Reconnecting Rivers to Floodplains

This paper explores the hydrologic and ecological functions that floodplains provide, and how those functions are lost through floodplain disconnection and modification. The report synthesizes current river-floodplain science and characterizes four attributes that create and sustain functional floodplains; connectivity, variable flow, spatial scale, and habitat and structural diversity. To best restore floodplain systems, restoration practitioners should look beyond habitat features and focus on restoring floodplain functions. This report proposes a framework from which to consider process-based floodplain restoration using the four attributes of functional floodplains.