Discussion: "Meadow Restoration Increases Baseflow and Groundwater Storage in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California"

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We discuss a recent paper which evaluated the hydrologic changes resulting from a pond-and-plug meadow restoration project in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. In the study, measurements of streamflow into and out of the meadow suggested late-summer baseflow increased as much as five-fold when compared with prerestoration conditions. However, the volume of streamflow attributed to the restored meadow (49,000–96,000 m3 over four months) would require that 2.5–4.8 m of saturated meadow soils drain during sum- mer months. The groundwater data from this meadow record only 0.45 m of change over this timeframe, which is less than might be expected from plant use alone (0.75 m), suggesting this restored meadow may be acting as a water sink throughout summer rather than a source.
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