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Geophysical Monograph Series



  • wood
  • process domain
  • Colorado
  • mountain river
  • stream restoration
  • stream wood load

Index Terms

  • 1803 Hydrology: Anthropogenic effects
  • 1825 Hydrology: Geomorphology: fluvial
  • 1834 Hydrology: Human impacts
  • 1856 Hydrology: River channels



Seeing the Forest and the Trees: Wood in Stream Restoration in the Colorado Front Range, United States

E. Wohl

This chapter reviews the processes that influence wood dynamics in mountain streams: recruitment, storage, and transport. These processes are incorporated within the numerical value of wood load or volume of wood per area of stream. Spatial variations in wood load within a stream can be substantial as a result of spatial and temporal variations in the processes that influence wood dynamics. Such variation makes it challenging to define either the historical range of variation in wood loads or targets for restoring in-stream wood loads. Considering wood dynamics in the context of geomorphic setting, as delineated in process domains, helps to constrain the relative importance of individual processes influencing wood dynamics, as well as spatial variations in wood load. Taking the Colorado Front Range as a case study, information from reference sites, regional data, and mechanistic models is used to illustrate how partial information from multiple sources can be assembled to estimate historical range of variation in wood loads and to develop targets for restoration of in-stream wood. Although the details will vary between regions, this approach should be applicable to any mountain stream network.

Citation: Wohl, E. (2011), Seeing the forest and the trees: Wood in stream restoration in the Colorado Front Range, United States, in Stream Restoration in Dynamic Fluvial Systems: Scientific Approaches, Analyses, and Tools, Geophys. Monogr. Ser., vol. 194, edited by A. Simon, S. J. Bennett and J. M. Castro, pp. 399–418, AGU, Washington, D. C., doi:10.1029/2010GM000987.

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