We thank Davies et al. (2017) for their comments and welcome the opportunity to further discuss the role of early land plants in fluvial environments. Critically, Davies et al. (2017) note that although testable hypotheses exist for the possible role of early land plants they remain untested, and thus there is correlation (between an increase in meandering systems and early plants) without any mechanistic causation. In our paper (Santos et al. 2017) we challenged this causation, offering an alternative mechanism for increasing meandering channels based on a unique set of tectonic and environmental controls. It is important to be clear that Santos et al. (2017) focused on this meandering transition and the possible role of early land plants. Davies et al. (2017) conflate our comments regarding the impacts of early land-plant evolution with the longer-term influence of vegetation; there is little doubt over the longer-term role played by vegetation, particularly in stabilizing deeply rooted soils.
Santos, M. G., Mountney, N. P., Peakall, J., Thomas, R. E., Wignall, P. B., & Hodgson, D. M. (2017). Reply to Discussion on ‘Tectonic and environmental controls on Palaeozoic fluvial environments: Reassessing the impacts of early land plants on sedimentation’ Journal of the Geological Society, London, https://doi.org/10.1144/jgs2016-063. Journal of the Geological Society, 174(5), 950-952. https://doi.org/10.1144/jgs2017-031