Journal of Coastal Conservation

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 15–21 | Cite as

Trampling impact on vegetation of embryonic and stabilised sand dunes in Montenegro

  • Urban Šilc
  • Danka Caković
  • Filip Küzmič
  • Danijela Stešević


Trampling is one of the human activities that are harmful for plant species and communities of sand dune ecosystems. The aim of this study was to compare the vegetation of embryonic and shifting Ammophila sand dunes with and without fencing to limit trampling. Fenced sand dunes appeared to be richer in species but differences were more prominent in embryonic sand dunes. Some species (Cakile maritima, Pancratium maritimum) were missing on trampled embryonic dunes. The positive impact of trampling exclusion on embryonic sand dunes was indicated by a lowered slope in a Whittaker graph as well as by rarefaction curves that showed higher species richness on the lower slope. Changes in the vegetation of more stabilised shifting Ammophila sand dunes due to trampling are not evident, although species composition is also impoverished. Fencing of parts of sand dunes proved to be an effective measure for vegetation conservation. In addition to physical exclusion of visitors, fences can also have symbolic value for raising public awareness.


Habitats directive Conservation Fencing Trampling 



We thank anonymous reviewer for helpful suggestions and comments. Martin Cregeen kindly checked our English. The research was partly financed by Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS) through a research program (P1-0236) and bilateral project (BI-ME/16-17-018).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Urban Šilc
    • 1
    • 2
  • Danka Caković
    • 3
  • Filip Küzmič
    • 1
  • Danijela Stešević
    • 3
  1. 1.ZRC SAZU (Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts)Institute of BiologyLjubljanaSlovenia
  2. 2.BC NakloNakloSlovenia
  3. 3.Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Biology departmentUniversity of MontenegroPodgoricaMontenegro

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