Coastal Dunes: Changes of Their Perception and Environmental Management

Part of the Coastal Research Library book series (COASTALRL, volume 8)


Human capacity to adapt to various living conditions has always been a challenge to every civilization. Since the dawn of time people have been transforming environment to make their living easier. In the coastal zone these changes occurred the earliest, stretching as far as sandy barriers covered by coastal dunes. On the low sandy shores, in the vicinity of river mouths first settlements, towns and seeds of countries were established. We inherited from our ancestors these areas in some sense already developed or used. Nowadays, in many places coastal areas are transformed to such extent that they no longer resemble the natural wild landscape, for which we yearn and which is necessary for humans to function healthily in their natural environment.

Learning more and more about the mutual relations among factors influencing dune habitats, we are constantly changing the coastal dunes practical use. We know that while implementing the changes we must have in mind their availability for future generations. Yet, in some parts of the world this has not been acknowledged so far. In other countries, with higher ecological awareness and with high degree of landscape transformation, have been making numerous attempts to restore the natural environment.

How do we currently use this environment? What do we know about it? What is its value for humans? Do we care about it enough? Or, do we need to do more to preserve coastal dune habitats for future generations?

The chapter will briefly outline the coastal dune types and the conditions for their development. The second part is devoted to functions and practical use of the coastal dunes. It presents human economical activities based on coastal dunes values. In the third part today’s aims and methods of current research are shown. Also, the changing attitudes to the environmental management of coastal dunes is discussed. In the last part various approaches to the use and the perception of coastal dunes, resulting from cultural otherness and stages of society development are examined.


Global Navigation Satellite System Global Navigation Satellite System Optically Stimulate Luminescence Coastal Dune Terrestrial Laser Scanner 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This chapter is a based on 15 years of experience in my research into coastal dunes as well as on my observations undertaken during my scientific expeditions and private travels to coastal dunes in whole Europe, Australia, New Zealand, north and south Africa, Arabian and Israeli Middle East and India. I have walked along and examined more than 2,000 km of the world coastal dunes. The facts described in chapter are based on rich scientific literature that looks at many problems of coastal dunes development and management. I could write this chapter thanks to all the colleagues with whom I could discuss the issues relating to the dunes over the years at numerous conferences, and thanks to other scientists involved in dune environment surveys, those who wrote the numerous articles I am quoting above. The data used in this chapter are also collected under the project titled Anthropogenic-Natural Dunes Dynamics (ANDDY). The financial support for preparing this chapter came from the funds provided by the LIDER program by the Polish National Centre for Research and Development (NCBiR), which gave me support to realize the project titled Foredune Morphodynamics and Biodiversity (FoMoBi).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Marine and Coastal SciencesUniversity of SzczecinSzczecinPoland

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