On the Way to the Fluvial Anthroposphere—Current Limitations and Perspectives of Multidisciplinary Research

Lukas Werther, Natascha Mehler, Gerrit Jasper Schenk, Christoph Zielhofer
2021 Water  
Floodplains represent a global hotspot of sensitive socioenvironmental changes and early human forcing mechanisms. In this review, we focus on the environmental conditions of preindustrial floodplains in Central Europe and the fluvial societies that operated there. Due to their high land-use capacity and the simultaneous necessity of land reclamation and risk minimisation, societies have radically restructured the Central European floodplains. According to the current scientific consensus, up
more » ... 95% of Central European floodplains have been extensively restructured or destroyed. Therefore, question arises as to whether or when it is justified to understand Central European floodplains as a 'Fluvial Anthroposphere'. The case studies available to date show that human-induced impacts on floodplain morphologies and environments and the formation of specific fluvial societies reveal fundamental changes in the medieval and preindustrial modern periods. We aim to contribute to disentangling the questions of when and why humans became a significant controlling factor in Central European floodplain formation, and how humans in interaction with natural processes and other chains of effects have modified floodplains. As a conclusion, we superimpose emerging fields of research concerning the onset of the Fluvial Anthroposphere and provide 10 specific thematic objectives for future multidisciplinary work.
doi:10.3390/w13162188 fatcat:xetmxqe4lje47feci6yxrkdgqm