Chesapeake Science

, 16:115 | Cite as

The floristic composition and structure of foredune plant communities of cape hatteras national seashore

  • A. G. van der Valk


Plant communities on the front, top, and back of the foredunes were examined at 22 randomly chosen sites. One or more species of grass (Uniola paniculata, Ammophila breviligulata, Panicum amarum) dominate most of the communities, except a few on the top and back of the foredune at Ocracoke Island which are dominated byHydrocotyle bonariensis. Principal component factor analyses and cluster analyses revealed that different community types have developed on the front, top, and back of the dune system. On the average, communities on the front and top of the foredune are significantly different structurally from communities on the back in the number of species per stand (10.2, 11.4, and 19.0 respectively) and in their Shannon-Wiener diversities (1.18, 1.25, and 1.44), but are not significantly different in their Simpson dominance indices (0.41, 0.41 and 0.37). An analysis of the communities which have developed on a series of experimental dune sections on Ocracoke Island revealed that the method used to build a dune has a lasting influence on the type of plant community which is subsequently formed. This appears to be the result of differences in the amount of cover and distribution of the dominant grasses which determine the pattern of accumulation and shifting of sand. *** DIRECT SUPPORT *** A00BY058 00004


Salt Spray General Survey Principal Component Factor Analysis Sand Movement Outer Bank 
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Copyright information

© Estuarine Research Federation 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. G. van der Valk
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BotanyNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleigh

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