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Fluvial adjustments to soil erosion and plant cover changes in the central Spanish Pyrenees

AuthorsBeguería, Santiago ; López-Moreno, Juan I. ; Gómez-Villar, Amelia; Rubio, Virginia; Lana-Renault, Noemí ; García-Ruiz, José María
Keywordsfluvial adjustments
sediment yield
fluvial incision
Issue DateSep-2006
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
CitationGeografiska Annaler: Series A, Physical Geography 88 (3): 177-186 (2006)
AbstractUntil the middle of the 20th century, Pyrenean rivers were characterized by braided channels, unstable sedimentary structures and an almost complete lack of plant cover in the alluvial plain, due to the high sediment yield in hillslopes and the occurrence of frequent and intense flooding. This was probably related to strong demographic pressures, including the cultivation of steep slopes, frequent fires, deforestation and overgrazing. Depopulation and farmland abandonment resulted in plant recolonization in formerly cultivated areas, causing a decrease in runoff and sediment yield. As a consequence, most Pyrenean rivers tend to reduce the width of the alluvial plain and to replace the braided pattern with an incised, somewhat meandering pattern, involving the construction of new terrace levels and the stabilization of fluvial bars.
Description23 Pag., 1 Tabl., 5 Fig., 1 Phot. The definitive version is available at: www3.interscience.wiley.com
Publisher version (URL)http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/fulltext/118596679/PDFSTART
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