Ecological and geomorphological changes after artificial disturbance in a coastal dune

Authors: Keonhak Lee*, Seoul National University, Daehyun Kim*, Seoul National University
Topics: Biogeography, Geomorphology, Coastal and Marine
Keywords: coastal dune, disturbance, geomorphological dynamic, vegetation dynamic, biogeomorphology
Session Type: Virtual Poster
Day: 4/8/2021
Start / End Time: 11:10 AM / 12:25 PM
Room: Virtual 51
Presentation File: Download



The Sindu coastal dune, located in western Korea, has been studied intensively by many researchers. However, these studies assume that the system shows an equilibrium state. In this era of rapid climate change, however, it is anticipated that the frequency and magnitude of disturbance events will increase. Therefore, it is questionable whether our current understanding of Sindu is still applicable in a non-equilibrium state we will encounter.

  In this study, we take advantage of an unusual event, in which an extensive foredune area (ca, 1.2ha) at Sindu was completely devegetated and flattened. The situation can mimic the occurrence of a large-scale washover event driven by a high-magnitude storm surge. The purpose of our research is to show ecological and geomorphological changes over one year after this pseudo-disturbance.

  The results indicated that geomorphological changes were closely connected with seasonal wind and vegetation cover. In winter with strong wind, the disturbed area with no vegetation showed high erosion. Together, these eroded sands were deposited in the dune slack with high vegetation cover. In summer and fall when plant species established, vegetation cover of the disturbed area was negatively related to erosion rate. In terms of ecological changes, the plant species composition of the disturbed foredune was diversified over time and became more similar to that of the undisturbed foredune.

  What we present here can be a glimpse of the Korean coastal system in a non-equilibrium state where the system transitioned from stochastic to a more deterministic environment.

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