Plant growth strategies directly affect biogeomorphology of estuaries

T. J. Bouma*, M. Friedrichs, B. K. Van Wesenbeeck, F. G. Brun, S. Temmerman, M. B. De Vries, G. Graf, P.M.J. Herman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Biophysical interactions between organisms and hydrodynamic forces are a main determinant of geomorphology of intertidal areas. Especially vascular plants have striking effects on intertidal geomorphology. Seagrasses and salt-marsh plants that inhabit intertidal areas are knownto have strongly contrasting morphologies. Differences in growth strategy by which plants cope with hydrodynamic forces are particularly interesting, as modification of these forces determine if and how species enhance sediment accretion. This raises the question to what extent differences in plant growth strategies directly affect the biogeomorphological development of the estuarine landscape. In this paper we i) provide a concise overview of our recent research on this topic, which has often been published in the more ecological literature, and ii) indicate how we have recently assessed the geomorphological effect of different vegetation types, by combining a series of unidirectional flow studies in flumes and hydrodynamic modeling at the landscape with a mechanistic hydrodynamic model (Delft-3D).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRiver, Coastal and Estuarine Morphodynamics
Subtitle of host publicationRCEM 2007 - Proceedings of the 5th IAHR Symposium on River, Coastal and Estuarine Morphodynamics
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes
Event5th IAHR-Symposium on River, Coastal and Estuarine Morphodynamics, RCEM 2007 - Enschede, Netherlands
Duration: 17 Sep 200721 Sep 2007


Conference5th IAHR-Symposium on River, Coastal and Estuarine Morphodynamics, RCEM 2007


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