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.
"Ecology of a Glacial Flood Plain is particularly useful to ecologists, limnologists, environmental activists, and anyone involved in management of dynamic freshwater resources."
Professor R.G. Wetzel, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA, Series Editor "Aquatic Ecology
"Prof. Ward and Dr. Uehlinger present in this edited volume an extraordinarily comprehensive and well integrated study of a Swiss alpine stream and its floodplain; it is a model to follow for the study of streams."
William M. Lewis, Jr., Center for Limnology, University of Colorado, USA
"The authors, among the best experts in the field, treat the subject in a scholarly way: from glacial history to colonization dynamics, from the role of the terrestrial vegetation to channel stability and litter decomposition. The volume, subdivided into 16 chapters, discusses - among other topics - the role of interstitial fauna, of algae and hyphomycetes in organic matter dynamics. It provides not only updated information in great detail, but also a synthesis and perspectives. It is easy to predict that this book will become a standard in running water ecology and a must for ecologists interested in alpine environments and global change effects on pristine habitats."
Roland Psenner, Professor of Limnology, University of Innsbruck, Austria
"Unlike most of its predecessors the present volume is much more comprehensive in its scope and coverage, as befits the outcome of a multidisciplinary study based on an intensive research program. This volume provides a valuable record of a major investigation into the structure and functioning of a previously understudied type of river system. It is authoritatively written, outstandingly illustrated and attractively produced."
Mike Winterbourn, in Book Reviews of Freshwater Biology 49, 2004
"The findings of the huge and wel elaborated project set a new standard for flood plain and glacial research; this book is a milestone for relevant research"
Prof. Heinz Loeffler, Universitat Wien, Book Reviews, SIL News 45, May 2005