1. We propose a model of plant strategies in temperate fluvial hydrosystems that considers the hydraulic and geomorphic features that control plant recruitment, establishment and growth in river floodplains. 2. The model describes first how the disturbance gradient and the grain-size of the river bed load affect the relative proportion of erosion and deposition processes, and how the frequency of flood disturbance affects the intensity of such processes. 3. Secondly, the model predicts plant strategies according to direct and indirect effects of floods (disturbances through erosion versus deposition processes, and associated nutrient excess or limitation). 4. The relevance of the model as a prediction tool is discussed. Some proposals are made to validate the model, and traits are proposed that should be considered in future research for improving the predicting value of the model.