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Alpine rivers hold important clues for preserving biodiversity and coping with climate change
Date:11/18/2008

, how organisms and ecosystems relate to them, and how both may change when threshold conditions are reached. Achieving this in turn relies on synergy between numerical models and experiments or observations both in the laboratory and in the field.

A major objective is then to apply this work firstly to develop tools that can help to identify the best ways of managing rivers. "Colleagues in mainland Europe have been developing ideas of 'channel-widening' with managers, whereby the river is given more space to adjust its morphology (structure) in a dynamic way within reaches where space can be made available for this," said Gurnell. The idea here is to reconnect river ecosystems with the banks and even floodplains in cases where space is available but past management has severed such links. However, it is also important that river flows can sustain the widening and that this process is applied at different sites along rivers to maintain upstream to downstream connections between affected sites if sustainable benefits to the river ecosystem are to be achieved.


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Contact: Angela Gurnell
angela.gurnell@kcl.ac.uk
44-020-784-82738
European Science Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

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