Earth Surface Exchanges (ESEX) Commentary on ‘Plants as river system engineers’ by A. Gurnell.Earth Surface Processes and Landforms39: 4–25, 2014. DOI 10.1002/esp.3397

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In a review of the role of plants in river systems, Gurnell (2014) explains how living riparian vegetation can moderate and manipulate river environments by trapping sediment and promoting longer-term stability. Although the review concentrates on perennial plants in the humid temperate zone, this commentary acts as a reminder that some plants in other kinds of fluvial environment do not act in this way. This is done by describing how Impatiens glandulifera (Himalayan Balsam), a highly invasive annual plant that is now found in many countries on three separate continents, may significantly increase soil erosion along riverbanks and the riparian zone of inland watercourses. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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