Small scale wind erosion for the benefit of coastal dune grasslands for the benefit of coastal dune grasslands
“Changes in the use and management of coastal sand dunes have led to a strong decline in aeolian (wind driven) dynamics in many dune areas in the Netherlands, and other north-west European countries, over the past century. Factors that have played an important role in this process include long-term fixation by planting marram grass, scrub and coniferous forest, the cessation of agricultural use and restriction of public access, high nitrogen deposition and a reduced rabbit population. All these factors have accelerated vegetation succession and have had major consequences for the biodiversity of the EU Habitats Directive priority habitat type grey dunes (H2130) – also known as dune grasslands.
Grey dunes occur in a large part of the coastal area. As a result of the factors mentioned above, these dune grass lands have a very unfavourable conservation status. Several countries have responsibility for the preservation of the grey dunes within the European Union, among them the Netherlands. Almost all coastal dune areas in the Netherlands, including the dune habitat types and associated flora and fauna, have therefore been designated as protected sites in the context of the European Natura 2000 nature conservation programme, with the aim of preserving and expanding the area of grey dunes.”
(Citation: van Til, M., C.C. de Leeuw, C.J.S. Aggenbach & S.M. Arens – Small scale wind erosion for the benefit of coastal dune grasslands. OBN Dunes and Coastal Areas Expert Team. KNNV Uitgeverij, Zeist, the Netherlands. OBN/VBNE, Driebergen, the Netherlands (2020)