In the low Mediterranean basin, late spring and autumn rainfall events have the potential to increase discharge and transport substantial amounts of sediment soil (that is, the net soil erosion from a watershed). For the Alento River Basin (ARB), located in the low Tyrrhenian coast of Italy, we estimated changes of net erosion as dependent on the seasonality of antecedent soil moisture and its control on rainfall-runoff and erosivity. Based on rainfall and runoff erosivity sub-models, we developed a simplified model to evaluate basin-wide sediment yields on a monthly basis by upscaling point rainfall input. For the period 1951–2018, the reconstruction of a time series of monthly net erosion data indicated a decreasing trend of the sediment yield after 1991. Revegetation and land abandonment that occurred in the last decades can explain such a decrease of net erosion, which occurred even when rainfall erosivity increased. This response, obtained at the basic scale, does not exclude that rapidly developing mesoscale convective systems, typically responsible for the heaviest and most destructive rainfall events in the ARB, can affect small catchments, which are the most vulnerable systems to storm-driven flash floods and soil erosion hazards during soil tilling in spring and at beginning of autumn.
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