Spatial and Temporal Scales

At the regional scale, geomorphology, climate, and vegetation affect channel morphology, sediment input, stream hydrology, and nutrient inputs. At the local scale, land use and related alteration to stream habitats, but also the activity of bioengineers such as beavers, can be of significant influence. At short timescales, individual heavy rainfall events affect the riparian systems; at an annual basis climate-induced changes in light, temperature, and precipitation trigger important cyclic biological events, such as autochthonous primary and secondary production, litterfall, decomposition, and spawning and hatching ofanimals. On multiannual timescales, extreme flood and drought events, debris-torrents, landslides, heavy storms or fire can have dramatic effects on the riparian zone and its biota.

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