• biogeomorphology;
  • zoogeography;
  • disturbance;
  • recovery;
  • interaction;
  • diversity


Geomorphological processes are an integral part of ecosystem functioning and ecosystem functioning affects geomorphological processes. Increasingly widespread acknowledgement of this simple idea is manifest in a vigorous research community engaged with questions that address the two-way interaction between biota and geomorphology, at a range of scales and in a variety of terrestrial and aquatic environments. Geomorphological disturbances are a core element of biogeomorphological interest, and although the disciplines of geomorphology and ecology have each developed languages and theories that help to explore, model and understand disturbance events, little attempt has been made to draw together these approaches. Following a brief review of these issues, we introduce thirteen papers that investigate the interactions and feedbacks between geomorphological disturbance regimes and ecosystem functions. These papers reveal the singularity of wildfire impacts, the importance of landsliding for carbon budgeting and of vegetation accumulation for landsliding, the zoogeomorphic role of iconic and ‘Cinderella’ animals in fluvial geomorphology, biophysical interactions in aeolian, fluvial and torrential environments and the utility of living ecosystems as archives of geomorphic events. Most of these papers were first presented in a conference session at the European Geoscience Union General Assembly in 2010 and several others are from recent volumes of Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.