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|Biogeomorphic feedback between plant growth and flooding causes alternative stable states in an experimental floodplain|Wang, C.; Wang, Q.; Meire, D.; Ma, W.; Wu, C.; Meng, Z.; van de Koppel, J.; Troch, P.; Verhoeven, R.; De Mulder, T.; Temmerman, S. (2016). Biogeomorphic feedback between plant growth and flooding causes alternative stable states in an experimental floodplain. Adv. Water Resour. 93(Part B): 223-235. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.advwatres.2015.07.003
In: Advances in Water Resources. Elsevier: Southampton. ISSN 0309-1708; e-ISSN 1872-9657, meer
Biogeomorphic feedback; Alternative stable state; Flooding; Plant; Floodplain; Flume experiment
|Auteurs|| || Top |
- Wang, C., meer
- Wang, Q.
- Meire, D., meer
- Ma, W.
- Wu, C.
- Meng, Z.
- van de Koppel, J., meer
- Troch, P., meer
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.