Primary succession can happen when bare sand is colonised by plants. Over time, the sand builds up into sand dunes, raising the ground above the height of sea level. Succession in sand dunes is sometimes called a psammosere. During the development of fixed dunes, younger embryo dunes are continually forming at the base of the dune system. As a result the dune system is advancing seaward.
Understanding sand dunes
Dune strengthening, rehabilitation and restoration | Coastal Management Webguide - RISC KIT
Sand dune habitats are one of the most natural remaining vegetation types in the UK. They support more than 70 nationally rare or red-data book species, and are a refuge for many lowland species lost due to agricultural improvement. The open dune habitats in particular are important for a range of specialised species: plants which are poor competitors; insects which require bare soil for burrowing; and threatened reptiles and amphibians such as the sand lizard, natterjack toad. CEH sand dune research covers the following themes:. Above: Large blowout at Whiteford Burrows.
Shifting Shores at Formby
Sand dunes are ridges or hills of sand found at the top of a beach , above the usual maximum reach of the waves. The image below shows Harlech Beach , North Wales. Its large tidal range supports the development of sand dunes. The tidal range is the difference between the high tide and the following low tide. Aeolian Transport is the first process of coastal dune formation and involves the movement and weathering of sand particles behind and along the shoreline.
Sand dunes are wind forms elements on sandy coasts and represent a natural coastal protection measure. Natural processes like erosion and human interference like coastal protection measures, changing coastal processes, tourism can have a negative impact on dunes. Rehabilitation with feeding sand or planting vegetation can reinforce the dunes. Based on the information provided by the Scottish Natural Heritage. Dunes are a protective feature that provide sand buffer and protect the land from waves and flooding.