Hydro-geomorphic connectivity has emerged as a significant conceptual framework for understanding the transfer of surface water and sediment through landscapes. The concept has had particular success in the field of catchment hydrology and fluvial geomorphology, but has also been employed in, for example, explaining rates of soil erosion by water and sediment export across landscapes in the study of aeolian processes and in fire propagation. However, despite these successes, the concept has resulted mostly in case studies, with little progress made to date on general conceptual models. Furthermore, the integration of the effects of static and dynamic features on connectivity needs both more thorough theoretical underpinning and methodological development to measure and model the temporal variation of connectivity.
This session invites contributions from all areas of soil science, hydrology, geomorphology, ecology and geochemistry illustrating or identifying the role of connectivity for ecology and geochemical cycles on a local, regional or global scale. Specific themes we would like to promote are:
- advancement of the theory of connectivity, including sound and unambiguous definitions of connectivity and related parameters,
- methodology development for measuring connectivity in field and laboratory settings,
- development of numerical models, achieving successful predictions of connectivity in a diversity of environments,
- the development of suitable indices of connectivity,
- determining how the concept can be used to enable sustainable land and water management.
We hope to use the session to develop a debate that brings together hydrologists, ecologists, geomorphologists and agronomists to generate the basis for an integrated theoretical framework and to find out how we can develop this knowledge into a piece of useable science.