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Hydrobiologia

, Volume 410, Issue 0, pp 79–86 | Cite as

Biophysical interactions and the structure and dynamics of riverine ecosystems: the importance of biotic feedbacks

  • Robert J. Naiman
  • Scott R. Elliott
  • James M. Helfield
  • Thomas C. O'Keefe
Article
  • 260 Downloads

Abstract

Characteristics of streams and rivers reflect variations in local geomorphology, climate, natural disturbance regimes and the dynamic features of the riparian forest. Hierarchical interactions between these components result in a rich variety of distinct stream communities which, when considered in combination with strong biotic feedbacks to the physical environment, present formidable challenges in discovering and understanding fundamental, system-level characteristics of natural rivers. The objectives of this article are to briefly review the traditional view of hierarchical physical controls on stream structure and dynamics and to show how this viewpoint is changing as recognition of strong biological influences on physical structure are emerging. In combination, identifying natural stream characteristics and the interactions among individual components, as well as recognizing the importance of biotic feedbacks on physical structure, form the basis for establishing effective conservation strategies.

Biotic feedbacks riparian microclimate streams animal-ecosystem interactions 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert J. Naiman
    • 1
  • Scott R. Elliott
    • 2
  • James M. Helfield
    • 2
  • Thomas C. O'Keefe
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Fisheries1University of WashingtonSeattleU.S.A
  2. 2.College of Forest Resources2University of WashingtonSeattleU.S.A

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