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The foreshore as a nitrogen source for marram grass
Fay, P.J.; Jeffrey, D.W. (1992). The foreshore as a nitrogen source for marram grass, in: Carter, R.W.G. et al. (Ed.) Coastal dunes: geomorphology, ecology and management for conservation: Proceedings of the 3rd European Dune Congress Galway, Ireland, 17-21 June 1992. pp. 177-188
In: Carter, R.W.G. et al. (Ed.) (1992). Coastal dunes: geomorphology, ecology and management for conservation: Proceedings of the 3rd European Dune Congress Galway, Ireland, 17-21 June 1992. A.A. Balkema [etc.]: Rotterdam. ISBN 90-5410-058-3. 533 pp., more

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Fay, P.J.
  • Jeffrey, D.W.

Abstract
    Freshly blown sand is studied as a possible source of nitrogen (N) for dune grasses Ammophila arenaria and Elymusfarctus. Sand from various locations on the dunes and foreshore is analysed for total nitrogen and readily available nitrogen. Ranking sand in order of increasing readily available nitrogen gives the following; main dune sand < foredune sand < freshly blown sand < foreshore sand. A survey of foreshore sand from sites on the east coast of Ireland and Connemara shows that, at most sites a relatively large proportion of total nitrogen is readily mineralized. The N requirement of marram on an actively growing dune is found to be met adequately by mineralization of organic N contained in dune sand. Asymbiotic nitrogen fixation is estimated to be insignificant in the N economy of marram in young dunes. An experiment on the growth response of Ammophila and Elymus to the surface application of fresh windblown sand and nitrogen showed that the response of Ammophila to both treatments was identical and significantly greater than the control. Elymus responds positively to nitrogen but there is no difference between control and sand treatment. It is concluded that the response of Ammophila to burial by sand may be a response to nitrogen released from the sand. The foreshore is seen as a reservoir of available N that is carried to the dunes with windblown sand.

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