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Biosphere : Sand Dune Succession
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Biosphere : Sand Dune Succession

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Biosphere : Sand Dune Succession Biosphere : Sand Dune Succession Presentation Transcript

  • Higher Geography Pupil Conference Dalkeith HS 23 rd March 2007 BIOSPHERE Val Vannet High School of Dundee
  • The Biosphere Sand Dune Succession
  • Plant Succession
    • Evolution of plant communities
    • From pioneer species to climax vegetation
    • Related to change in the environment
    • Change brought about by the plants themselves
    • This change then favours new species
    • ‘ Plants are the architects of their own demise’
  • Sand Dune Systems
    • Conditions
    • Supply of sand
    • On-shore winds
    • Colonising plants
    • Processes
    • Sand blown landwards
    • Sand trapped by plants
    • Plant growth assists dunes to grow
    • Process repeated on seaward side
    • Older dunes stop growing
    • System grows seawards
  • Tentsmuir :W W2 shore defence These tank traps were at the high water mark in 1940
  • Seaward growth of the sand dunes at Tentsmuir since 1940
  • Sample sand dune systems
  • Tentsmuir
  • Buddon Ness
  • St Cyrus
  • Forvie
  • Culbin sands
  • Sand Dune Transect
  • The Foreshore Blowing sand Salty Dry
  • Saltwort Fleshy leaves store water Deep tap roots Low growing
  • Sandwort Waxy leaves
  • Sea Rocket Fleshy, waxy leaves Tap roots
  • Frosted orache ‘ Mealy’ leaves are salt repellant Long tap roots
  • Couch grass Leaves prostrate Withstands modest burial Tolerates salt
  • Saltwort Frosted orache Couch Grass
  • Embryo Dunes Scattered foreshore plants Seaweed (humus) On shore winds Sand builds up Highest tide line
  • Level of built-up sand
  • Frosted orache Embryo dune
  • Foredunes Couch grass (salt tolerant) Lyme grass (salt tolerant)
  • Mobile (yellow) dunes Marram grass
  • Marram grass
    • Cannot tolerate salt
    • ‘ Thrives’ on being buried by sand
    • Inrolled leaves
    • Long tap roots
    • Underground rhizomes stabilise dunes
  • Much bare sand hence ‘yellow’
  • Ragwort Marram
    • Less bare sand
    • More humus
    • Lower pH
    • Less Marram
    • More ‘competitors’
  • Fixed (grey) dunes Marram more sparse and weaker Other species dominate
  • Increasing floristic diversity Harebells Bedstraw Restharrow
  • Parasol mushrooms More humus and soil moisture
  • Why ‘grey’? Lichens
  • Marram now very sparse Ground cover almost complete
  • Dune slacks Main dune ridge Lower relief intersects water table
  • Phragmites reeds
  • Rushes
  • Seasonal slack Rushes Creeping willow
  • Main dune ridge Slack Dune heath Cotton grass
  • Final stages of succession Alkaline shell sand Grassland Heathland Acid mineral sand
  • Dune Scrub (often spinous!) Gorse Buckthorn Dog rose
  • Sea Buckthorn is well named!
  • Mixed Woodland Climax
  • Vegetation Surveys
    • Transect lines
    • Ranging rods
    • Tape measure
    • Clinometer to measure angle of slope
  • Vegetation Surveys
    • Quadrats
    • % occurrence recorded
  • Easy ! 100% Marram
  • Minimum Need-to-Know!
    • Definition of succession
    • Definition of climax vegetation
    • Stages of the succession on sand dunes
    • One or two named plants for each stage
    • How are these plants adapted to the environment?