Journal of Coastal Conservation

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 213–225

Proposal for new EU habitats associated with coastal dune fields of the Macaronesian region. A case study in the Canary Islands (Spain)

  • Antonio I. Hernández-Cordero
  • F. Javier Gracia Prieto
  • Luis Hernández-Calvento
  • Emma Pérez-Chacón Espino
  • Ignacio Alonso
Article

Abstract

The aim of this work is to identify habitats of European interest for the existing dunes in the Canaries, in order to provide data for their proper management. Dune systems considered were the following: aeolian sedimentary systems that cover both most of the island of La Graciosa and also the dune fields of Maspalomas (Gran Canaria) and Corralejo (Fuerteventura). The methodology consisted of overlapping layers of habitats and vegetation by using geographic information systems, so the correspondence between habitat and plant community are analyzed. The results indicate that dune habitats in the Canary Islands have not been well defined. The habitat “2110 embryonic shifting dunes” is associated with several situations incompatible with their biotic and abiotic characteristics. Meanwhile, habitat “2130 fixed dunes with herbaceous vegetation (grey dunes)” is linked, among others, to the phytosociological association Traganetum moquinii. However, embryonic dune formation in the Canaries is mainly done by this community, which is inconsistent with its inclusion in the grey dunes habitat. The proposed habitats of European interest associated with dunes in the Canaries are the following: Coastal shifting dunes with Traganum moquinii, dunes with Tamarix canariensis, Macaronesian aeolian sand sheets and humid dune slacks. It is also suggested the need for a comprehensive study of dune habitats existing in the Canaries and Macaronesia, covering the whole of aeolian sedimentary systems, performing a proper identification, characterization and detailed mapping of these habitats, based on both the existing vegetation and also on the associated landforms and geomorphic processes.

Keywords

Dune vegetation European dune habitats GIS Embryonic shifting dunes Fixed dunes with herbaceous vegetation 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antonio I. Hernández-Cordero
    • 1
  • F. Javier Gracia Prieto
    • 2
  • Luis Hernández-Calvento
    • 1
  • Emma Pérez-Chacón Espino
    • 1
  • Ignacio Alonso
    • 3
  1. 1.Grupo de Geografía Física y Medio Ambiente. Instituto de Oceanografía y Cambio Global (IOCAG)Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran CanariaLas Palmas de Gran CanariaSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de Ciencias de la Tierra. Facultad de Ciencias del Mar y AmbientalesUniversidad de CádizCádizSpain
  3. 3.Grupo de Geología Aplicada y Regional. Instituto de Oceanografía y Cambio Global (IOCAG)Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Campus Universitario de Tafira. Edificio de Ciencias BásicasLas Palmas de Gran CanariaSpain

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