A. van de Craats
- Window of opportunity of Liparis loeselii populations during vegetation succession on the Wadden Sea islands
- Journal of Coastal Conservation
- Volume | Issue number
- 21 | 5
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED)
The present study aims at assessing the life span of populations of the orchid L. loeselii during successional in dune slacks on the Wadden Sea islands. An inventory of Liparis loeselii populations was carried out on 6 islands, while the population structure was assessed in more detail on the island of Texel. The occurrence of the orchid was related to soil factors and hydrological conditions. Groundwater levels were measured in a dune area with natural dune slack formation. The groundwater composition was analyses and the freshwater lenses were modelled. Various scenarios were investigated, including sea level rise and sand nourishment. The window of opportunity for L. loeselii to colonize a new slack is relatively narrow. Under favorable management, the population can survive c. 20 years. Soil pH was positively correlated with the occurrence of L. loeselii populations, while a high organic matter content was negatively correlated. Sites with large populations of L. loeselii, were situated in young dune slacks, that functioned as flow-through lakes and has top soilsinfluenced by anoxic calcareous groundwater. Modelling showed that the freshwater lens would decrease due to sea level rise, while artificial sand nourishment could counteract this effect. The populations of the Hors area on Texel, the Netherlands, can survive for several decades due to continuous formation of new slacks. Discharge of calcareous groundwater is essential to keep the pH on a high level. The hydrological systems that supply dune slack with groundwater are relatively small and are vulnerable for changes in sea level rise.
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