Ecological processes and plant adaptations on coastal dunes

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279 Citations (Scopus)


Common adaptations to stresses include salt resistance, positive growth response to burial, flooding resistance, leaf roll, photosynthesis, salt bladders, nitrogen fixation, variation of life cycle, germination strategies, and plant morphology. The level of these stresses is highest in the beach-foredune environment and generally decreases with distance from the coast in fully vegetated coastal dune systems. Plant succession and generally species richness tend to follow these landward-decreasing rends. On a global scale, warm temperature coasts generally display the highest species richness, lowest stress overall, and possibly lowest number of endemic species. As semi-aridity and aridity on coasts increase, there is a trend towards increasing stress levels, lower species richness (particularly in foredunes), less foredune, relict foredune and parabolic dune development, increasing development of transgressive dunefields, less plant cover, more endemic species, and an increasing mixture of desert and coastal species. -from Author

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-191
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Arid Environments
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1991
Externally publishedYes


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