We compared the Atlantic and Mediterranean beach and foredune habitats of European interest, focusing on floristic, structural and ecological features. We selected two representative sites of Atlantic (the Netherlands) and Mediterranean (Italy) coastal dunes. From a georeferenced vegetation database, samples of: annual vegetation on the drift lines (EuropeanUnion habitat type 1210), perennial vegetation on embryonic shifting dunes (2110), and shifting dunes along the shoreline with Ammophila arenaria (2120), were selected. Floristic representativity and comparability of plot sizes were taken care for. The floristic data were analyzed using Detrended Correspondence Analysis. For each habitat, the frequency and the fidelity of the species, the life form frequency spectra and Ellenberg ecological indicator values were assessed. We found a consistent floristic differentiation between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean coastal dune habitats and only a small set of shared species. The Italian and the Dutch drift lines (1210) register a high structural similarity that strongly decline landwards. Floristic composition, life forms and Ellenberg indicator values show higher similarities among different foredunes habitats of the same site than between homologous habitats of the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts. The results confirm the current description and distribution of drift lines (1210). The floristic, structural and ecological differences between foredune habitats point at an inconsistency of Atlantic typology to describe Mediterranean foredune habitats. We propose the introduction of a new type for Mediterranean foredunes within the existing 'Sea dunes of the Mediterranean coast' class (Habitats Directive, 92/43/CEE).
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1007/s10531-011-0037-9|
|Codice identificativo ISI:||WOS:000290726200006|
|Codice identificativo Scopus:||2-s2.0-79956070573|
|Titolo:||EU habitats of interest: an insight into Atlantic and Mediterranean beach and foredunes|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|