Monday, 3 October 2016

The effects of river patterns on riparian vegetation: A comparison of anabranching and single-thread incised channels

On September 2016, study about channel changes of the Morávka River and their effect on riparian vegetation was published.
Riparian vegetation reflects the current conditions and the dynamics of streams. The floodplain vegetation along the watercourse of the Morávka River was subject to study in this project. In some reaches, the river has the natural character of an anabranching gravel-bed stream; in contrast, other Morávka R. reaches are incised into the bedrock. These cases were used to assess potential changes in vegetation conditions as evidence of negative processes taking place in the gravel-bed streams of the Beskydy Mts. The results demonstrate a higher biodiversity in the floodplain along the anabranching river channel. In contrast, the floodplain along the incised river channel shows low biodiversity values. Redundancy analysis was used to determine the relationships between plant species composition, distance from the main channel and relative elevation from the mean water level of the main channel. In addition, the results show a higher degree of change in plant species composition on the floodplain along the incised river channel. The analysis of floodplain groundwater fluctuations shows a decreasing trend in the annual maximum groundwater level.
The paper has been recently published in Moravian Geographical Reports journal.

The Morávka R.: A – single-thread bedrock-incised channel river; B – anabranching channel river reach
Photo: V. Škarpich.
A – Shannon-Wiener index and B – Simpson's index of phytosociological relevés in the study area of the Morávka River floodplain. Source: authors’ elaboration.

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