May 9, 2024, by lzzre

Post of the week…

Dr. Matthew Johnson, School of Geography

Research by Matt Johnson and colleagues has found that animals may expend more power in moving river sediment than the flow of water.

In a series of experiments, the power expended by crayfish when burrowing into sediments was compared to the power of river flows to move sediments. Estimates indicated that the power of invertebrate communities may exceed that associated with the flow for most of the time. Therefore, animals in rivers may be making an important contribution to how rivers behave in the landscape and to the creation of habitat. Where invertebrate communities have changed due to species loss or species invasion, changes in river dynamics might occur. Such impacts have already been observed where Signal Crayfish have invaded UK rivers, causing bank erosion and increased sediment transport. More details about this research can be read here: 

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