Coastal sand dune vegetation, Portugal

Coastal sand dune vegetation, Portugal

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Credit: SINCLAIR STAMMERS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Coastal vegetation: scrub-type plants on a coastal sand dune in Portugal. The colonisation of these dunes by plants is a crucial stage in the development of new coastal topography. The first plants to become established are usually grasses. These lower the wind-blown drift of surface material from the dune, allowing larger plants to become established. Eventually the sand dune will become fully stabilised, and the addition of decaying plant material will contribute to the formation of a nutrient-rich soil.

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Keywords: coast, coastal, coastal sand dune, coastline, coastlines, dune, sand, sand dune, scrub, vegetation

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