Public Lecture on South African Wetlands

Distinguished International Lecturer in Geography.

The Geography Department is delighted to host Dr Stephen Tooth who will give a lecture on Wetlands in Drylands.

November 25th, Museum Building, Theatre M4, 1 pm (refreshments from 12.30).

Reserve your seat at : https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/lecture-wetlands-in-drylands-tickets-19173603765

Dr Stephen Tooth

graphThis talk will address the apparent paradox of wetlands in drylands, focusing particularly on southern African wetlands that are maintained principally by river inflows (commonly termed riparian/riverine wetlands or floodplain wetlands).  Using a range of case studies, I will illustrate how many channel and floodplain characteristics in these wetlands challenge established ‘textbook’ concepts of river behaviour.  In detail, every wetland has a unique range of geomorphological and sedimentological characteristics but, at a general level, the dryland setting can be shown to impart some distinctive features.  By comparison with humid region (tropical and temperate) wetlands, I will propose that many wetlands in drylands apicre characterized by: 1) more frequent and/or longer periods of desiccation; 2) channels that commonly decrease in size and even disappear downstream; 3) higher levels of chemical sedimentation; 4) more frequent fires that reduce the potential for thick organic accumulations and promote aeolian activity; and 5) longer timescales of development that may extend far back into the Pleistocene.  Many gaps in knowledge remain, but I will demonstrate how improved understanding of the geomorphological and sedimentological factors influencing wetland development can help with the design of wetland conservation and remediation projects.

See Dr Tooth’s Publications Here

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