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Large Wood Research and Learning in Chile

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Part of the The Latin American Studies Book Series book series (LASBS)

Abstract

Large wood (LW, wood pieces with diameter ≥ 10 cm and length ≥ 1 m) is present in rivers as individual elements or forming accumulations. During the 1970s, the study of LW in rivers began to be massified in the USA, mainly in the assessment of its effect on fish (Swanson et al., Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 46:55–66, 2021). It is essential for the protection and restoration of aquatic ecosystems and geomorphological stability. In Chile, the first studies began in 2005 in mountain basins. Subsequently, studies are carried out on the contribution of LW and its impact after volcanic eruptions (Chaitén and Calbuco volcanoes). Among the results in Chile stand out: in Andean basins, LW volumes are very abundant, comparable to data from the Pacific northwest of North America; the amounts of LW are very variable between basins, because of the characteristics of the riverine forest and the level of alteration in forest basins; between 0 and 28% of annual mobility have been determined. In addition, volcanic eruptions can generate large LW inputs and mobility between 42 and 94%. Monitoring can be done from fieldwork, satellite imagery and lately using UAV flights. These learnings have made it possible to understand the role of LW and the processes involved. However, there is still a lack of studies for a better understanding of the processes, and on the other hand, disseminating the benefits and risks associated with LW.

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Correspondence to Héctor Ulloa .

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Ulloa, H., Iroumé, A. (2023). Large Wood Research and Learning in Chile. In: Oyarzún, C., Mazzorana, B., Iribarren Anacona, P., Iroumé, A. (eds) Rivers of Southern Chile and Patagonia. The Latin American Studies Book Series. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-26647-8_4

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