Geomorphic effects of wood quantity and characteristics in three Italian gravel-bed rivers

Ravazzolo, D., Mao, Luca, Picco, L., Sitzia, T. and Lenzi, M.A. (2015) Geomorphic effects of wood quantity and characteristics in three Italian gravel-bed rivers. Geomorphology, 246 . pp. 79-89. ISSN 0169555X

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Abstract

In-channel wood is a fundamental component of the riverine system. Its nature, abundance, and distribution as well as the role of wood in trapping sediment have been reported by many authors. However, a lack of knowledge still exists on how the geomorphic effects, quantity, and characteristics of in-channel wood may be altered by different human pressures. For this reason, in-channel wood was surveyed in the Brenta, Piave, and Tagliamento gravel-bed rivers (northeastern Italy), which are altered by different degrees of human pressures. Both single pieces of wood (>. 0.1. m diameter, and/or >. 1. m long) and accumulations of large wood were measured on cross sectional transects within the active channels. Overall, 3430 (8.4, 13.9 and 10.7 elements/ha in the Brenta, Piave, and Tagliamento rivers, respectively) of isolated pieces and 591 (9.8, 15.0, and 11.0 wood accumulations/ha in the Brenta, Piave, and Tagliamento rivers, respectively) accumulations were surveyed in the study sites. In the Brenta and Piave rivers, which feature the greater human pressures, logs appear in a worse state of conservation. In the less disturbed Tagliamento River, the logs appear to be smaller and in a better state of conservation with higher capacity for resprouting. In addition, higher geomorphic interactions were found between wood and sediments in the Tagliamento River. Because of its ability to create geomorphic effects, in-channel wood represents an important source of complexity that can increase habitat diversity in river systems. A better knowledge of the role of human disturbances on the characteristics and abundance of large wood in river systems could help in developing better river management and the practical application of river ecology. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

Additional Information:cited By 9
Keywords:Disturbed rivers, Geomorphic effects, Gravel-bed rivers, Wood characteristics, Wood dynamics
Subjects:F Physical Sciences > F820 Geomorphology
Divisions:College of Science > School of Geography
ID Code:32779
Deposited On:25 Jul 2018 08:49

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