Landscape Ecology

, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp 163–173 | Cite as

Historical influence of man on the riparian dynamics of a fluvial landscape

  • Henri Décamps
  • Madeleine Fortuné
  • François Gazelle
  • Guy Pautou
Article

Abstract

Man's influence, over the last three centuries, has gradually influenced the dynamics of forest cover along the valley of the Garonne, a seventh order river in Southern France. The vegetation cover of the floodplain depends on topographical levels which govern the frequency and duration of submergence during flooding. Along the valley, forest patches vary from a continuous ribbon of riparian wood along the river to a mosaic of groves towards the upland terraces. In the floodplain, the forest dynamics are influenced by floods, appear to be reversible, and are subject to dominant allogenic processes. On the contrary, forest dynamics on the terraces, which are not influenced by floods, are irreversible and subjected to dominant autogenic processes. Since the end of the 17th century, the structure of riparian woods has been modified by navigation and agriculture leading to a fragmentation of forest cover in the floodplain. Modern agriculture and urbanization have accentuated these tendencies by modifying the hydrologic regime of the river. These historical changes result in a fragmentation of forest cover and a substitution of species in the riparian zone, the forest dynamics being still reversible in the floodplain.

Keywords

riparian dynamics ecotone historical environment fluvial landscape rivers 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Beaudelin, P. 1987. Les méfaits des extractions des galets de la Garonne. Adour Garonne, 34: 10–13.Google Scholar
  2. Bethemont, J. 1977. De l'eau et des hommes. Essai géographique sur l'utilisation des eaux continentales. Bordas. Paris.Google Scholar
  3. Braga, G. and Gervasoni, S. 1983. Evoluzione storica dell'alveo del fiume Po nel territorio Lodigiano - Piacentino: rischi idrogeologici connessi. Atti Convegno Naz. 'Il suolo come risorsa, 60: 59–69.Google Scholar
  4. Bravard, J.P., Amoros, C. and Pautou, G. 1986. Impact of civil engineering works on the successions of communities in a fluvial system. A methodological and predictive approach applied to a section of the Upper Rhône River, France. Oikos 47: 92–111.Google Scholar
  5. Carbiener, R. 1970. Un exemple de type forestier exceptionnel pour l'Europe Occidentale: la forêt du lit majeur du Rhin au niveau du fossé rhénan (Fraxino-Ulmetum). Intérêt écologique et biogéographique. Comparaison á d'autres forêts thermophiles. Vegetatio 20: 97–148.Google Scholar
  6. Carbiener, R. 1983. Le grand ried central d'Alsace: écologie et évolution d'une zone humide d'origine fluviale rhénane. Bull. Ecol. 14: 249–277.Google Scholar
  7. Carbiener, R., Dillmann, E., Dister, E. and Schnitzler, A. 1986. Variations de comportement et vicariances écologiques d'espéces ligneuses en zone inonable: l'exemple de la plaine du Rhin. In Crues et Inondations, pp. 237–257. Edited by J. Humbert, A.R. Cloots and G. Maire. CEREG, Strasbourg.Google Scholar
  8. Cavaillé, A. 1965. Les unités morphologiques des basses plaines de la Garonne. Rev. Geogr. Pyr. Sud-Ouest 3: 243–278.Google Scholar
  9. Décamps, H. 1984. Towards a landscape ecology of river valleys. In Trends in Ecological Research for the 1980s, pp. 163–178. Edited by J.H. Cooley and F.G. Golley. Plenum, New York.Google Scholar
  10. Décamps, H., Joachim, J. and Lauga, J. 1987. The importance for birds of the riparian woodlands within the alluvial corridor of the river Garonne, S.W. France. Regulated Rivers 1: 301–316.Google Scholar
