Ruiz-Villanueva, Virginia; Stoffel, Markus. 2017. Frederick J. Swanson’s 1976–1979 papers on the effects of instream wood on fluvial processes and instream wood management. Progress in Physical Geography. 41(1): 124-133. doi: 10.1177/0309133317692411
The recognition of instream wood as a key element of river ecosystems and a driver of fluvial processes is now well established, but it did not start until the second half of the twentieth century. A landmark reference work which led to the development of concepts and methods which are still employed in instream wood studies today was the work by Frederick J. Swanson and his papers published between 1976 and 1979. In this article we revisit these papers, highlighting the pioneering observations about the effects of instream wood on fluvial morphology, the description of the instream wood sources and recruitment processes and the discussion about management of wood in rivers. The instream wood research has grown dramatically since the late 1970s, however many knowledge gaps remain; this short historical review illustrates the importance of continuing and developing those research lines into the future.
Keywords: Large wood, organic material, woody debris, organic debris, Swanson