Study specifically of riparian zones is relatively new in hydrology, and while the oldest benchmark paper selected for this volume dates to 1936, several of the others were published in the 1970s and 1980s.
This volume begins with a review of the role of the riparian zone. Its services as a buffer for nitrates and other agricultural and industrial pollutants has focused the attention of ecologists and hydrologists. It is an ecological boundary between terrestrial and aquatic environments, but also a distinct ecotone because of the intimate connection between the two.
The 36 benchmark papers are grouped under the topics Landscape Ecology, Hydrology of the Riparian Zone, Linking Riparian Zone Hydrology to Solute Transport, Biogeochemical Processes and Methods, Riparian Buffering of Surface and Subsurface Flows, and In-stream Processes. Together, the reprinted papers and the commentaries by the editors chart the breakthroughs in the development of this important subdiscipline.