3-4 pm Friday 12th October, 2012

Campus Heart_N76_Room 1.05

Griffith University, Nathan Campus


Professor Klement Tockner

Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology & Inland Fisheries (IGB) Berlin, Germany



“Coupled river-floodplain systems”



River floodplains are, in their natural state, among the most dynamic, complex, and diverse ecosystems globally. Therefore, they are ideal systems to study the processes that create and maintain environmental heterogeneity, and to quantify the effects of heterogeneity on ecosystem functioning and biodiversity. The composition and spatial arrangement of aquatic and terrestrial habitat types control the exchange of organisms and matter among adjacent habitats. The exchange of matter and organisms among habitats is often pulsed in nature. For example, small pulses of a physical driver (e.g. short-term increase in flow) can leach large amounts of nutrients thereby stimulating primary production in adjacent aquatic patches; or trigger mass emergence of aquatic insects that may in turn impact recipient terrestrial communities.

Vegetated islands, for example, are pivotal landscape elements along river corridors. They integrate a variety of fluvial geomorphic and ecologic processes, and they are key sites for the production, transformation, and retention of organic matter and nutrients. Islands serve as sensitive landscape-level indicators of the environmental conditions of river corridors, and they form critical nuclei for future conservation and restoration measurements within large rivers.

[Speaker:  Klement Tockner is Director of IGB, full Professor for Aquatic Ecology at the Freie University Berlin, Titular Professor at ETH Zürich, and Adjunct Senior Scientist at EAWAG (CH). He has special expertise on freshwater biodiversity and ecology.


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