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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.
1: Val Roseg: A High Alpine Catchment; U. Uehlinger, M. Maisch, C. Rothenbühler, R. Zah. 1. Introduction. 2. Tectonics and geology. 3. Climate. 4. Vertical zonation in the Val Roseg. 5. Landforms and landscape elements. 6. Hydrology and channel morphology. 7. Val Roseg - A near natural study system. 8. References. 2: Glacial History And Floodplain Evolution; R. Zah, M. Maisch, U. Uehlinger, C. Rothenbühler. 1. Introduction. 2. Glacial dynamics. 3. Floodplain evolution. 4. Floodplain dynamics. 5. Summary. 6. References. 3: Groundwater-Surface Water Interactions; F. Malard. 1. Introduction. 2. Physico-chemical fingerprints of water sources and flow paths. 3. Patterns of groundwater-surface water interactions along the river corridor. 4. Surface-subsurface water interactions within the flood plain. 5. Summary. 6. References. 4: Channel Typology; K. Tockner, F. Malard. 1. Introduction. 2. Floodplain expansion and contraction. 3. Channel characterization and distribution. 4. Summary. 5. References. 5: Thermal Heterogeneity; U. Uehlinger, F. Malard. 1. Introduction. 2. Longitudinal patterns along the main stem. 3. The lateral dimension of thermal heterogeneity. 4. The vertical dimension of thermal heterogeneity. 5. Spatial and temporal stability of thermal patterns. 6. Summary and conclusions.7. References. 6: Nutrient Dynamics; K. Tockner, R. Illi, F. Malard, U. Uehlinger. 1. Introduction. 2. Characterization of nutrient sources. 3. Spatial gradients. 4. Temporal dynamics. 5. Nutrient flux. 6. Nutrient limitation and organic matter quality. 7. Summary. 8. References. 7: Terrestrial Floodplain Vegetation; C. Wellstein, U. Uehlinger, R. Zah. 1. Introduction. 2. Physico-chemical habitat template. 3. Terrestrial vegetation patterns. 4. Plant diversity. 5. Summary. 6. Acknowledgements. 7. References. 8: Aquatic Hyphomycetes In Alpine Streams; M.O. Gessner, C.T. Robinson. 1. Introduction. 2. Diversity and abundance. 3. Successional patterns on decomposing litter. 4. Effects of habitat characteristics. 5. Effects of detritivore access to leaves. 6. Effects of litter type. 7. Conclusion. 8. References. 9: Aquatic Flora; H.R. Bürgi, P. Burgherr, U. Uehlinger. 1. Introduction. 2. Taxonomic composition. 3. Spatial and temporal distribution. 4. Summary and conclusions. 5. References. 10: Surface Zoobenthos; P. Burgherr, B. Klein, C.T. Robinson, K. Tockner. 1. Introduction. 2. Composition of the zoobenthos. 3. Longitudinal patterns. 4. Heterogeneity of zoobenthos across habitat gradients. 5. Habitat templet for zoobenthos in the Roseg river.