Skip to main content
Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Emily Iskin Seminar

April 8 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm MDT

Join us for a seminar given by Dr. Emily Iskin, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow for the department of  Human-Environment Systems here at Boise State University!

Title: Beyond the Case Study: Characterizing Natural Floodplain Heterogeneity in the United States

Abstract: We use the five landscape ecology metrics of aggregation index, percentage of like adjacencies, interspersion and juxtaposition index, patch density, and Shannon’s evenness index to assess spatial heterogeneity at 15 floodplains in the continental United States. Assessments are based on floodplain classes and patches delineated remotely using topography and vegetation. Floodplain reaches examined here represent diverse drainage areas, flow regimes, valley geometries, channel planforms, and biomes. We selected sites with minimal direct human alteration. Our objectives are to quantify floodplain spatial heterogeneity; evaluate whether statistically significant patterns are present; and interpret the statistical analyses with respect to the influence of lateral channel mobility and valley-floor space available. We develop a conceptual model of the influences on lateral mobility and space available, and then test specific hypotheses derived from this conceptual model. These natural floodplains have a median aggregation index of 58.8%, median percentage of like adjacencies of 58.5%, median interspersion and juxtaposition index of 74.9%, median density of 1,241 patches/ha, and median Shannon’s evenness index of 0.934 (n = 15). In other words, natural floodplains have moderate aggregation of classes, high evenness and intermixing of classes, and a wide range of patch densities. Drainage area, the ratio of floodplain/channel width, elevation, precipitation, total sinuosity, large wood volume, planform, and flow regime emerge as important variables to floodplain heterogeneity. These results highlight the influence of biotic-abiotic interactions in shaping floodplain heterogeneity across diverse river corridors.