Naiman et al 2010 process-based floodplain forest patterns

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Naiman, R.J., Bechtold, J.S., Beechie, T.J., Latterell, J.J. and Van Pelt, R., 2010. A process-based view of floodplain forest patterns in coastal river valleys of the Pacific Northwest. Ecosystems, 13, pp.1-31.


  • Defines a set of factors related to floodplain disturbance regime that define forest structure, surface age, and other dynamics, presenting a biophysical model of floodplain forests.
  • Characterizes proportion of surface age within floodplain as associated with channel pattern (with increasing instability: single, meandering, island/braided, braided)
  • Associates channel form with a erosion-to-deposition transition from headwaters to lowland floodplains and watersheds.
  • Links assembly to species adaptations.
  • Points to the importance of nutrient cycling (particularly nitrogen and rapid weathering of river sediments) in primary succession associated with river disturbance.