About this book
This book is a monograph reporting the major findings from a comprehensive study of a glacial flood plain in the Swiss Alps, based on an intensive research program conducted year-round over several years. Until recently, very little was known regarding the ecology of glacial streams. Previous studies typically focused on one or a few aspects and were limited to the summer period. Moreover, this is the first ecological study of a glacial flood plain with a dynamic, multi-thread channel network. Year-round sampling of a system with a complex channel network spawned unanticipated results and new insights into the ecology of glacial streams. The book begins with the landscape features, glacial history, and floodplain evolution of the Val Roseg. This is followed by chapters on channel typology, groundwater-surfacewater interactions, thermal heterogeneity, and nutrient dynamics. Chapters on the biota deal with terrestrial and aquatic flora, hyphomycete fungi, surface zoobenthos, and the interstitial fauna. Functional processes are addressed in chapters on organic matter dynamics, litter decomposition, nutrient limitation, and drift and colonization patterns. The final chapter provides a synthesis of our current understanding of the ecology of Val Roseg. Weare indebted to many individuals and organizations for assistance and support of the research program on the Val Roseg and the production of this book.
Ecology Fauna Flora ecosystem ecosystems seasonal dynamics temporal dynamics vegetation