Vegetation as a tool in the interpretation of fluvial geomorphic processes and landforms

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Abstract

This chapter exemplifies that vegetation can be used as a tool for geomorphic interpretation in several major ways. It presents a general overview: through dendrogeomorphic analysis (tree rings) to estimate the timing of important geomorphic events including floods and mass wasting and to estimate rates of erosion and sedimentation; through the documentation and interpretation of species distributional patterns that are established in response to prevailing hydrogeomorphic conditions; and through the role that it plays, depending on size, shape and growth form, in flow rates and subsequent erosion and deposition processes. Floods, from prolonged inundation characteristic of relatively large, low-gradient basins to high-gradient and short-period destructive events, are the most important extrinsic factor in bottomland systems. Vegetation organization, composition and plant community dynamics on river floodplains are controlled by disturbance type and scale, and biological characteristics of plants linked to resistance to disturbance, resilience and competitive ability.

Additional publication details

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Vegetation as a tool in the interpretation of fluvial geomorphic processes and landforms
DOI 10.1002/9781118648551.ch10
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher Wiley
Contributing office(s) National Research Program - Eastern Branch
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Title Tools in fluvial geomorphology