|Groundwater dynamics converted to a groundwater classification as a tool for nature development programs in the dunes|Martens, K.; Van Camp, M.; Van Damme, D.; Walraevens, K. (2013). Groundwater dynamics converted to a groundwater classification as a tool for nature development programs in the dunes. J. Hydrol. (Amst.) 499: 236-246. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2013.06.045
In: Journal of Hydrology. Elsevier: Tokyo; Oxford; New York; Lausanne; Shannon; Amsterdam. ISSN 0022-1694, more
Groundwater dynamics; Classification; Inter-yearly variability; Seasonalfluctuation; Nature development; Dunes
Within the European Union, Habitat Directives are developed with the aim of restoration and preservation of endangered species. The level of biodiversity in coastal dune systems is generally very high compared to other natural ecosystems, but suffers from deterioration. Groundwater extraction and urbanisation are the main reasons for the decrease in biodiversity. Many restoration actions are being carried out and are focusing on the restoration of groundwater level with the aim of re-establishing rare species. These actions have different degrees of success. The evaluation of the actions is mainly based on the appearance of red list species. The groundwater classes, developed in the Netherlands, are used for the evaluation of opportunities for vegetation, while the natural variability of the groundwater level and quality are under-estimated. Vegetation is used as a seepage indicator. The existing classification is not valid in the Belgian dunes, as the vegetation observed in the study area is not in correspondence with this classification. Therefore, a new classification is needed. The new classification is based on the variability of the groundwater level on a long term with integration of ecological factors. Based on the new classification, the importance of seasonal and inter-yearly fluctuations of the water table can be deduced. Inter-yearly fluctuations are more important in recharge areas while seasonal fluctuations are dominant in discharge areas. The new classification opens opportunities for relating vegetation and groundwater dynamics.