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Influence of Ammophila arenaria on half a century of vegetation change in eastern Tasmanian sand dune systems


Hayes, M and Kirkpatrick, JB, Influence of Ammophila arenaria on half a century of vegetation change in eastern Tasmanian sand dune systems, Australian Journal of Botany, 60, (5) pp. 450-460. ISSN 0067-1924 (2012) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2012 CSIRO Publishing

DOI: doi:10.1071/BT12071


There is strong observational evidence that marram grass Ammophila arenaria transforms vegetation when it invades temperate coastal sand dunes. Because of contemporaneous marram grass introduction, sea level rise, climate change and coastal land use change, we use control dune systems to test the hypotheses that marram grass displaces native sand-binding grasses, reduces the area of bare sand and facilitates shrub invasion. We mapped vegetation from aerial photographs at four times between 1948 and 2007 on four pairs of sand dune systems, with one of each pair being heavily invaded by marram grass during the period of observation. We calculated the transitions between cover types between times. On the dune systems with marram grass, dunes became taller and more regular, native sand-binders became rare, bare sand decreased in area and native shrubs colonised the stabilised dunes. In the absence of marram grass the dunes remained dynamic, with much bare sand. At two of these control sites, increases in wind strength and sea level may have facilitated the development of transgressive dunes and eroded the native sand-binders. At the remaining two control sites, native sand-binders created low incipient foredunes. Shrub invasion occurred at most control sites. We conclude that marram grass does displace native sand-binders and decrease the proportion of bare sand, but that shrub invasion is partly independent of its introduction.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Ammophila arenaria, marram grass, Tasmanian sand dune systems, sand-binding grasses, invasive species
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Terrestrial ecology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments
Objective Field:Assessment and management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean ecosystems
UTAS Author:Hayes, M (Miss Monica Hayes)
UTAS Author:Kirkpatrick, JB (Professor James Kirkpatrick)
ID Code:79463
Year Published:2012
Web of Science® Times Cited:11
Deposited By:Geography and Environmental Studies
Deposited On:2012-09-13
Last Modified:2017-10-31

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