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The Riverine Ecosystem Synthesis: Towards Conceptual Cohesiveness in River Science

Series: Aquatic Ecology (Academic Press)

By: James H Thorp, Martin C Thoms and Michael D Delong

208 pages, Figs, tabs, col plates, illus

Academic Press

Hardback | Oct 2008 | #175625 | ISBN-13: 9780123706126
Availability: Usually dispatched within 2-3 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £59.99 $73/€67 approx

About this book

This book presents the most comprehensive model yet for describing the structure and functioning of running freshwater ecosystems. This 'riverine ecosystem synthesis' (RES) is a result of combining several theories published in recent decades, dealing with aquatic and terrestrial systems. New analyses are fused with a variety of new perspectives on how river network ecosystems are structured and function, and how they change along longitudinal, lateral, and temporal dimensions. Among these novel perspectives is a dramatically new view of the role of hydrogeomorphic forces in forming functional process zones from headwaters to the mouths of great rivers.

Designed as a useful tool for aquatic scientists worldwide whether they work on small streams or great rivers and in forested or semi-arid regions, this book will provide a means for scientists to understand the fundamental and applied aspects of rivers in general and includes a practical guide and protocols for analyzing individual rivers. This combination of theoretical and applied analysis is quite unique in running freshwater ecology. Specific examples of rivers in at least four continents (Africa, Australia, Europe and North America) serve to illustrate the power and utility of the RES concept.

This book develops the classic, seminal article in River Research and Applications, "A Model of Biocomplexity in River Networks Across Space and Time" which introduced the RES concept for the first time. It provides a guide to the practical analysis of individual rivers using the Riverine Ecosystems Synthesis and extends its use from pristine ecosystems to modern, human-modified rivers. It is an essential aid both to the study fundamental and applied aspects of rivers, such as rehabilitation, management, monitoring, assessment, and flow manipulation of river networks.


Framework for the Riverine Ecosystem Synthesis (RES); Introduction to the RES; Historical Perspectives on Lotic Concepts; Functional Process Zones along a River's Longitudinal Dimension; Hierarchical Patch Dynamics in River Networks; Some Proposed Model Tenets; Applying the RES to Individual Rivers; Defining the Hydrogeomorphic Character of a River Network; Applying Hierarchical Patch Dynamics in Lotic Research; Systems to Modern Working Rivers; Practical Applications of the RES; Concluding Remarks.

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