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This RAPID study characterized DOM and Hg along the hydrographs of two extreme floods in 2015 and 2016.

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Detritus material in forest watersheds is the major terrestrial source of dissolved organic matter (DOM) and nutrients in source waters, but it is also the fuel igniting a forest fire. Fuel reduction techniques, including prescribed burning and mechanical thinning, could remove forest foliar litter, and thus, the risk of wildfire. Accordingly, periodic fuel reduction practices can reduce the accumulation of detritus material on the forest floor and the amounts of DOM exports after treatments. This 4-year, field-based research project investigated the consequences of different fuel reduction techniques, typically applied as watershed management practices against wildfire, for the export of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), dissolved organic nitrogen (DON), and inorganic nutrients from forested watersheds as well as the impact of these practices on associated biogeochemical processes and drinking water supplies. Specifically, the temporal variations of DOM exported from forested watersheds under prescribed burn or mechanical thinning were examined and compared with those from unmanaged watersheds to identify differences in the formation of regulated and emerging carbonaceous and nitrogenous disinfection byproducts (DBPs). The overarching goal of this project was to identify the best forest management practices to protect our source waters due to climate change. There were three specific objectives in this project:

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