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Characteristics and abundance of large and small instream wood in a Carpathian mixed-forest headwater basin

Galia, Tomáš
Tichavský, Radek
Šilhán, Karel
Horáček, Matěj
Published in Forest Ecology and Management. 2018, vol. 424, p. 468-482
Abstract The effect of instream wood on stream hydraulics and geomorphic processes depends on wood and channel dimensions. We investigated abundance and characteristics (i.e., wood orientation, proportion of spanned channel width, stability and decay classes) of large wood (LW; defined here as having a length ≥ 1 m and a diameter ≥ 0.1 m) and small wood (SW; including two categories with length ≥ 0.5 m and diameter ≥ 0.1 m or length ≥ 1 m and diameter ≥ 0.05 m) in three steep, confined headwater channels of medium-high mountain ranges of the Western Carpathians (Central Europe). Results show that SW is more frequent than LW, however, active-channel LW load varied between 26 and 305 m3∙ha−1, whereas SW showed much lower active-channel load (8–16 m3∙ha−1). Differences between LW and SW active-channel volumes were considerably smaller in streams under dominant deciduous canopy. In these streams, morphological steps – created exclusively by SW – were more frequent than LW steps. This higher frequency of SW in streams surrounded by a deciduous tree canopy can be explained by the continuous supply of branches rather than entire dead trees. On the other hand, the volume and frequency of LW was related to the proportion of conifers in the valley corridor. We observe very high active-channel load in two channel reaches for which values exceeded most of those observed in similarly small streams across the globe. We also observe an unusually large proportion of instream wood (both LW and SW) oriented parallel to the flow direction, which might suggest a higher mobility of bed material in the flysch-dominated headwater channels of our study site.
Keywords Instream woodSmall woodLarge woodHeadwater streamWestern Carpathians
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GALIA, Tomáš et al. Characteristics and abundance of large and small instream wood in a Carpathian mixed-forest headwater basin. In: Forest Ecology and Management, 2018, vol. 424, p. 468-482. doi: 10.1016/j.foreco.2018.05.031 https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:122233

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Deposited on : 2019-08-28

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