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 :

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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