Why river floodplains are key to preserving nature and biodiversity in western USA

Gravel bed rivers and their floodplains are vital to local ecosystems and their ability to adapt to climate change. sandybrownjensen/flickr, CC BY-SA

Although they may not commonly be viewed as hotspots for biodiversity, gravel-bed river floodplains are by far the most important feature for nature across the landscapes of western North America.

This is because gravel-bed rivers disproportionately create high diversity of habitats, concentrate nutrients for growth, and provide corridors … [more…]