Form, function and physics: The ecology of biogenic stabilisation

David Maxwell Paterson, Joseph Mark Kenworthy, Julie Anne Hope

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The role of biological effect on the behaviour of sediments is gaining increasing notice. This is partly supported by ecological theory in terms of the role of organisms as “ecosystem engineers” and the associated discussion of “niche construction”, suggesting an evolutionary role for habitat modification by biological action. In addition there is a strong societal and policy drive toward the “ecosystem approach” supporting an integrated examination of the functional roles of biota in selected habitats. In this context the increasing recognition of the importance of biological activity in the mediation the erosion, transport, deposition and consolidation (ETDC) cycle of sediments is important and advances in technology will improve out ability to examine these effect under their natural settings. This will shortly be combined with vastly enhanced molecular tools that will allow the discrimination of microbial biodiversity and examination of their metabolism contribution to ecosystem function. This may lead to a step-change in our ability to research the influence of microbiota on natural sediment dynamics and opens an exciting era for new interdisciplinary research.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRiver sedimentation
Subtitle of host publicationProc 13th International symposium of river sedimentation
EditorsSilke Wieprecht, Stefan Haun, Karolin Weber, Markus Noack, Kristina Terheiden
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781315623207
ISBN (Print)9781138029453
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2016


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