Coastal squeeze threatens dune species richness

  • Lansu, E. (Speaker)
  • Hallie Fischman (Contributor)
  • Christine Angelini (Contributor)
  • Hijner, N. (Contributor)
  • Luc Geelen (Contributor)
  • Dick Groenendijk (Contributor)
  • Höfer, S. (Contributor)
  • Annemieke Kooijman (Contributor)
  • Valérie Reijers (Contributor)
  • Max Rietkerk (Contributor)
  • Sten Sonkens (Contributor)
  • Sierd de Vries (Contributor)
  • Martin Wassen (Contributor)
  • Evaline van Weerlee (Contributor)
  • Daniël Wille (Contributor)
  • van der Heide, T. (Contributor)

Activiteit: Academic presentationAcademic


Coastal dunes form a valuable ecosystem that provides natural flood protection, clean drinking water and home to many unique species. However, infrastructure development and climate change are progressively narrowing the coastal zone globally. Yet, it remains unknown how much space is required to support the diverse habitat and species assemblages found in natural, undisturbed dune systems. Here, we identify vegetation in 711 plots within 12 sea-to-land transects in south-eastern USA and 35 transects in the Netherlands. Our findings reveal a non-linear relationship between coastal width and species richness in both coastal systems. Species richness increases steeply until 1.0 km in south-eastern USA and 1.8 km in the Netherlands, after which the increase of species slows down. At these inflection points, approximately 75% of the species potential is reached. Unfortunately, dunes are narrower than these inflection points along 85% of the south-eastern US and 64% of the Dutch coastline, compromising the systems’ potential biodiversity benefits. It is therefore of utmost importance to conserve the remaining dune areas.
EvenementstitelNetherlands Annual Ecology Meeting 2024
Organisator Netherlands Ecological Research Network (NERN)
LocatieLunteren, NetherlandsToon op kaart
Mate van erkenningNational