In conclusion to my investigation, I can answer my title How
the Sand dune environment of Studland changes progressively away from the sea
with 4 supported and proved points, these are as follows.
Firstly, at Studland, the water content increases
progressively away from the sea, as nearer the sea the ground has little humus
content meaning the ground is mostly sand. This lack of humus means that the
ground is unable to retain much water meaning that there is little moisture
within the ground, however, as you retreat further away from the sea the humus
content increases within the ground meaning it is made mostly of nutrient rich
soil that can retain water and therefore moisture within the ground. As the
humus gradually increases away from the sea then I predict that the moisture
will also gradually increase away from the sea.
Secondly, in the sand dune environment presented at
Studland, the pH level of the soil progressively decreases away from the sea because
of salt content. Near the sea the ground has a very high salt content due to
the saline waters. Salt is blown up the beach by the wind and integrated within
the ground. The water increases the grounds alkalinity because the pH of the
sea is around an average of 8.1, making it slightly alkaline, this is then
absorbed into the ground, increasing pH of the ground. As you travel away from
the sea the salinity decreases, due to the lack of sea water nearby and
therefore so does alkalinity.
Thirdly, at the sand dune environment of Studland, the percentage
of vegetation cover increases progressively away from the sea because of the
amount of plant species that can survive in difficult environments, for
example, there are few species that can survive near the sea edge where there
is little or no humus content, that supplies vital minerals and nutrients
needed for many plants to grow and thrive. Species such as marram grass can
survive in such environments because of their long roots that allow them to find
water deep in the ground and help them to anchor to the weak sand ground.
However, further away from the sea humus content increases and so does
nutrients needed for most plants therefore meaning more species, such as
heather and gorse, can grow in the sand dune environment, this means that as
you move up the beach away from the sea and into the dunes vegetation cover
Lastly, at Studland, the height of the dunes progressively
increases away from the sea because of the formation of different dune types.
These include embryo dunes, yellow dunes, grey dunes and mature dunes. Embryo
dunes are the smallest type, this is because this is where the dunes begin to
form, they are small because there is no soil
to hold them in place, there is only species such as marram grass which
acts as a trap for sand and supports it slightly, whereas yellow dunes are
slightly taller and larger, this is because of increases soil stability, there
is more shelter and less salt carried by the wind meaning that soil quality is
better, increasing plants to anchor the dune and less wind to blow the sand
away that could destroy the dune. Grey dunes are the very last dunes. They have
a very high proportion of organic material and darker, richer soils account for
the name grey dunes. Here shrubs start to grow. This means the dune is very
sheltered and well supported. The many plants and shrubs help the dune to grow
higher as they help to collect and support soil.
All my points that help me to come to this conclusion about the sand
dune environment of Studland and how it changes have been proved during the
analysis of my results. This assures me that I have answered this statement as
accurately as possible using the data I collected.