Sand Dune Species Distribution and Size Variations in Two Areas Inside a Natural Protected Area Subjected to Different Human Disturbance


Sand dune species were analyzed across two areas included in the “Roman Coastal State Nature Reserve” (Italy): Ostia (O) and Marina di Palidoro (P). Significant variations in species distribution, dry mass and size over the gradient from the water-edge toward the inland between O and P were observed. Species colonize O, on an average, at 79 m from the water-edge extended along the gradient toward the inland over a length of 26 m. PD is 40.8 ± 9.9 plants.m-2. Ononis variegata and Elymus farctus have the highest PD (15.4 ± 1.3 plants.m-2), followed by Silene colorata and Sporobulus pungens (4.3 ± 3.9 plants.m-2), by Cakile maritima, Echinophora spinosa, Eryngium maritimum, Ammophila arenaria, Anthemis maritima, Cyperus capitatus, Medicago marina and Calystegia soldanella (<0.5 plants.m-2), with C. soldanella having the lowest PD (0.02 plants.m-2). On an average, in P, the species colonize the dune at 17 m from the water-edge for a length of 46 m toward the inland, PD is on an average 21.5 ± 16.1 plants.m-2. S. pungens, E. farctus and O. variegata have the highest PD (6.0 ±


Dune Vegetation; Human Disturbance; Plant Density; Organic Soil Matter

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L. Gratani, M. Crescente, L. Varone, E. Gini, C. Ricotta and A. Bonito, "Sand Dune Species Distribution and Size Variations in Two Areas Inside a Natural Protected Area Subjected to Different Human Disturbance," American Journal of Plant Sciences, Vol. 4 No. 9, 2013, pp. 1899-1910. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2013.49233.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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