The Riverscape and the River

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The study of water in the landscape is a new and rapidly expanding field. Rivers make riverscapes (even if the rivers are frozen) and riverscapes then determine the rivers: except for the ever-increasing human impact. Dr Haslam examines how the quantity, function and ecology of water changes as it moves from watershed to river. The development of river and riverscape, their ecology, the effect of human activities (such as water abstractions, flood control and management for recreational use) and water resources are described both in principle and using case histories. Contrasting examples are given from across the world, including Iceland, Hungary, Malta, Britain and the USA, which enables understanding of how water and riverscape interact with each other, and with human impact. The study, development and loss of water resources are also described, including the extreme example of Malta, whose clean water now depends solely on oil imports. This innovative book is aimed at undergraduate and graduate students, and professionals, but is also accessible to anyone interested in how water and riverscape interact.

About the Author:
Dr S. M. Haslam is a Fresh Water Ecologist in the Department of Plant Sciences at Cambridge University

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"There is much to learn from this book about the many factors that influence riverscapes and the myriad different types of rivers and catchments."
Mark Young, Bulletin of the British Ecological Society 2008

"This volume will be invaluable to readers searching for a cultural perspective on rivers through time."
J.H. Thorp, III, Choice

"... there is much to be learned from the body of work presented."
Alexander K. Fremier, Ecology

"...packed full of diverse and significant information. For the naturalist with a keen interest in water, and with the time and focus required to work through the dense and complex content. The Riverscape and the River provides a wealth of subject matter for understanding and appreciating the nature of contemporary rivers and riverscapes." The Canadian Field-Naturalist

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521839785
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 2/29/2008
  • Pages: 420
  • Product dimensions: 6.85 (w) x 9.72 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr S. M. Haslam is a fresh water ecologist in the Department of Plant Sciences at Cambridge University.

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Table of Contents

List of tables     xi
Preface     xiii
Acknowledgements     xv
Introduction     1
Introduction     1
Interpretation     3
A working entity     4
Riverscape elements     5
Catchments and their diversity     6
Natural capital     8
Intangible values of riverscapes     8
Values     15
The natural river and its destruction     16
The concept of naturalness     16
Human impact     19
River vegetation     22
River animals     41
Connections and mosaics     42
Skewing and loss of vegetation from human impact     47
Restoration and rehabilitation     50
The natural riverscape and its modification     53
Introduction     53
The layers of the riverscape     54
History     55
Case studies     56
Waccasassa River, Florida, USA     56
R. Cam, Cambridgeshire, England     58
River Kbir, Malta     67
R. Golo, Corsica     77
R. Don (Aberdeen) Scotland     81
R. San Gorg,Malta     84
Discussion     84
Resources I. Water resources and their loss     86
Introduction     86
The European Union Water Framework Directive     87
The functioning river and riverscape     89
The example of Malta     94
Loss in temperate Europe     99
Discussion     105
Development and variation of rivers     107
Upstream - Downstream     107
Downstream variation in vegetation     127
Case studies
R. Wylye, England     136
R. Itchen, England     137
Brief case studies     139
Connectivity and mosaics     139
Development and variation of riverscapes     141
Introduction     141
Sense of place     144
Patterns     147
Riverscape construction     149
Recent floods     155
Discussion     156
Building blocks of river vegetation     157
River architecture     157
Examining architecture     161
The building blocks and their habitats     165
Animals and structure     174
Water-supported vegetation      175
Conclusions     177
Building blocks of flood plain vegetation     179
Introduction     179
The building blocks     180
Traditional vegetation types     194
Building blocks of river plain vegetation     197
Case studies     200
Discussion     209
Resources II. Plants and animals, cleaning and minerals     217
Introduction     217
Resources of rivers and other fresh waters     217
Birds     221
Mammals     224
Other animals     225
Wetlands     226
Materials     235
Recreation     236
Building blocks of the riverscape     237
Introduction     237
Case study: Malta     240
Riverscape description     243
Building blocks which drive riverscape development     245
The effect of land use changes     248
Trees     250
Building blocks for individual species     251
Buffer strips and beetle banks     254
Historical examples     255
Discussion     256
Patterns, boundaries and fragmentation      260
Introduction     260
Scale     260
Mosaics     262
Community size and fragmentation     264
Fragments     265
Communication     267
Fragmentation and destruction of habitat: case study, Malta     268
Cultural fragmentation     269
Change over two decades: Gozo, Maltese Islands     270
Pattern in relation to habitat, Icklingham Poors' Fen, Suffolk     274
The Scottish Cairngorms, change over millennia     276
Dartmoor, England, over millennia     276
Sensitivity and resistance     276
Discussion     278
Resources III. Settlements and constructions     281
Settlements     281
Different types of riverscape     291
Sacred riverscapes     295
The harsh riverscape     307
Introduction     308
Case studies     309
Summary     332
The tempered or smiling riverscape     333
Introduction     334
River trade     335
R. Thames     336
R. Tapio     351
Old edge of Cambridge, R. Cam     354
Pond landscape      354
Discussion     357
Envoi     359
The water features in the riverscape     359
Bibliography     367
Index to plant and animal vernacular and taxonomic names     394
General subject index     398
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