Feedbacks between geomorphology and biota controlling Earth surface processes and landforms: A review of foundation concepts and current understandings
Research output: Contribution to journal › Literature review › peer-review
300 Citations (Scopus)
This review article presents recent advances in the field of biogeomorphology related to the reciprocal coupling between Earth surface processes and landforms, and ecological and evolutionary processes. The aim is to present to the Earth Science community ecological and evolutionary concepts and associated recent conceptual developments for linking geomorphology and biota. The novelty of the proposed perspective is that (1) in the presence of geomorphologic-engineer species, which modify sediment and landform dynamics, natural selection operating at the scale of organisms may have consequences for the physical components of ecosystems, and particularly Earth surface processes and landforms; and (2) in return, these modifications of geomorphologic processes and landforms often feed back to the ecological characteristics of the ecosystem (structure and function) and thus to biological characteristics of engineer species and/or other species (adaptation and speciation). The main foundation concepts from ecology and evolutionary biology which have led only recently to an improved conception of landform dynamics in geomorphology are reviewed and discussed. The biogeomorphologic macroevolutionary insights proposed explicitly integrate geomorphologic niche-dimensions and processes within an ecosystem framework and reflect current theories of eco-evolutionary and ecological processes. Collectively, these lead to the definition of an integrated model describing the overall functioning of biogeomorphologic systems over ecological and evolutionary timescales. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.