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1 March 2022 The Role of Vegetation in Incipient Dune and Foredune Development and Morphology: A Review
Marita T. McGuirk, David M. Kennedy, Teresa Konlechner
Author Affiliations +
Abstract

McGuirk, M.T.; Kennedy, D.M., and Konlechner, T., 2022. The role of vegetation in incipient dune and foredune development and morphology: A review. Journal of Coastal Research, 38(2), 414–428. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.

Vegetation is the principal boundary condition on the coast for foredune development, both by trapping sand and protecting it from erosion. Plants that colonise beaches and dunes grow in a variety of forms and have different life cycles. Plant characteristics (e.g., leaf length, width) are important in the initiation of a dune, and their interaction with sand being transported inland from the beach is highly variable. This review aimed to identify gaps in knowledge regarding the influence of specific plant species on dune morphological processes. Many studies that relate the influence of vegetation on dune morphology are of a descriptive and qualitative nature. These studies record elements of plant architecture and species presence on the dune. Quantitative studies have primarily focused on exotic species growing on the U.S. Pacific Northwest coast, whilst numerical modelling of dune growth incorporating vegetation has parameterised the plant drag coefficients. In these highly numeric investigations, the parameters used are derived from desert vegetation or artificial proxies such as rigid cylinders. Direct measurements derived from dune vegetation are often lacking. Biogeomorphologists and ecological engineers have placed coastal vegetation into a variety of categories related to their growth form and response to abiotic factors. A consensus on the categories for plant functional and engineering groups used for research and planning purposes is necessary, for example, sand stabilisers and sand accumulators. There is an urgent requirement for quantitative data on the growth and sand-capture ability of coastal plants. This is necessary because dune responses to climate change will be a function of their floral communities. In many instances, these floral communities are undergoing rapid change due to exotic invasions, which means that the resilience of the dunes may change faster than climate-driven change.

©Coastal Education and Research Foundation, Inc. 2022
Marita T. McGuirk, David M. Kennedy, and Teresa Konlechner "The Role of Vegetation in Incipient Dune and Foredune Development and Morphology: A Review," Journal of Coastal Research 38(2), 414-428, (1 March 2022). https://doi.org/10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-21-00021.1
Received: 12 February 2021; Accepted: 15 September 2021; Published: 1 March 2022
KEYWORDS
coastal
Dune morphology
foredune
incipient dune
vegetation
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