Disturbance regimes and vegetation dynamics: role of floods in riverine wetlands
Article first published online: 24 FEB 2009
1996 IAVS - the International Association of Vegetation Science
Journal of Vegetation Science
Volume 7, Issue 5, pages 615–622, October 1996
How to Cite
Bornette, G. and Amoros, C. (1996), Disturbance regimes and vegetation dynamics: role of floods in riverine wetlands. Journal of Vegetation Science, 7: 615–622. doi: 10.2307/3236373
- Issue published online: 24 FEB 2009
- Article first published online: 24 FEB 2009
- Received 26 June 1995; Revision received 3 November 1995; Accepted 1 December 1995.
- Aquatic plant;
- Intermediate disturbance hypothesis;
- River channel;
- Shifting mosaic;
- Species richness;
- Tutin et al. (1964).
Abstract. This study tested whether the frequency of flood disturbances was able to slow down or stabilize vegetation succession in former braided channels over a decade. According to the Patch Dynamics Concept and to succession theory, species richness and diversity should be high but stable in the frequently (40 days/year) flooded channel, and should change over time in the infrequently (1 day/year) flooded one. Within the frequently disturbed channel, composition of vegetation as well as species richness and diversity appeared stable through dynamic equilibrium over the decade. Only one zone, because of particular geomorphological features that decreased disturbance intensity, developed highest diversity and richness as expected from the Intermediate Disturbance Hypothesis. The highest disturbance effect decreased species richness and was related to a higher spatial heterogeneity of the substrate (number of grain-size classes). In the other zones, richness and diversity appeared to be lowest where disturbance frequency was lowest or disturbance intensity was highest. From 1981 to 1987, the infrequently flooded channel underwent succession, and species richness increased in the major part of the channel, whereas diversity increased only in its extreme parts.