Title
Biogeomorphic feedback between plant growth and flooding causes alternative stable states in an experimental floodplain Biogeomorphic feedback between plant growth and flooding causes alternative stable states in an experimental floodplain
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Publication type
article
Publication
Southampton ,
Subject
Biology
Source (journal)
Advances in water resources. - Southampton
Volume/pages
93(2016) :B , p. 223-235
ISSN
0309-1708
ISI
000377934400007
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
It is important to understand the mechanisms of vegetation establishment on bare substrate in a disturbance-driven ecosystem because of many valuable ecosystem services. This study tested for empirical indications of local alternative stable states controlled by biogeomorphic feedbacks using flume experiments with alfalfa: (1) single flood experiments different in flood intensity and plant growth, (2) long-term evolution experiments with repeated flooding and seeding. We observed: (1) a combination of thresholds in plant growth and flooding magnitude for upgrowing seedlings to survive; (2) bimodality in vegetation biomass after floods indicating the existence of two alternative states, either densely vegetated or bare; (3) facilitation of vegetation establishment by the spatial pattern formation of channels and sand bars. In conclusion, empirical indicators were demonstrated for local alternative stable states in a disturbance-driven ecosystem associated with biogeomorphic feedbacks, which could contribute to the protection and restoration of vegetation in such ecosystems.
Full text (open access)
https://repository.uantwerpen.be/docman/irua/86ab06/133944.pdf
E-info
https://repository.uantwerpen.be/docman/iruaauth/6d5d5c/133944.pdf
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