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Vegetated rivers: relationships between riparian vegetation, instream wood and fluvial processes, hazards and management. (co-organized) | PICO
Convener: Lorenzo Picco  | Co-Conveners: Virginia Ruiz-Villanueva , Riccardo Rainato 
 / Fri, 28 Apr, 15:30–17:00

This session points the attention into the complex and dynamic relationships, between riparian vegetation, instream wood and fluvial processes along all river corridors flowing through forested watersheds. Riverine environments are characterized by complex and dynamic equilibria, resulting from the interactions between water, sediment and vegetation, dead or alive. The vegetated areas along rivers can feature high levels of complexity and biodiversity. Depending on its size, density, and typology, riparian vegetation can impact river morphology and its morphodynamics, acting at different scale levels. Since these vegetated areas are connected to the active channel, it is possible to define these as the “sources” of in-stream wood. In fact, particularly during flood events, trees and shrubs can be recruited by lateral shifts and bank erosion processes. Instream wood provides many benefits to river ecosystems, but can also create hazards for inhabitants, infrastructure, and recreational users in the river corridor. Although many studies have been focused on the characteristics and distribution of wood along mountain streams, there are still many challenges regarding the understanding of recruitment of instream from riparian landforms and its dynamics once into the channel. Especially challenging is the monitoring of these processes. A better knowledge of the interactions between riparian vegetation, instream wood and fluvial processes is decisive for the proper management of both the riparian zone and the in channel wood, in particular to preserve their ecological functions and to prevent potential hazards. Moreover, the structure of the riparian vegetation is clearly mentioned in the European Water Framework Directive as a hydromorphologic parameter required for classifying the ecological status of river systems. In this sense, the assessment of riparian vegetation structures and the in-channel wood characteristics are crucial for evaluating the hydromorphologic conditions of rivers, before and after river restoration processes.
In this session are welcome contributions on:
- Studies about interactions between riparian vegetation, instream wood and fluvial processes
- Riparian vegetation structures;
- Instream wood dynamics, including the study of storage and spatial distribution, recruitment, transport, breakage and decay.
- Instream wood management and related hazards
- Relationship between riparian zone and active channel;
- Social perception of ecological conditions of rivers;
- Management of the riverine corridor considering the ecological conditions and the decrease of hazards.