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Sand dunes are accumulations of sand stabilised by vegetation. The development of a coastal
dune system requires a source of sand, and an onshore prevailing wind of at least 4.5 metres per
second.

Sand dune ecosystems are usually found at the sediment sink. This is because longshore drift deposits all…

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becomes more acidic (6.5). There is more shelter and less salt is carried by the wind. With these better
conditions the number and range of plants increases covering, in places, the entire sand surface. Less than
10% of the dunes are now visible sand. The material here is much more…

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The table above shows how much different vegetation (flora) grows in the different areas of the dunes.
There is a huge biodiversity here and by walking through the dunes you are passing through 6+ different
ecosystems.



Dune Grasses

Sand couch / twitch grass
Couch is able to survive in the…

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Trampling by people is an arresting factor that can halt succession. The effects of this are:

Physical damage the crushing and flattening of leaves and stems. Over time this leads to more
bare ground leading to the dunes being more vulnerable to wind.
Less biodiversity as some of the insects…

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Studland Sand Dunes

Studland Bay is located in the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset and is popular with tourists. It can be
accessed by ferry from the desirable area of Sandbanks in Poole during the summer. It is only a few
minutes drive from the resort of Swanage and most…

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Investigating the dunes

Beach Transect
You would use a systematic approach along the beach and then a stratified method at the dunes. This is
because you can take a measurement in each slack and each ridge or more often.
The area that has the best quality dunes would be used…

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