+1 Recommend
0 collections
      • Record: found
      • Abstract: found
      • Article: found
      Is Open Access

      The effects of psammophilous plants on sand dune dynamics



      Read this article at

          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.


          Psammophilous plants are special plants that flourish in sand moving environments. There are two main mechanisms by which the wind affects these plants: (i) sand drift exposes roots and covers branches--the exposed roots turn into new plants and the covered branches turn into new roots; both mechanisms result in an enhanced growth rate of the psammophilous plant cover of the dunes; (ii) strong winds, often associated with sand movement, tear branches and seed them in nearby locations, resulting in new plants and an enhanced growth rate of the psammophilous plant cover of the dunes. Despite their important role in dune dynamics, to our knowledge, psammophilous plants have never been incorporated into mathematical models of sand dunes. Here, we attempt to model the effects of these plants on sand dune dynamics. We construct a set of three ordinary differential equations for the fractions of surface cover of regular vegetation, biogenic soil crust and psammophilous plants. The latter reach their optimal growth under (i) specific sand drift or (ii) specific wind power. We show that psammophilous plants enrich the sand dune dynamics. Depending on the climatological conditions, it is possible to obtain one, two, or three steady dune states. The activity of the dunes can be associated with the surface cover--bare dunes are active, and dunes with significant cover of vegetation, biogenic soil crust, or psammophilous plants are fixed. Our model shows that under suitable precipitation rates and wind power, the dynamics of the different cover types is in accordance with the common view that dunes are initially stabilized by psammophilous plants that reduce sand activity, thus enhancing the growth of regular vegetation that eventually dominates the cover of the dunes and determines their activity.

          Related collections

          Author and article information



          Custom metadata
          physics.bio-ph nlin.CD q-bio.PE

          Evolutionary Biology, Biophysics, Nonlinear & Complex systems


          Comment on this article