Vegetation dynamics on the Łeba Bar/Poland: a comparison of the vegetation in 1932 and 2006 with special regard to endangered habitats

  • Jann PeyratEmail author
  • Małgorzata Braun
  • Christian Dolnik
  • Maike Isermann
  • Hartmut Roweck


Coastal dune ecosystems are among the most dynamic habitats with high conservation value in Europe but are also under strong anthropogenic pressure regarding coastal protection and recreation. Hence, it is of high importance to know about long-term natural and anthropogenic changes and development of protected dune habitats for nature conservation, as well as for coastal management. This paper aims to identify the vegetation dynamics on the Łeba Bar/Poland over a period of 74 years by cartometric comparison using modern Geographical Information System (GIS). To quantify the rate of vegetation dynamics two aerial photographs dating from 1932 and 2006 were digitalized and analyzed with GIS to produce digital vegetation maps. Information about decrease, increase and stability of vegetation types of this area are discussed. The results show that there has been a clear reduction in the total area of bare sand and a considerable increase of woodlands and dense grass communities. Nevertheless, the remaining extensive drift sand areas and deflation hollows on the Łeba Bar offer one of the most important habitats for pioneer vegetation on bare sand of migrating dunes and dunes at the Southern Baltic coast. The present work proved the need to observe the future development of the vegetation communities and to implement management measures to maintain the dynamic of this unique dune landscape.


Baltic Sea Dune conservation Dune vegetation Historical change Sand dynamic Succession 



We thank the National Park authority “Słowiński Park Narodowy’” which kindly allowed us to conduct the project within the borders of the National park. Moreover, we acknowledge the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) for financial support in form of a scholarship for PhD-students in 2008. We are grateful to Katie Shimwell (UK) and Ellen Robinson (UK) for checking the language.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jann Peyrat
    • 1
    Email author
  • Małgorzata Braun
    • 2
  • Christian Dolnik
    • 1
  • Maike Isermann
    • 3
  • Hartmut Roweck
    • 1
  1. 1.Ecology CentreUniversity of KielKielGermany
  2. 2.Slowinski National ParkSmołdzinoPoland
  3. 3.Vegetation Ecology and Conservation BiologyUniversity of BremenBremenGermany

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