The natural sediment regime in rivers: broadening the foundation for ecosystem management

BioScience
By: , and 

Links

Abstract

Water and sediment inputs are fundamental drivers of river ecosystems, but river management tends to emphasize flow regime at the expense of sediment regime. In an effort to frame a more inclusive paradigm for river management, we discuss sediment inputs, transport, and storage within river systems; interactions among water, sediment, and valley context; and the need to broaden the natural flow regime concept. Explicitly incorporating sediment is challenging, because sediment is supplied, transported, and stored by nonlinear and episodic processes operating at different temporal and spatial scales than water and because sediment regimes have been highly altered by humans. Nevertheless, managing for a desired balance between sediment supply and transport capacity is not only tractable, given current geomorphic process knowledge, but also essential because of the importance of sediment regimes to aquatic and riparian ecosystems, the physical template of which depends on sediment-driven river structure and function.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title The natural sediment regime in rivers: broadening the foundation for ecosystem management
Series title BioScience
DOI 10.1093/biosci/biv002
Edition 4
Volume 65
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher Oxford University Press
Contributing office(s) Columbia Environmental Research Center
Description 14 p.
First page 358
Last page 371
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N