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Floodplains provides an overview of floodplains and their management in temperate regions. It synthesizes decades of research on floodplain ecosystems, explaining hydrologic, geomorphic and ecological processes and how these processes can provide a range of benefits to society under appropriate management. Due to the widespread alteration of temperate floodplains, these benefits are often not realized. Drawing on the framework of reconciliation ecology, the authors explore how new concepts for floodplain ecosystem restoration and management can provide a broader range of benefits to society, ranging from healthy fish populations to flood-risk reduction. Case studies from California's Central Valley and elsewhere in temperate regions show how innovative management approaches are reshaping rivers and floodplains around the world.
Jeffrey J. Opperman is the lead scientist for The Nature Conservancy's Great Rivers Program and a research associate at the University of California, Davis. Peter B. Moyle is Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology and Associate Director of the Center for Watershed Sciences at the University of California, Davis. Eric W. Larsen is a research scientist and fluvial geomorphologist in the Department of Human Ecology at the University of California, Davis. Joan L. Florsheim is a researcher in fluvial geomorphology, hydrology, and earth-surface processes at the Earth Research Institute at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Amber D. Manfree is a postdoctoral researcher in geography at the Center for Watershed Sciences at the University of California, Davis.
"Floodplains have for too long been regarded as nuisance – places where floodwaters repeatedly wreak havoc with human settlements and commerce. Now we are finally beginning to view them as places to be respected and protected for their phenomenal natural productivity, their unique habitats, their myriad benefits to our societies, and for their beauty. This book tells that story."
– Brian Richter, President, Sustainable Waters and author of Chasing Water
"While engineers, scientists, farmers, environmentalists, and public officials continue to debate how best to deal with growing floodplain challenges, Opperman and his colleagues have charted a forward-looking and implementable approach that will allow nature and society to coexist on our precious and shrinking riverine landscape. They have made the case for reconciliation with nature!"
– Gerald E. Galloway, Glenn L. Martin Institute Professor of Engineering, University of Maryland
"Opperman and coauthors comprehensively illustrate that riverine floodplains are strategic ecosystems of global importance, both for nature and humans. Their book emphasizes the immense diversity, complexity, and value of floodplains, and it outlines advanced strategies to sustainably manage them as coupled social-ecological systems."
– Klement Tockner, Professor of Aquatic Ecology at Freie Universität Berlin and President of the Austrian Science Fund