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Large Wood Volume and Longitudinal Distribution in Channel Segments Draining Catchments with Different Land Use, Chile

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DOI: 10.4236/ojmh.2014.42005    2,389 Downloads   3,819 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

The storage, longitudinal distribution and recruitment processes of in-stream large wood (LW) were studied comparing channel segments draining four Chilean mountain catchments with different land use. The segments were divided into relatively uniform reaches of different lengths and surveyed for LW (piece dimensions, position in the channel, orientation to flow and aggregation) and stream morphology (slope and bank full channel width and depth) characterizations. LW volume stored in the Pichun, El Toro and Vuelta de Zorra study channels are within the range informed in international researches from streams draining catchments with similar forest covers. However, the 1057 m3/ha of LW stored in Tres Arroyos is extremely high and in the same order of magnitude than the reports from old-growth forests in the Pacific Northwest of USA. The size of the area that can potentially provide wood to streams depends on the wood supply mechanisms within any catchment, and the LW stored in the study segments increases as the size of this area increases. This study aims to contribute to the knowledge on the effects of LW in mountain channels, gathering new information and expanding investigations developed in Chile since 2008. This research was carried out within the framework of Project FONDECYT 11106209.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Iroumé, A. , Mao, L. , Ulloa, H. , Ruz, C. and Andreoli, A. (2014) Large Wood Volume and Longitudinal Distribution in Channel Segments Draining Catchments with Different Land Use, Chile. Open Journal of Modern Hydrology, 4, 57-66. doi: 10.4236/ojmh.2014.42005.

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