The Ecology and Management of Wood in World Rivers

The Limits of Wood in World Rivers: Present, Past, and Future

Ken J. Gregory


Abstract.—A context is provided by focusing on research on wood in rivers in the present, the past and the future. Recent, present research has grown rapidly since 1967, terminology has expanded so that standardization of terms is now desirable, and six themes focus upon channel morphology, extent and significance of wood, process investigations, distribution and spatial pattern, dynamics, and channel management. Study of wood in past river systems, including paleohydrology, can show how past situations provide information additional to that from the period of continuous monitoring and furnish information about flow data, sensitive reaches, the temporal sequence and also indicate what is “natural” for restoration. In the future, knowledge of wood in rivers present and past should be used for guiding management especially where restoration is practiced. Community views must be obtained on the basis of meaningful explanations, a catchment-based holistic approach should be adopted wherever possible, and implications to be considered are suggested.