  11. Décamps, H. and Naiman, R.J. 1988. Les fleuves de l'avenir. La Recherche, (in press)Google Scholar
  12. Deffontaines, P. 1932. Les hommes et leurs travaux dans les pays de la moyenne Garonne (Agenais, Bas-Quercy). Lille.Google Scholar
  13. Delcourt, H.R., Delcourt, P.A. and Web, T. III. 1982 Dynamic plant ecology: the spectrum of vegetational change in space and time. Quat. Sci. Rev. 1: 153–176.Google Scholar
  14. Dion, R. 1961. Histoire des levées de la Loire. Paris.Google Scholar
  15. Forman, R.T.T. and Godron, M. 1981. Patches and structural components for a landscape ecology. BioScience 31: 733–740.Google Scholar
  16. Fortuné, M. 1988a. Usages passés et écologie de la Garonne. Thèse de Doctorat. Toulouse.Google Scholar
  17. Fortuné, M. 1988b. Historical changes in a large river in an urban area: the Garonne river, Toulouse, France. Regulated Rivers (in press).Google Scholar
  18. Holland, M.M. 1988. Technical consultation on ecotones. Unesco-MAB and SCOPE, Paris (in press).Google Scholar
  19. Hubschman, J. 1974. Les terrasses récentes de la Garonne et leur évolution. Bull Ass. franc. Etude Quaternaire, 3/4: 137–147.Google Scholar
  20. Naiman, R.J., Décamps, H., Pastor, J. and Johnston, C.A. 1988. Ecotones along the fluvial corridor. Oikos (submitted).Google Scholar
  21. Pautou, G. and Décamps, H. 1985. Ecological interactions between the alluvial forests and hydrology of the Upper Rhône. Archiv für Hydrobiologie 104: 13–37.Google Scholar
  22. Petersen, R.C., Madsen, B.L., Wilzbach, M.A., Magadza, C.H.D., Paalberg, A., Kullberg, A. and Cummins, K.W. 1987. Stream management: emerging global similarities. Ambio 16: 166–179.Google Scholar
  23. Pinay, G. 1986. Relations sol-nappe dans les bois riverains de la Garonne. Etude de la dénitrification. Thèse. Lyon.Google Scholar
  24. Pinay, G. and Décamps, H. 1988. The role of riparian woods in regulating nitrogen fluxes between the alluvial aquifer and surface water: a conceptual model. Regulated Rivers (in press).Google Scholar
  25. Schäfer, W. 1973. Altrhein - Verbund am Nördlichen Oberrhein. Cour. Forsch. - Inst. Senckenberg 7: 1–63.Google Scholar
  26. Sedell, J.R. and Froggatt, J.L. 1984. Importance of streamside vegetation to large rivers: the isolation of the Williamette River, Oregon, USA from its floodplain. Verh. Internat. Verein. Limnol. 22: 1828–1834.Google Scholar
  27. Shugart, H.H. 1984. A theory of forest dynamics: the ecological implications of forest succession models. Springer-Verlag, New York.Google Scholar
  28. Vital, P. 1984. Requiem pour une Garonne défunte. Wallada. BordeauxGoogle Scholar
  29. Walker, L.R., Zasada, J.C. and Chapin, F.S. 1986. The role of life history processes in primary succession on an Alaskan floodplain. Ecology 67: 1243–1253.Google Scholar
  30. Walter, J.M. 1974. Arbres et forêts alluviales du Rhin. Bull. Soc. Hist. Nat. Colmar 55: 37–88.Google Scholar
  31. Ward, J.V. and Stanford, J.A. 1987. The ecology of regulated streams: past accomplishments and directions for future research. In Regulated Streams: Recent Advances, pp. 391–409. Edited by J.F. Craig and B. Kemper. Plenum, New York.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© SPB Academic Publishing 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henri Décamps
    • 1
  • Madeleine Fortuné
    • 1
  • François Gazelle
    • 1
  • Guy Pautou
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre d'Ecologie des Ressources Renouvelables, C.N.R.S.ToulouseFrance

Personalised recommendations