Dynamic riverine landscapes: the role of ecosystem engineers (co-organized)
Research on fluvial processes and landforms is increasingly emphasising the ecosystem engineering role played by aquatic biota in driving morphodynamics, habitat complexity and biodiversity in riverine landscapes at various spatio-temporal scales. Ecosystem engineers, including aquatic and riparian vegetation, invertebrates and mammals, may initiate and maintain morphological complexity in pristine or semi-natural systems, and may have the capacity to assist morphological recovery, with minimal intervention, within degraded systems. In contrast, invasive species can represent a considerable system disturbance in affected catchments, with implications for hydrogeomorphological processes and biodiversity. Improved understanding of two-way interactions between the biotic and abiotic components of riverine landscape is vital, particularly within the context of the significant and increasing pressures on fluvial systems arising from a combination of factors, including climatic change, anthropogenic interventions and invasive species.
This session invites contributions on the role of ecosystem engineers (aquatic/riparian vegetation/animals) in driving fluvial processes and landform dynamics. Research may be laboratory or field-based, or may involve the analysis of remotely-sensed data. Contributions are welcomed on various river styles and degrees of management intervention (e.g. pristine, semi-natural or degraded systems), and scales of interest may vary from the patch-scale to the catchment scale, and from diurnal cycles to longer-term (decadal +) system dynamics.
Solicited people: Angela Gurnell, Paolo Perona, Stephen Rice.