The hyporheic zone considered as an ecotone

Francesc Sabater, Peter B. Vila


Physical, chemical, or biological exchanges that occur between the groundwater system and surface waters pass through the interstitial sediments underlying the river channel. This paper assesses the role these interstitial sediments can have in lotic ecosystem functioning. In addition to regulating energy and material exchange in lateral and upstream-downstream linkages, hyporheic sediments support an important biocenosis and can be an important site for evolution and colonization. The hyporheic zone is a transitional zone of boundary control between adjacent ecological systems and may be considered as an ecotone.

Paraules clau

Hyporheos; rivers; meiofauna; ecotone.

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