Aquatic Landscapes: The Importance of Integrating Waters

  • Robert P. BrooksEmail author
  • Craig Snyder
  • Mark M. Brinson


The landscapes of the Mid-Atlantic Region are dissected by networks of rivers, with their associated wetlands and riparian areas. These systems provide important ecosystem services, both ecological functions and societal values, such as floodwater storage, public water supplies, recreational greenbelts, and habitats for a diversity of flora and fauna. Ecologists and hydrologists have increasingly focused on integrating across the four dimensions of these ecosystems: longitudinal, lateral, hyporheic, and time. Here, we use a hydrogeomorphic classification system to describe wetland types, and present a conceptual model of how they connect to other waters through critical components such as hydrologic connectivity, energy flows and sources, and biological integrity. The connectivity of aquatic habitats is described and related in a watershed context. Concepts are supported by a technical review of pertinent literature. We emphasize the flow of water, nutrients, and organisms from headwaters downstream through an interconnected riverine ecosystem.


Acid Mine Drainage Particulate Organic Carbon Coarse Woody Debris Stream Channel Riparian Area 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert P. Brooks
    • 1
    Email author
  • Craig Snyder
    • 2
  • Mark M. Brinson
    • 3
  1. 1.Riparia, Department of GeographyPennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  2. 2.U.S. Geological Survey—Leetown Science CenterKearneysvilleUSA
  3. 3.Department of BiologyEast Carolina UniversityGreenvilleUSA

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