Physical Impacts on Ecological Processes Close Ecomorphodynamic Feedback Loops: Recent Examples

Wednesday, 17 December 2014: 1:40 PM
A. Brad Murray, Duke University, Nicholas School of Environment, Durham, NC, United States
The effects that vegetation and animals can have on sediment transport and therefore landscape evolution have been recognized and studied for decades. However, the other half of the eco-morphodynamic feedback—the effects that landscape formation processes have on ecosystem processes—has received focus more recently. Only by studying the couplings in both directions between biological and physical processes simultaneously can we understand the mechanisms important in shaping many landscapes. Here I will illustrate this point with representative examples from recent literature. Although the two-way coupling is essential in landscapes as large and slowly changing as mountain ranges, coastal landscapes provide clear and instructive examples, largely because of the relatively short timescales for landscape/ecosystem evolution in many coastal environments.