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Increased dampness causes vegetation change

Dried up dunes
The Dutch dune area is particularly important for water extraction and is of international importance from the viewpoint of nature conservation. The water extraction has resulted in a considerable drying out with negative consequences for the wildlife value. At present the water extraction in a number of dune areas is being strongly reduced, which in combination with heavy winter rainfall has resulted in the increased dampness of the dune valleys.

Therefore the results of Bakker's research are being used to select favourable locations for the restoration of wet dune valleys. A favourable location must satisfy a number of characteristics. Prior to the increased dampness a low overgrowth must be present. There must be a water connection with populations of the target species and the valley must flood for a part of the year. Finally after the increase in dampness, there must be an increase in the amount of seepage water that reaches the surface and is rich in iron and chalk. If all of these characteristics are satisfied there is a maximum chance of the original characteristic plants returning in the nutrient-poor, wet dune valleys.


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Contact: Dr Chris Bakker
chris.bakker@falw.vu.nl
31-302-205-555
Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research
11-Nov-2005


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