MSRP 2022: Mulch Decomposition

Brief Title: Mulch Decomposition

Title: Identifying Primary Drivers of Mulch Decomposition in Southern California 

Contact: Wallace Meyer “Marty”, Pomona College:

Project Status: Beginning in summer 2022, three more spots are available

Brief Project Description: This project will examine key factors influence mulch decomposition and quantify mulch decomposition rates to better understand how this practice may be influencing the regional carbon cycle. Mulch is increasingly used as a “sustainable landscaping approach” to reduce water inputs in urban and suburban areas of Los Angeles. However, recent studies have highlighted that while this approach may reduce water inputs, it may simultaneously enhance carbon emissions. College campuses are well equipped to address these types of questions, as they often harbor various urban habitat types, including water wise areas with mulch and occasionally water wise areas without mulch.