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  Information - HS26 Ecohydrology of rivers and floodplains: the active role of vegetation in river functioning (joined sessions HS25 and HS26) (co-listed in BG & GM)

Event Information
The interactions between hydraulics, geomorphology and ecology of a river and its riparian zone involve complex and interesting dynamics, wherein nonlinear mechanisms may drive the system to an equilibrium regulated by feedbacks. While local climatic conditions as well as the hydraulics and hydrological characteristics of the river are important for the development of the riparian ecosystem, at the same time riparian vegetation along river reaches influences the medium and long-term river morphodynamics. This session aims to promote studies investigating the reciprocal character of such interactions, in particular those with a focus on the active role of vegetation. While the passive role of vegetation (i.e. where vegetation is an element that merely increases the local roughness and hydraulic resistance) is generally rather well understood, the active role has been only poorly investigated. This includes, for example, the promotion of sediment deposition and bank stability, which not only influences the physical environment of the river but also encourages the survival and development of the vegetation itself. Important elements of this active role are the physiological and biological characteristics of the riparian vegetation, the dynamism of which often allows positive or negative responses to varying stress conditions imposed by fluctuations in the spatial and temporal hydrological and hydraulics regimes. To explore such active feedbacks, a strong interaction between both the hydraulics and ecologic scientific communities is therefore fundamental. Interdisciplinary research is required to define and model the establishment and dynamics of pioneering riparian species in different hydrological and climatic conditions, as well as to provide detailed information of the role of variables included in such nonlinear dynamics. Theoretical, experimental, and numerical works on the subject are all very welcome, as well as others on the passive role that can help provide an understanding of the mechanisms of erosion, transport and trapping of sediments and promotion of stability by either bed or bank vegetation.

Preliminary List of Solicited Speakers
Angela Gurnell (King's College London) "The dynamics of vegetation and vegetative particles in fluvial systems"
David Merritt (US Forest Service) "Structured population modeling of riparian plants: linkages between flow regime and plant population dynamics"


General Statement
The information contained hereafter has been compiled and uploaded by the Session Organizers via the "Organizer Session Form". The Session Organizers have therefore the sole responsibility that this information is true and accurate at the date of publication, and the conference organizer cannot accept any legal responsibility for any errors or omissions that may be made, and he makes no warranty, expressed or implied, with regard to the material published.

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