miércoles, 29 de agosto de 2012
Geomorphological and ecological features of blowouts in a western Mediterranean coastal dune complex: a case study of the Es Comú de Muro beach-dune system on the island of Mallorca, Spain
Many of the coastal dune systems along western Mediterranean shores are in an advanced state of fragmentation and show distinct signs of erosion, largely because of blowout development along the dune front. The Es Comú de Muro beach-dune system on the island of Mallorca (Spain) is a good example of this. In order to better understand and quantify the current situation, fifty-eight blowouts along an about 1.5-km-long dune front were investigated. In each case, a number of morphometric and ecological variables were analyzed as a basis for comparison and classification, in particular blowout dimensions and orientation, inner morphometry and topography, morphological types, the role of vegetation in defining the state of the foremost dune line, and the link between vegetation and blowout typology. In comparison with a recent preliminary investigation, the results of the present study provide a more comprehensive picture of the advanced state of fragmentation along the dune front. The blowouts are not evenly distributed, highest densities occurring along the southernmost part of the beach, lowest densities along the northern part. The blowouts were divided into two categories on the basis of their shape and general structure, trough blowouts being the most prevalent, followed by mixed trough-saucer shapes. Distinctly saucer-shaped blowouts could not be distinguished. In addition to this subdivision, the blowouts were divided into two morphological categories, i.e. simple and branched blowouts. It was also possible to link the morphological state of the dune front to particular ecological parameters, in particular vegetation which, in the present case, comprised herbaceous and woody plants. Cluster analyses of species associations (Bray-Curtis similarity indices) were carried out on the basis of the presence/absence of each species. It is shown that, on account of presence counts and the degree of similarity of species associations, some species play a more important role in stabilizing the mobile dune sands than others, a foremost candidate being Ammophila arenaria. It is concluded that active support for such plants should form part of any management strategy aiming to reduce and reverse coastal dune fragmentation processes.
Mir-Gual, M., Pons, G.X., Martín-Prieto, J.A., Roig-Munar, F.X., Rodríguez-Perea, A. (2012). "Geomorphological and ecological features of blowouts in a western Mediterranean coastal dune complex: a case study of the Es Comú de Muro beach-dune system on the island of Mallorca, Spain". Geo-Marine Letters (on-line)
Miquel Mir Gual