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An Expansive Perspective of Riverine Landscapes: Pattern and Process Across Scales

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Rivers are highly dynamic systems with interactive pathways that operate across a wide range of spatio-temporal scales and hierarchical levels. This article focuses on pattern and process at the landscape scale and presents a holistic perspective that integrates flood plains and alluvial groundwater aquifers into an expansive view of rivers. Natural disturbance from seasonal flooding interacts in predictable ways with catchment geochemistry, topography, climate, and vegetation to produce the shifting landscape mosaic of intact river ecosystems. Fluvial dynamics structure patterns of biodiversity and productivity, sustain a diversity of successional stages, and maintain ecological connectivity between landscape elements. This expansive perspective of riverine landscapes has major implications for aquatic conservation (in particular, natural flood control and water purification). Abstract & Keywords → p. 79
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 1997

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  • GAIA is a peer-reviewed inter- and transdisciplinary journal for scientists and other interested parties concerned with the causes and analyses of environmental and sustainability problems and their solutions.

    Environmental problems cannot be solved by one academic discipline. The complex natures of these problems require cooperation across disciplinary boundaries. Since 1991, GAIA has offered a well-balanced and practice-oriented forum for transdisciplinary research. GAIA offers first-hand information on state of the art environmental research and on current solutions to environmental problems. Well-known editors, advisors, and authors work to ensure the high quality of the contributions found in GAIA and a unique transdisciplinary dialogue – in a comprehensible style.

    GAIA is an ISI-journal, listed in the Science Citation Index Expanded, Social Science Citation Index and in Current Contents/Social and Behavioral Sciences.

    All contributions undergo a double-blind peer review.

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