Assessing the Impact of a Winter Storm on the Beach and Dune Systems and Erosion Mitigation by Plants

The impact of storms on coastal dunes and beaches and the effects they induce in topography and plant communities are natural processes that contribute to maintaining natural coastal dynamics. However, because coasts are often densely populated, these phenomena are perceived as major threats to huma...

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Main Authors: Carmelo Maximiliano-Cordova, M. Luisa Martínez, Rodolfo Silva, Patrick A. Hesp, Roger Guevara, Rosario Landgrave
Format: Article
Language:English
Published: Frontiers Media S.A. 2021-08-01
Series:Frontiers in Marine Science
Subjects:
Online Access:https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2021.734036/full
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spelling doaj-dd192b8bff0c4ae6a6ea219f8514ebce2021-08-24T05:52:08ZengFrontiers Media S.A.Frontiers in Marine Science2296-77452021-08-01810.3389/fmars.2021.734036734036Assessing the Impact of a Winter Storm on the Beach and Dune Systems and Erosion Mitigation by PlantsCarmelo Maximiliano-Cordova0M. Luisa Martínez1Rodolfo Silva2Patrick A. Hesp3Roger Guevara4Rosario Landgrave5Instituto de Ecología, A. C., Xalapa, MexicoInstituto de Ecología, A. C., Xalapa, MexicoInstituto de Ingeniería, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad de México, MexicoBeach and Dune Systems (Beads) Lab, College of Science and Engineering, Flinders University, Bedford Park, SA, AustraliaInstituto de Ecología, A. C., Xalapa, MexicoInstituto de Ecología, A. C., Xalapa, MexicoThe impact of storms on coastal dunes and beaches and the effects they induce in topography and plant communities are natural processes that contribute to maintaining natural coastal dynamics. However, because coasts are often densely populated, these phenomena are perceived as major threats to human property. To protect human assets sustainably, nature-based defenses have emerged as an option. Coastal dunes act as natural buffers that mitigate the extent of erosion and inland flooding, and their resistance depends on the biogeomorphological feedback between the plants and the dunes. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of one winter storm on beach and dune topography and the plant communities, and to explore the effect of plants in mitigating erosion on beaches with different geomorphological features. The effects on plant communities were evaluated by comparing diversity and plant cover before and after the storm. Later, the role of plants in conferring dune resistance against erosion was examined by measuring erosion on the exposed face of the dunes considering plant cover and plant richness. The results did not show significant differences in plant diversity and plant cover between pre-and post-storm conditions, but turnover of species was recorded. The dune building species were not affected but inland species disappeared. Erosion was reduced when the dunes were higher and, furthermore, plant cover was negatively correlated with erosion on these dunes. The results showed a reduced impact of the storm on the plant communities, which is important as it facilitates the recovery of dunes by the dune-building species and protects them in a subsequent storm. The novelty of this study is that: (a) it demonstrates the species-specific role of plants in mitigating dune erosion in field conditions; (b) it shows the interaction between plant-related features and geomorphological variables in promoting dune resistance to erosion, and (c) it explores the immediate effect of a winter storm on the plant community and dune-building species.https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2021.734036/fullcoastal erosionvegetationforedunesplant coverplant diversitystorms
collection DOAJ
language English
format Article
sources DOAJ
author Carmelo Maximiliano-Cordova
M. Luisa Martínez
Rodolfo Silva
Patrick A. Hesp
Roger Guevara
Rosario Landgrave
spellingShingle Carmelo Maximiliano-Cordova
M. Luisa Martínez
Rodolfo Silva
Patrick A. Hesp
Roger Guevara
Rosario Landgrave
Assessing the Impact of a Winter Storm on the Beach and Dune Systems and Erosion Mitigation by Plants
Frontiers in Marine Science
coastal erosion
vegetation
foredunes
plant cover
plant diversity
storms
author_facet Carmelo Maximiliano-Cordova
M. Luisa Martínez
Rodolfo Silva
Patrick A. Hesp
Roger Guevara
Rosario Landgrave
author_sort Carmelo Maximiliano-Cordova
title Assessing the Impact of a Winter Storm on the Beach and Dune Systems and Erosion Mitigation by Plants
title_short Assessing the Impact of a Winter Storm on the Beach and Dune Systems and Erosion Mitigation by Plants
title_full Assessing the Impact of a Winter Storm on the Beach and Dune Systems and Erosion Mitigation by Plants
title_fullStr Assessing the Impact of a Winter Storm on the Beach and Dune Systems and Erosion Mitigation by Plants
title_full_unstemmed Assessing the Impact of a Winter Storm on the Beach and Dune Systems and Erosion Mitigation by Plants
title_sort assessing the impact of a winter storm on the beach and dune systems and erosion mitigation by plants
publisher Frontiers Media S.A.
series Frontiers in Marine Science
issn 2296-7745
publishDate 2021-08-01
description The impact of storms on coastal dunes and beaches and the effects they induce in topography and plant communities are natural processes that contribute to maintaining natural coastal dynamics. However, because coasts are often densely populated, these phenomena are perceived as major threats to human property. To protect human assets sustainably, nature-based defenses have emerged as an option. Coastal dunes act as natural buffers that mitigate the extent of erosion and inland flooding, and their resistance depends on the biogeomorphological feedback between the plants and the dunes. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of one winter storm on beach and dune topography and the plant communities, and to explore the effect of plants in mitigating erosion on beaches with different geomorphological features. The effects on plant communities were evaluated by comparing diversity and plant cover before and after the storm. Later, the role of plants in conferring dune resistance against erosion was examined by measuring erosion on the exposed face of the dunes considering plant cover and plant richness. The results did not show significant differences in plant diversity and plant cover between pre-and post-storm conditions, but turnover of species was recorded. The dune building species were not affected but inland species disappeared. Erosion was reduced when the dunes were higher and, furthermore, plant cover was negatively correlated with erosion on these dunes. The results showed a reduced impact of the storm on the plant communities, which is important as it facilitates the recovery of dunes by the dune-building species and protects them in a subsequent storm. The novelty of this study is that: (a) it demonstrates the species-specific role of plants in mitigating dune erosion in field conditions; (b) it shows the interaction between plant-related features and geomorphological variables in promoting dune resistance to erosion, and (c) it explores the immediate effect of a winter storm on the plant community and dune-building species.
topic coastal erosion
vegetation
foredunes
plant cover
plant diversity
storms
url https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2021.734036/full
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