona with a recently funded DOD SERDP grant (start date March 31, 2010). We established sites in natural ephemeral washes at 13 locations distributed across a climate gradient in Arizona and are currently establishing baseline data on the hydrology, biogeochemistry, and riparian and invertebrate ecology.  This grant will be complementary to the urban runoff grant described below in that we will establish background rates of C and N cycling in natural washes.