Sand Dunes

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What Are They?

  • Accumulations of sand shaped into moulds by the winds. 
  • Sometimes found at the back of beaches on areas of low lying land
  • Example: Southport


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  • A plentiful supply of sand
  • Strong inland winds to transport sand particles through saltation
  • An obstacle to trap the sand eg. seaweed, driftwood
  • Plants - keeps the position of the sand
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As You Moves Across The Sand Dunes...

  • Organic matter/nutrient content gets higher
  • Water retention gets higher
  • Wind speeds decrease
  • Soil acidity decreases
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1. Embryo/Fore Dunes

The pioneer plants are adapted to the conditions:

  • Waxy leaves retain moisture
  • Small leaves reduce transpiration
  • Low lying to withstand wind
  • Deep roots
  • High salt tolerance

Example: saltwort

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2. Yellow Dunes

Dominant species is marram grass:

  • Salt tolerant
  • Thrives on being buried in the sand
  • Inrolled leaves reduce water lost
  • Long tap roots

Other example: ragwort

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3. Grey Dunes

  • Higher species diversity
  • Mainly perennials
  • Marram becomes more sparse
  • Conditions improve

Example: creeping willow

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4. Dune Slacks

  • Intercepts water table
  • Marshy conditions

Example: reeds

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5. Dune Heath Woodland

  • Climatic climax (natural) or plagioclimax (human interference) vegetations
  • Diverse ecosystems

Example: heather

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