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THE BEACH

The beach is an element of the landscape that is generated by the joint action of the sea, land and air.The beach-dune system can’t be considered static, but dynamic: the appearance of a beach can change in a single day, even more so during the seasons. The dune, almost like organisms, are born, grow, consolidate,  become fossil dunes, with an age that comes to hundreds of thousands of years.

But when human intervention change this balance, the beach-dune system can be irreparably compromised. The sand that forms the beach comes from the sea, from fragments of the shells of marine organisms and from what the waterways drag normally at sea. If you hinder these mechanisms of deposition, you end up impoverishing the beaches.

Psammophile vegetation.

It’s a pioneer vegetation provided with physiological mechanisms allowing to live in sandy environments and in high salt concentration areas, such as the beaches. The psammophites are equipped with highly developed roots able to penetrate deep into the sands, or creeping underground stems (rhizomes) that firmly anchor the sand.

They are capable, if the wind covers them with the sand, to issue shortly vigorous new shoots that emerge at the surface. Going from the beach to the dunes, you’ll meet the following plant associations: embryo dunes, agropyron land and mobile dunes.

The beach-dune system, therefore, can’t be considered static, but dynamic, and therefore extremely sensitive to the presence of humans. When human intervention interferes in this mechanism, the balance changes irremediably. Activities such as the construction of buildings, the beaches cleaning by mechanical means or their transit over them, depletes the beaches of their constituent material and threaten its very existence. The removal of dead leaves of Neptune grass that accumulate along the shoreline, in particular, causes irreversible damages: the action of the sea is facilitated, the coastline is lowered, the beach is eroded.

If the beach disappears, the dune - which is the point where the sand accumulates and has the essential function to dampen the energy of the wind – will be dismantled by the waves that has no longer any obstacle in its path, and the whole system collapses.

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PARCO NATURALE REGIONALE "Dune costiere da Torre Canne a Torre S. Leonardo" - e-mail PEC parcodunecostiere@pec.it
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