Department of Ecological Botany, Uppsala University, Box 559, 75122 Uppsala, Sweden;
Vegetation of a coastal sand dune system in southern New Zealand
Article first published online: 24 FEB 2009
1991 IAVS - the International Association of Vegetation Science
Journal of Vegetation Science
Volume 2, Issue 4, pages 531–538, August 1991
How to Cite
Sykes, M. T. and Wilson, J. B. (1991), Vegetation of a coastal sand dune system in southern New Zealand. Journal of Vegetation Science, 2: 531–538. doi: 10.2307/3236035
- Issue published online: 24 FEB 2009
- Article first published online: 24 FEB 2009
- Received 22 May 1990; Revision received 26 June 1991; Accepted 26 June 1991.
- Ammophila arenaria;
- Desmoschoenus spiralis;
- Multivariate analysis;
- Native species: Connor & Edgar (1987) and references therein;
- adventive species: Clapham;
- Tutin & Warburg (1981);
- bryophytes: Sainsbury (1955) and Hamlin (1972)
Abstract. The introduction of vigorous exotic species has destroyed much of the native sand dune vegetation along the coasts of South Island, New Zealand. However, some dunes built by the native cyperad Desmoschoenus spiralis still remain in the southwest.
The dunes at Cole Creek, on the West coast of South Island, were chosen as a relatively pristine study area. 15 transects were laid through semi-fixed dunes into dwarf forest. Environmental measurements were taken at regular intervals through the dunes: pH, soil moisture, organic matter, conductivity, nutrient status and elevation. Classification and ordination of these data demonstrated that two major environmental areas were present - open dune and dwarf forest - with an abrupt ecotone between them. Vegetation analyses revealed a loosely-banded pattern, parallel to the sea. Vegetation types with few but constant species such as Desmoschoenus spiralis and Calystegia soldanella, predominated in the open dune. Forest species were rarely found seaward of the dune/forest boundary, though there was evidence the Spatial Mass Effect was operating.
Multiple regression and canonical correlation of the vegetation and environmental factors showed that the main factors affecting vegetation patterns were the environmental complex related to distance from the sea, elevation above mean tide, soil alkalinity and moisture.