Journal of Coastal Conservation

, Volume 10, Issue 1–2, pp 93–100 | Cite as

Sustainability of sand dune restoration along the coast of the Tyrrhenian sea

  • Lillis M. De Email author
  • Costanzo L. 
  • Bianco P. M. 
  • Tinelli A.


This study reports the results of restoration management on sand dune environments along the coastal belt of the Castelporziano nature reserve (Rome, Italy) and the subsequent monitoring phases to test the sustainability of the ‘soft techniques’ applied. In the area concerned, over a length of ca. 3 km, 40 dunes were built up along with three belts located at <40 m, 40–70 m, and >70 m, respectively, from the shoreline. On each of 38 dunes 20 individuals ofAmmophila littoralis were planted; this species is one of the local autochthonous species considered particularly suitable for stabilizing sand dunes. After one year, two years and five years, respectively the changes in height and surface of each dune, the survival rates ofA. littoralis, and its changes in cover, the appearance of new shoots and the establishment of new species were observed. A progressive increase in species number, which five years after the restoration amounted to about 60% of those characterizing the natural dunes, was reported indicating a progressive trend towards populations similar to natural ones. In the colonization of new species there is a prevalence of theSporobolus-Elymetum farcti and theSalsolo Kali-Cakiletum maritimae association, while the species established successively refer to theEchinophoro spinosae-Ammophiletum arundinaceae association and theCrucianellion maritimae alliance as occurring in natural successions.

This succession runs parallel to the natural dune colonization processes. In particular, the data regarding survival, cover and number of vegetative shoots indicate that the dune belt between 40 and 70 m from the sea is the one most suitable for restoration.

Some changes in dune morphology was observed: the height of the artificial dunes tended to decrease considerably in the five years of observation, whereas a progressive increase in their surface area was observed. During the study period.A littoralis favoured the establishment of new species, but as yet exercises no action on increasing dune height.


Ammophila littoralis Coastal defence Dune morphology Dune system dynamics Mediterranean sandy dune Soft technique 


Pignatti (1982) 


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Copyright information

© EUCC: Opulus Press Uppsala 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lillis M. De 
    • 1
    Email author
  • Costanzo L. 
    • 1
  • Bianco P. M. 
    • 1
  • Tinelli A.
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Sciences and Technology for Environment and TerritoryUniversity of MoliseIserniaItaly
  2. 2.Presidential Estate of CastelporzianoItaly

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