Site: Santa Barbara Coastal LTER

Credit: SBC LTER/Dan Reed

Fire and land use affect the amount and timing of nutrient organic matter and sediment delivery from watersheds to the ocean. Drought and fire followed by rain causes large fluxes of terrestrial nutrients to the coastal ocean. During storms, runoff plumes containing high concentrations of nutrients remain close to the coast, but are advected offshore and quickly diluted once the storms pass, thereby reducing the contribution of land-derived nutrients to the productivity of coastal ecosystems.