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Sand Dune Restoration in North Brittany, France: A 10-Year Monitoring Study

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Abstract

Dunes, which account for 13% of the Ille et Vilaine north Brittany coast, France, were degraded by high tourist pressure, and they were restored from 1988 onward. Ten years after commencing work an assessment of the restoration was made on three dunes: Les Chevrets, L'Anse Du Guesclin, and Le Verger. Annual monitoring of the vegetation and dune morphology provided an opportunity to study the restoration process. The dune front, which is similar to a reference pioneer dune, lies in front of the mobile dune. The highest part of the dune is an advanced stage of mobile dune. The restoration of the fixed rear dune was accomplished neither in terms of vegetation composition nor in terms of species richness. The vegetation parameter study allows differentiation between the dune front, the dune summit, and the rear dune. The variation in species richness and floristic composition from one zone to another can be explained by abiotic factors such as salinity and the accretion of sand. The restoration was satisfactory in terms of the geomorphology. Marram grass is a good tool for restoring the topography, but it will take a very long time to restore the conservation value of the dune.

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