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Effects of channel confinement on pioneer woody vegetation structure, composition and diversity along the River Drôme (SE France)

Dufour, Simon and Barsoum, Nadia and Muller, Etienne and Piégay, Hervé Effects of channel confinement on pioneer woody vegetation structure, composition and diversity along the River Drôme (SE France). (2007) Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, vol. 32 (n°8). pp. 1244-1256. ISSN 1096-9837

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/esp.1556

Abstract

River embankments are one of the main causes of a loss in active channel movement. The knock-on effects of river channel stabilization include important shifts in the ecohydrological conditions in the protected zone behind embankments, which has already been well exemplified. However, few authors have attempted to investigate changes to pioneer units of vegetation colonizing the active channel following the construction of dikes. As a consequence we studied the structure, composition and diversity of pioneer vegetation units dominated by willow and poplar along the River Drôme in two adjacent, but contrasting, river reaches: an embanked reach and an unconstrained reach, each subject to the same flow regime, but offering very different hydrogeomorphological contexts for vegetation colonization. Our results clearly demonstrate that river embankments affect channel geometry. A reduction in channel width (from between 200 and 500 m to less than 100 m) leads to steeper elevational gradients with an overall coarser grain size and consequently drier overall conditions on colonizable landforms in the channelized reach. Pioneer vegetation responded by colonizing landforms at higher elevations above the low water mark and by occurring in smaller units within the channelized study reach. There was also a reduction in species diversity, a homogenization in vegetation unit structure and a predominance of more drought-tolerant ligneous species (P. nigra) in pioneer vegetation units in the channelized study reach.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Thanks to Wiley editor. The definitive version is available at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com The original PDF of the article can be found at Earth Surface Processes & Landforms website : http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/esp.1556/epdf
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (FRANCE)
Other partners > Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Saint-Etienne - ENSMSE (FRANCE)
Other partners > Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon - ENS de Lyon (FRANCE)
Other partners > Ecole Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'Etat - ENTPE (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - INPT (FRANCE)
Other partners > Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon - INSA (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - UPS (FRANCE)
Other partners > Université de Provence - Aix-Marseille I (FRANCE)
Other partners > Université Jean Monnet - St Etienne (FRANCE)
Other partners > Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture de Lyon - ENSAL (FRANCE)
Other partners > Université Lumière-Lyon 2 (FRANCE)
Other partners > Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3 (FRANCE)
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Deposited By: Florence Amor
Deposited On:20 Apr 2017 09:28

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