Ainsdale Sands plagioclimax

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History

(Can use this for plagiclimax and local conservatina area 2nd case study- not main)

Dunes of Sefton coast formed over many hundreds of yrs

17th- 18th C  Large areas dune maintained rabbit habitat

Later efforts made convert poor nutrient sands into farmland- esp asparagus farming

20th C Beginning attempt stabilise dunes Formby Estate landowners created pine plantations now distinctive part of local landscape. 

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Location

Sefton coast largest dune area in England

Most important wildlife site 

Site of Special Scientifc Interest 

Liverpool----------------------------> Southport 

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Plant and animal species

High proportion area comprises EU fixed dune priority habitat

key species: sand lizard natterjack toad patal wort toad

460 species of birds recorded on NNR many in dune slacks - open grassland habitat

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Threats

Physical: Stom- force winds and destructive waves in late 1980s = erosion

Avg rate of dune erosion linked with Hz of Westerly storms

Formby point of erupotion up to 5 m a yr

major storms + high tides = sig erosion

Human

Popular tourist area means dune erosion loss of habitat quality

associated activies: vandalism, fires, & collecting rare species

visitor numbers swell during holiday season

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Management

Multi purpose approach: AIMS

1) preservation 

2) enabling approp public access

3) informing & educating visitors

Pine forest stabilises sand dune ecosystems, fast growing = income for area

 Mowing- control height/density invasive species in dune slacks

Shrub cutting and clearance- relatively smaller  areas- intensive nature of activity

Victorian era- rudimentary sea defences Formby and southport build sea defences

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Successes ?

The pine plantations have provided income for the area because they're fast growing

The pine trees have been colonised by red squirrels a protected species in the British Isles

This has increased tourism since people want to see them

BALANCING ACT: Saving ecosystems so it is a good thing...

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Drawbacks ?

The pine needles that fall on the ground over acidify the soil- harsh conditions > plants

These take a long time to decompose so the effects are long lasting

Pine forests= monoculture, flaura and fauna can't survive 

Pine is evergreen so it is not deciduous this means the light is continuosly blocked out for the smaller trees and shubs

= loss of specialised sand-dune plants and animals.

Furtherdown the coast from Formby point sea wall not allowed sand dunes to build up.

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