Aspects of shingle ecology with particular reference to lichen and mite populations.
(1) Transect data from the Lydd-on-Sea area at
Dungeness establishes the detail of the primary shingle
succession. This culminates in what is, probably, a climax
community about 2 km inland in the RSPB reserve.
(2) A pH gradient was found at the Lydd-on-Sea site,
and this was shown to be correlated with the age of the
ridges (F-14.78, P < 0.001). concentrations of "total"
elements in the humic soils of the shingle ridges, are not
correlated with ridge age but are shown to be correlated
with concentrations in sea water (r2• 0.526, F-20.04, P <
(3) Lichens are seen as playing no significant part in
the early succession on the ridges at Lydd-on-Sea, but do
compete successfully with higher plants in the mid- to
(4) A quantitative and, to a degree qualitative,
assessment of mite populations was made on seven lichen
species of the late succession communities at Dungeness. No
specific mite numbers/lichen species association was found,
but a single cyclic, bi-modal response curve was obtained
for total mite numbers on the seven lichen species sampled (F - 25.01, P < 0.001).
(5) A range of climatic parameters were assessed, both
in relation to the ecology of Dungeness, and in particular
to the mite populations on lichens. Only temperature was
shown to be correlated (negatively) with mite numbers
(F-6.3, p < 0.05), whilst rainfall and humidity were not
significantly correlated (F- 3.99, P > 0.05, and F - 0.52, P
> 0.4 respectively).