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Spatio-temporal Heterogeneity of Riparian Soil Morphology in a Restored Floodplain : Volume 10, Issue 4 (05/04/2013)

By Fournier, B.

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Book Id: WPLBN0004011721
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 31
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Spatio-temporal Heterogeneity of Riparian Soil Morphology in a Restored Floodplain : Volume 10, Issue 4 (05/04/2013)  
Author: Fournier, B.
Volume: Vol. 10, Issue 4
Language: English
Subject: Science, Hydrology, Earth
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection, Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Bullinger-Weber, G., Guenat, C., D. Mitchel, E. A., & Fournier, B. (2013). Spatio-temporal Heterogeneity of Riparian Soil Morphology in a Restored Floodplain : Volume 10, Issue 4 (05/04/2013). Retrieved from

Description: Laboratory of Soil Biology, University of Neuchâtel, Rue Emile-Argand 11, 2000 Neuchâtel, Switzerland. Floodplains have been intensively altered in industrialized countries, but are now increasingly being restored and it is therefore important to assess the effect of these restoration projects on the aquatic and terrestrial components of ecosystems. Soils are a functionally crucial component of terrestrial ecosystems but are generally overlooked in floodplain restoration assessment.

We studied the spatio-temporal heterogeneity of soil morphology in a restored (riverbed widening) river reach along River Thur (Switzerland) using three criteria (soil diversity, dynamism and typicality) and their associated indicators. We hypothesized that these criteria would correctly discriminate the post-restoration changes in soil morphology within the study site, and that these changes correspond to patterns of vascular plant diversity.

Soil diversity and dynamism increased five years after the restoration, but typical soils of braided rivers were still missing. Soil typicality and dynamism correlated to vegetation changes. These results suggest a limited success of the project in agreement with evaluations carried out at the same site using other, more resource demanding methods (e.g. soil fauna, fish, ecosystem functioning).

Soil morphology provides structural and functional information on floodplain ecosystems and allows predicting broad changes in plant diversity. The spatio-temporal heterogeneity of soil morphology represents a cost-efficient ecological indicator that could easily be integrated into rapid assessment protocols of floodplain and river restoration projects.

Spatio-temporal heterogeneity of riparian soil morphology in a restored floodplain

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