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Research article2024Peer reviewed

Floodplain and in-channel large wood storage in the fluvial corridor of an actively meandering river

Galia, Tomas; Kuglerov, Lenka; Skarpich, V. aclav


Large wood (LW) found in both the river channel and the floodplain significantly influences geomorphic processes in the fluvial corridor and plays a vital role in ecological processes. In this study, we investigate the spatial distribution, characteristics, and sources of LW within the entire fluvial corridor of the actively meandering Odra River in Czechia. This region has been subject to long-term human influences on the riverine landscape. We observed notable variations in LW volume throughout the studied fluvial corridor. The highest LW volume was detected in hardwood forested areas in the high floodplain segments, registering at 39.35 m3/ha. This volume was approximately four times greater than the average LW volume found in other areas, including softwood forested patches and low floodplain segments. In contrast, the lowest LW volume was recorded in the low-flow channel, at 4.32 m3/ha. A significant portion of the floodplain LW originated in-situ, as opposed to being deposited during flooding or through beaver activities; these latter two sources typically contributed smaller pieces of LW. The spatial analysis of LW distribution indicated higher densities in the high floodplain within hardwood floodplain forests, especially in regions affected by bank erosion. Additional hotspots of LW occurrence were identified in the low floodplain, which are primarily associated with sites where LW is preferentially deposited during high-flow events, or with spatially-limited areas impacted by beaver activity. The study also offers guidelines for LW management in the fluvial corridors of large meandering rivers, focusing on increasing floodplain geodiversity and addressing potential flood risks associated with the recruitment and subsequent transport of floodplain LW.


Large wood floodplain wood; Meandering river; Floodplain forest

Published in

Forest Ecology and Management
2024, Volume: 557, article number: 121770
Publisher: ELSEVIER

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Forest Science

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