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contributed by KLAUS REICHARDT* Riparian forests can provide an important service for aquatic ecosystems by sequestering hillslope-derived sediments. However, the width of a riparian buffer zone required to filter sediments is not yet well-understood. Here are used two complementary tracers to measure sediment retention. The 137Cs technique and the soil carbon isotopic ratios (δ13C) are utilized to investigate sediment deposition and erosion rates on a slope transect cultivated with sugarcane followed by a secondary riparian forest zone in Iracemápolis, State of São Paulo, Brazil. The 137Cs technique and the δ13C analysis showed that the width of a riparian vegetation in accordance to a Brazilian Environmental Law (N ◦ 4.771/65) was not sufficient in trapping sediments coming from agricultural lands, but indicated the importance of these forests as a conservation measure at the watershed scale. The complementary δ13C analysis together with soil morphology aspects allowed a better interpretation of the sediment redistribution along the sugarcane and riparian forest transects. Key words: erosion, δ13C, sugarcane, C3 and C4 plants, carbon

Year: 2016
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