ARSF - Flight GB04/07: River Tummel
ARFS project GB04/07: interaction between channel evolution and riparian vegetation succession. Led by: David Gilear. Location: River Tummel, southern Highlands, Scotland.
We focused on the interaction between channel evolution and riparian vegetation succession. In order to understand how flood driven channel migration and ecological succession interrelate to control vegetation and habitat diversity we undertook pilot work in to landform and habitat creation and destruction over the medium term (1900-1997; aided by NERC ARSF campaigns) and the controls of morphology/sedimentology on natural riparian plant diversity on a natural reach of the actively wandering River Tummel. (Gilvear and Willby, Submitted). The results of the later analysis showed the over-riding control of elevation via fluvial processes. We extendede the timescale and temporal resolution of observations of landform development and ecological succession (ii) up-scale and tested our field based models on other reaches by comparing Lidar derived elevation with vegetation data collected in the field and (iii) model, using Lidar-derived elevation data, natural habitat and vegetation diversity in areas of the floodplain that have been transformed by agricultural land uses. Development of a modelling approach that allows prediction of how floodplain vegetation would develop if river reaches were left to evolve via fluvial processes are needed to explore river and floodplain restoration scenarios.
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