Wetlands, groundwater dependent ecosystems, and riparian zones, have recently attracted much interest from researchers, resource managers and the wider public. This is partly because of the potential ecosystem services they provide in terms of runoff retention, attenuation of nutrients and pollutants, habitat functions and refugial biotopes, and recent large-scale extreme events, such as flooding.
Research has shown that the hydrology and ecology of wetlands and riparian zones are controlled by complex process dynamics along sharp gradients related to water availability, climate, topography and flow variability. These factors exert a strong control on ecosystems, on community assembly and on dynamics and species lifecycles and autecology. Uncertainties concerning hydrological variability in the context of global environmental changes have highlighted the need for a greater understanding of complex dynamics and feedbacks between hydrology and ecosystem processes, function and services. A comprehensive understanding of these issues requires an interdisciplinary research investigating hydro-ecologic interactions among riparian flora and fauna, hydrologic processes, biogeochemical cycling, and pedologic conditions. For this session we solicit papers focusing on:
- Process studies investigating wetland and riparian hydro-ecological and hydrogeochemical functioning, groundwater-surface water exchange, and groundwater fluctuations and their effect on biota;
- Ecohydrology of water-abundant environments and the effect of soil-water-vegetation dynamics on species competition and biodiversity;
- Processes at the soil-plant interface including root functioning, plant response to anoxia, nutrient cycling, and soil organic matter decomposition;
- In stream ecological and hydrological process dynamics and interactions including the investigation of hydro-ecological controls on in stream flora and fauna;
- Isolation of linkages between flow variability and species and community responses at a range of spatial and temporal scales;
- Assessment of wetland and riparian ecosystem functions and the implications for ecosystem health.
- New theories, modeling frameworks, and approaches to understanding hydo-ecological complexity.
Two invited talks will be given during the session: one by Klement Tockner (Inst. of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries - Berlin, Germany) with title "Pulses, linkages, and boundaries in coupled aquatic-terrestrial landscapes", and one by Stuart N. Lane (Inst. of Hazard and Risk Research - Durham University, Durham, UK) with title "Life in streams: do we really know what makes it hydrologically happy?".