A conceptual connectivity framework for understanding geomorphic change in human-impacted fluvial systems

Poeppl, Ronald E. and Keesstra, Saskia D. and Maroulis, Jerry (2017) A conceptual connectivity framework for understanding geomorphic change in human-impacted fluvial systems. Geomorphology, 277. pp. 237-250. ISSN 0169-555X

Abstract

Human-induced landscape change is difficult to predict due to the complexity inherent in both geomorphic and
social systems aswell as due to the coupling relationships between them. To better understand system complexity
and system response to changing inputs, 'connectivity thinking' has become an important recent paradigm
within various disciplines including ecology, hydrology and geomorphology. With the presented conceptual connectivity
framework on geomorphic change in human-impacted fluvial systems a cautionary note is flagged regarding
the need (i) to include and to systematically conceptualise the role of different types of human agency in
altering connectivity relationships in geomorphic systems and (ii) to integrate notions of human-environment
interactions to connectivity concepts in geomorphology to better explain causes and trajectories of landscape
change. Geomorphic response of fluvial systems to human disturbance is shown to be determined by system specific
boundary conditions (incl. system history, related legacy effects and lag times), vegetation dynamics
and human-induced functional relationships (i.e. feedback mechanisms) between the different spatial dimensions
of connectivity. It is further demonstrated how changes in social systems can trigger a process-response
feedback loop between social and geomorphic systems that further governs the trajectory of landscape change
in coupled human-geomorphic systems.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to published version, in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2017 04:24
Last Modified: 27 Jan 2017 04:52
Uncontrolled Keywords: complexity, resilience, coupling, human-landscape systems, river management
Fields of Research : 04 Earth Sciences > 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience > 040608 Surfacewater Hydrology
04 Earth Sciences > 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience > 040607 Surface Processes
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2016.07.033
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/30398

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