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Biosphere : Sand Dune Succession
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Biosphere : Sand Dune Succession

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  • 1. Higher Geography Pupil Conference Dalkeith HS 23 rd March 2007 BIOSPHERE Val Vannet High School of Dundee
  • 2. The Biosphere Sand Dune Succession
  • 3. 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’
  • 4. 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
  • 5. Tentsmuir :W W2 shore defence These tank traps were at the high water mark in 1940
  • 6. Seaward growth of the sand dunes at Tentsmuir since 1940
  • 7. Sample sand dune systems
  • 8. Tentsmuir
  • 9. Buddon Ness
  • 10. St Cyrus
  • 11. Forvie
  • 12. Culbin sands
  • 13. Sand Dune Transect
  • 14. The Foreshore Blowing sand Salty Dry
  • 15. Saltwort Fleshy leaves store water Deep tap roots Low growing
  • 16. Sandwort Waxy leaves
  • 17. Sea Rocket Fleshy, waxy leaves Tap roots
  • 18. Frosted orache ‘ Mealy’ leaves are salt repellant Long tap roots
  • 19. Couch grass Leaves prostrate Withstands modest burial Tolerates salt
  • 20. Saltwort Frosted orache Couch Grass
  • 21. Embryo Dunes Scattered foreshore plants Seaweed (humus) On shore winds Sand builds up Highest tide line
  • 22. Level of built-up sand
  • 23. Frosted orache Embryo dune
  • 24. Foredunes Couch grass (salt tolerant) Lyme grass (salt tolerant)
  • 25. Mobile (yellow) dunes Marram grass
  • 26. Marram grass
    • Cannot tolerate salt
    • ‘ Thrives’ on being buried by sand
    • Inrolled leaves
    • Long tap roots
    • Underground rhizomes stabilise dunes
  • 27. Much bare sand hence ‘yellow’
  • 28. Ragwort Marram
  • 29.
    • Less bare sand
    • More humus
    • Lower pH
    • Less Marram
    • More ‘competitors’
  • 30. Fixed (grey) dunes Marram more sparse and weaker Other species dominate
  • 31. Increasing floristic diversity Harebells Bedstraw Restharrow
  • 32. Parasol mushrooms More humus and soil moisture
  • 33. Why ‘grey’? Lichens
  • 34. Marram now very sparse Ground cover almost complete
  • 35. Dune slacks Main dune ridge Lower relief intersects water table
  • 36. Phragmites reeds
  • 37. Rushes
  • 38. Seasonal slack Rushes Creeping willow
  • 39. Main dune ridge Slack Dune heath Cotton grass
  • 40. Final stages of succession Alkaline shell sand Grassland Heathland Acid mineral sand
  • 41. Dune Scrub (often spinous!) Gorse Buckthorn Dog rose
  • 42. Sea Buckthorn is well named!
  • 43. Mixed Woodland Climax
  • 44. Vegetation Surveys
    • Transect lines
    • Ranging rods
    • Tape measure
    • Clinometer to measure angle of slope
  • 45. Vegetation Surveys
    • Quadrats
    • % occurrence recorded
  • 46. Easy ! 100% Marram
  • 47. 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?