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Title: The ecology of shingle-beach vegetation
Author: Walmsley, Clive Andrew
ISNI:       0000 0004 2691 9568
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 1995
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The establishment of six shingle-beaches species( Crambem aritima (sea-kale),E ryngium maritimum (sea-holly), Glauciumflavum (yellow homed-poppy), Honckenya peploides (sea sandwort), Lathyrusjaponicus (sea pea) and Rumex crispus (curled dock)) was investigated to mitigate the disturbance caused by the construction of a power station at Sizewell, Suffolk, UK. The potential for creating vegetation from container-grown plants, sown seed or the soil seed bank was examined. Shingle-beach vegetation comprising these species was successfully established using container-grown plants, whereas seeding shingle beach areas was generally unsuccessful. Mature container-grown plants were able to survive erosion or accretion, at least to some extent, because they possessed extensive root or rhizome systems which provided sufficient resources for subterranean growth, while seedlings had only a limited capacity to elongate to the new beach surface after inundation. Hernicryptophyte species were most successful in surviving disturbance; Honckenya peploides recovered from up to 0.41 m accretion or 0.26 m erosion. The monocarpic chamaephyte species, Glauciuniflavum, showed poor survival after disturbance, but successfully established from seed within one season. Seedling emergence techniques showed that there was a very limited germinable soil seed bank in June on the shingle beach compared to the neighbouring dune grassland. The seed bank was not likely to provide an adequate source of propagules for vegetation restoration. Innate hard-seed dormancy mechanisms were important in five of the six species. Dormancy reduced the potential for rapid field-establishment from seed. The use of seed stored at low temperature and humidity for 5 years showed that germination of seed, of apparently high viability, but of low vigour, was reduced because of sensitivity to non-optimal temperatures, inappropriate light conditions or low salinity concentrations. Seed germination of all species was totally inhibited by 50-100% sea-water. The establishment of vegetation was significantly influence by beach substrate composition which affected the survival, growth and fecundity of container-grown plants and seedlings emergence, survival and growth in sown plots. A mixture of shingle and sand allowed significantly greater growth in Crambe maritima, Rumex crispus and Glauciumflavum plants compared to almost pure sand substrates.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available