Article

Coastal Dune Habitats

Thomas E. Miller and Marina Lauck

in Ecology

ISBN: 9780199830060
Published online September 2016 | | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199830060-0161
Coastal Dune Habitats

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  • Applied Ecology (Environmental Science)
  • Ecology and Conservation
  • Plant Ecology
  • Zoology and Animal Sciences

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Coastal dunes occur along the majority of coastlines worldwide, often as parts of barrier islands, and are one of the most dynamic areas on earth. Sufficient supply of sand and strong onshore winds create a dynamic topography of building dunes near the shoreline and often a system of older dunes and troughs further inland. Coastal dunes have significant economic value for, among other things, tourism and fishing, as they protect inland areas from storms and high-water events. They also have critical ecological value, as they provide habitat for many animals, especially nesting seabirds, and shelter- sensitive oyster and seagrass beds in bays, as well as wetlands, and marshes from intense storms. Some of the earliest studies of plant succession, such as Cowles work in 1899, “The ecological relations of the vegetation on the sand dunes of Lake Michigan,” were conducted on coastal dunes and remain prominent for environmental research—especially as sea levels rise and human-related disturbances increase.

Article.  12705 words. 

Subjects: Applied Ecology (Environmental Science) ; Ecology and Conservation ; Plant Ecology ; Zoology and Animal Sciences

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