This chapter attempts to bring together and summarize the results from recent research analysing the role of hillslope, channel and network processes on the hydrologic response of basins. In doing so, particular emphasis is placed on understanding how different processes act at various scales, from individual channels to the network scale, to produce the dispersive, or 'spreading', effects that shape the basin's hydrologic response. These processes not only have an impact on the hydrograph's shape by determining the waywater is routed to the outlet but also on the way sediments, nutrients, chemicals, aquatic organisms, seeds, bacteria and a number of other substances are redistributed along the basin and/or transported to the outlet by the flow. Consequently, the advances presented in this chapter are relevant not only for hydrology and other fields like fluvial geomorphology and ecology but also for interdisciplinary research in a number of emerging fields, like ecohydrology hydroecology and ecogeomorphology.
River Confluences, Tributaries and the Fluvial Network p. 307-335