Nutrients

There are great differences in the soil properties of young dunes (formed by recently blown sand), and those of more mature dunes in which vegetation has dominated. Newly

Ammophila breviligulata Uniola paniculata

Mesembryanthemum aequilaterale Franseria pinnatifida Atriplex leucophylla Abronia maritima

Blutaparon portulacoides Panicum racemosum Spartina ciliata

Scaevola plumieri Uniola paniculata

Leymus arenarius

Agropyrum junceum Ammopbila arenaria Festuca rubra var. arenaria

Scaevola plumieri Uniola paniculata

Leymus arenarius

Ammophila breviligulata Uniola paniculata

Mesembryanthemum aequilaterale Franseria pinnatifida Atriplex leucophylla Abronia maritima

Blutaparon portulacoides Panicum racemosum Spartina ciliata

Agropyrum junceum Ammopbila arenaria Festuca rubra var. arenaria

Ixeris repens Wedelia prostrata Messerschmitia sibirica Calystegia soldanella

Spinifex hirsutum

Palafoxia lindenii Chamaecrista chamaecristoides Randia laetevirens

Figure 1 Species that are able to survive and reproduce successfully under high rates of sand mobility in different parts of the world. Many regions have their own set of species that play important roles in stabilizing sand dunes locally.

Scaevola plumieri

Ixeris repens Wedelia prostrata Messerschmitia sibirica Calystegia soldanella

Spinifex hirsutum

Palafoxia lindenii Chamaecrista chamaecristoides Randia laetevirens

Figure 1 Species that are able to survive and reproduce successfully under high rates of sand mobility in different parts of the world. Many regions have their own set of species that play important roles in stabilizing sand dunes locally.

blown sand from the beach is low in mineral nutrients. Dune soils show marked changes as they age. Pioneer species that initiate dune stabilization are able to live in very poor soils. On fully vegetated dunes, organic matter and nutrients accumulate, and the leaching effects of rainfall decrease. Leaching dissolves carbonate and moves it downward to the water table. With time, the organic matter of nutritionally poor soils of younger dunes increases, and pH decreases. The increase in organic matter content varies among dune systems, depending on the climate and colonizing species. In high-rainfall climates such as Southport (Lancashire, Great Britain), organic matter increases slowly at first but much faster after about 200 years. In Studland, Dorset, the early invasion of Calluna is largely responsible for a very rapid increase in organic matter. Primary productivity and the competitive abilities of coastal plants are frequently limited by nutrient availability, with nitrogen deficiency the most severe. As succession advances, plants increase their cover, communities change from grasslands to thickets, and then to tropical or temperate forests, adding nutrients and organic matter to soils. In dune depressions, where water is not a limiting factor for plant establishment, the accumulation of organic matter is faster. Experiments with dune plants have shown that many species are slow-growing and generally show growth responses characteristic of plants from infertile habitats.

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