Considering river structure and stability in the light of evolution: feedbacks between riparian vegetation and hydrogeomorphology

Corenblit, Dov and Davies, Neil S. and Steiger, Johannes and Gibling, Martin R. and Bornette, Gudrun (2015) Considering river structure and stability in the light of evolution: feedbacks between riparian vegetation and hydrogeomorphology. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 40 (2). pp. 189-207. ISSN 0197-9337, ESSN: 1096-9837

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Official URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/esp.364...

Abstract

River ecological functioning can be conceptualized according to a four-dimensional framework, based on the responses of aquatic and riparian communities to hydrogeomorphic constraints along the longitudinal, transverse, vertical and temporal dimensions of rivers. Contemporary riparian vegetation responds to river dynamics at ecological timescales, but riparian vegetation, in one form or another, has existed on Earth since at least the Middle Ordovician (c. 450 Ma) and has been a significant controlling factor on river geomorphology since the Late Silurian (c. 420 Ma). On such evolutionary timescales, plant adaptations to the fluvial environment and the subsequent effects of these adaptations on fluvial sediment and landform dynamics resulted in the emergence, from the Silurian to the Carboniferous, of a variety of contrasted fluvial biogeomorphic types where water flow, morphodynamics and vegetation interacted to different degrees. Here we identify several of these types and describe the consequences for biogeomorphic structure and stability (i.e. resistance and resilience), along the four river dimensions, of feedbacks between riparian plants and hydrogeomorphic processes on contrasting ecological and evolutionary timescales.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2014AREP; IA68;
Subjects: 02 - Geodynamics, Geophysics and Tectonics
Divisions: 02 - Geodynamics, Geophysics and Tectonics
Journal or Publication Title: Earth Surface Processes and Landforms
Volume: 40
Page Range: pp. 189-207
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2015 18:16
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2015 17:56
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/3230

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