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Physical modelling of water, fauna and flora: Knowledge gaps, avenues for future research and infrastructural needs

Thomas, Robert E.; Johnson, Matthew F.; Frostick, Lynne E.; Parsons, Daniel R.; Bouma, Tjeerd J.; Dijkstra, Jasper T.; Eiff, Olivier; Gobert, Sylvie; Henry, Pierre-Yves; Kemp, Paul; McLelland, Stuart J.; Moulin, Frederic Y.; Myrhaug, Dag; Neyts, Alexandra; Paul, Maike; Penning, W. Ellis; Puijalon, Sara; Rice, Stephen P.; Stanica, Adrian; Tagliapietra, Davide; Tal, Michal; Tørum, Alf; Vousdoukas, Michalis I.


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Dr Robert Thomas
Senior Research Fellow in Geomorphology and Flood Risk

Matthew F. Johnson

Lynne E. Frostick

Daniel R. Parsons

Tjeerd J. Bouma

Jasper T. Dijkstra

Olivier Eiff

Sylvie Gobert

Pierre-Yves Henry

Paul Kemp

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Dr Stuart McLelland
Interim Co-Director of the Energy and Environment Institute

Frederic Y. Moulin

Dag Myrhaug

Alexandra Neyts

Maike Paul

W. Ellis Penning

Sara Puijalon

Stephen P. Rice

Adrian Stanica

Davide Tagliapietra

Michal Tal

Alf Tørum

Michalis I. Vousdoukas


Physical modelling is a key tool for generating understanding of the complex interactions between aquatic organisms and hydraulics, which is important for management of aquatic environments under environmental change and our ability to exploit ecosystem services. Many aspects of this field remain poorly understood and the use of physical models within eco-hydraulics requires advancement in methodological application and substantive understanding. This paper presents a review of the emergent themes from a workshop tasked with identifying the future infrastructure requirements of the next generation of eco-hydraulics researchers. The identified themes are: abiotic factors, adaptation, complexity and feedback, variation, and scale and scaling. The paper examines these themes and identifies how progress on each of them is key to existing and future efforts to progress our knowledge of eco-hydraulic interactions. Examples are drawn from studies on biofilms, plants, and sessile and mobile fauna in shallow water fluvial and marine environments. Examples of research gaps and directions for educational, infrastructural and technological advance are also presented.


Thomas, R. E., Johnson, M. F., Frostick, L. E., Parsons, D. R., Bouma, T. J., Dijkstra, J. T., …Vousdoukas, M. I. (2014). Physical modelling of water, fauna and flora: Knowledge gaps, avenues for future research and infrastructural needs. Journal of Hydraulic Research, 52(3), 311-325.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 12, 2013
Online Publication Date May 6, 2014
Publication Date May 4, 2014
Deposit Date Jul 9, 2018
Publicly Available Date Oct 27, 2022
Journal Journal of Hydraulic Research
Print ISSN 0022-1686
Electronic ISSN 1814-2079
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 52
Issue 3
Pages 311-325
Keywords Biofilms; Biogeomorphology; Eco-hydraulics; Experimental facilities; Flow-biota interactions; Macrozoobenthos; Vegetated flows
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