The expansion of woody shrub vegetation (Elaeagnus umbellata) along a regulated river channel

  • Mari Kohri


In the past few decades, propagation of woody vegetation in river channels has become conspicuous throughout the lowlands of the temperate zones of the Northern Hemisphere. When attempting to conserve or control populations of riparian woody plant species along regulated river environments, it is important to clarify their colonization patterns and processes and reproductive mechanisms. The expansion processes and mechanisms of many woody species, especially of Salicaceae, have been clarified (e.g. Niiyama 1990; Johnson 1994; Nakamura et al. 1997; Kamada & Okabe 1998; Dixon & Johnson 1999; Karrrenberg et al. 2002; Shin &Nakamura 2005). Natural river channels ar usually disturbance-prone areas where woody species merely survive to maturity and reproduce. However, anthropogenic factors such as dam construction and artificial river embankments have decreased the disturbance frequency and intensity. The stabilized water levels in springtime cause Salix seeds to germinate along water edges, rather than being washed downstream, and controlled flood discharges, in turn, enhance seedling survival and ultimately allow woodland expansion along river channels.


River Mouth Woody Vegetation Large Boulder Establishment Site Flood Disturbance 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Chambers JC, MacMahon JA, Haefner JH (1991) Seed entrapment in alpine ecosystems: effects of soil particle size and diaspore morphology. Ecology 72:1668–1677CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Darlington J (1994) Control of Autumn Olive, Multiflora Rose, and Tartarian Honeysuckle. USDA NRCS, Washington DC, USAGoogle Scholar
  3. Dixon MD, Johnson WC (1999) Riparian vegetation along the middle Snake River, Idaho: zonation, georaphical trends, and historical changes. Great Basin Naturalist 59:18–34Google Scholar
  4. Ishikawa S (1997) Distribution behavior of riparian plants and species diversity of the vegetation on rocky river banks in the Yoshino River in Shikoku, Japan. Mem Fac Sci Kochi Univ Ser D (Biol) 18:1–7Google Scholar
  5. Johnson WC (1994) Woodland expansion in the Platte River, Nebraska: patterns and causes. Ecol Monogr 64:45–84CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Kamada M, Okabe T (1998) Vegetation mapping with the aid of low-altitude aerial photography. Appl Veg Sci 1:211–218CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Kamada M, Ohta Y, Okabe T (1996) Interrelation between tree distribution in river and environmental change of basin due to human activity. Proceedings of the International Symposium-Interpraevent 1996 2:245–252Google Scholar
  8. Kamada M, Okabe T, Kotera I (1997) Influencing factors on distributional change in trees and land-use types in the Yoshino River, Shikoku, Japan. Environmental System Research 25:231–237 (in Japanese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  9. Kamada M, Kohri M, Mihara S, Okabe T (1999) Distribution of Salix spp. and Elaeagnus umbellata communities in relation to their stand characteristics on bars in the Yoshino River, Shikoku, Japan. Environmental System Research 27:331–337 (in Japanese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  10. Karrenberg S, Edwards PJ, Kollmann J (2002) The life history of Salicaceae living in the active zone of floodplains. Freshwater Biol 47:733–748CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Knopf FL, Olson TE (1984) Naturalization of Russian-olive: implications to Rocky Mountain wildlife. Wildl Soc Bull 12:289–297Google Scholar
  12. Knopf FL, Johnson RR, Rich T, Samson FB, Szaro RC (1988) Conservation of riparian ecosystems in the United States. Wilson Bull 100:272–284Google Scholar
  13. Kohri M, Kamada M, Okabe T, Nakagoshi N (2000) Distribution pattern of Elaeagnus umbellata communities on the gravel bars in relation to hydrogeomorphic factors in the Yoshino River, Shikoku, Japan. Environmental System Research 28:353–358 (in Japanese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  14. Kohri M, Kamada M, Yuuki T, Okabe T, Nakagoshi N (2002) Expansion of Elaeagnus umbellata on a gravel bar in the Naka River, Shikoku, Japan. Plant Species Biol 17:25–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Laska MS, Stiles EW (1994) Effects of fruit crop size on intensity of fruit removal in Viburnum prunifolium (Caprifoliaceae). Oikos 69:199–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Nakagoshi N (1985) Buried viable seeds in temperate forests. In: White J (ed) Handbook of vegetation science: the population structure of vegetation. Junk, Dordrecht, pp 551–570Google Scholar
  17. Nakamura F, Yajima T, Kikuchi S (1997) Structure and composition of riparian forests with special reference to geomorphic site conditions along the Tokachi River, northern Japan. Plant Ecol 133:209–219CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Niiyama K (1990) The role of seed disperal and seedling traits in colonization and coexistence of Salix species in a seasenally flooded habitat. Ecol Res 5:317–331CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ohta M (1996) Community distribution and vegetative succession process of Elaeagnus umbellata in five major rivers in Toyama Prececture. In: Toyama Science Museum (ed) Vegetation of Alluvial Rivers in Toyama Prefecture. Toyama Science Museum, Toyama, pp 37–47 (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  20. Okabe T, Kamada M, Hayashi M (1996) Ecological and hydraulic study on floodplain vegetation developed on a bar. Proceedings of the International Symposium-Interpraevent 1:235–244Google Scholar
  21. Shin N, Nakamura F (2005) Effects of geomorphology on riparian tree species in Rekifune River, northern Japan. Plant Ecol 178:15–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Washitani I (1987) A convenient screening test system and a model for thermal germination response of wild plant seeds: behavior of model and real seeds in the system. Plant Cell Environ 10:587–598Google Scholar
  23. Yuuki T, Okabe T, Kamada M, Kohri M, Nishino K (2000) Growth of woody plants in the downstream of Nakagawa River and its hydraulic influence. Ann J Hydraul Eng JSCE 44:843–848 (in Japanese with English abstract)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mari Kohri
    • 1
  1. 1.National Institute for Environmental StudiesTsukuba, IbarakiJapan

Personalised recommendations