Effect of human activities and dune design on vegetation dynamics and associated topographic development in NBS-modified coastal landscapes
Dunes and beaches have many functions; they serve as flood protection, supply drinking water, facilitate recreational activities, and are one of the most biodiverse ecosystems of the Netherlands. The Dutch coastline is heavily managed to allow space for all these functions to occur. This management is often done by means of nature-based-solutions (NBS), such as sand nourishments. As the requirements for these functions are not the same, the design of an area is an important part of the functions it can support. Yet many bio-physical processes are poorly understood in relation to the human activities that take place there. Especially the interaction of new dune development (embryo dunes) and human activities has not been researched.
Within this contexed I am investigating the interactions between vegetation development, sediment dynamics and human activities of embryo dunes at the Dutch coast. I do this with a combination of field experiments and remote sensing. I want to determine both how people affect sediment accretion and erosion as well as plant growth I n embryo dunes, and how the presence of vegetation and embryo dunes influences people.
I am supervised by Dr. Juul Limpens and Dr. Michel Riksen. My project is part of the larger project ReAShore, in which the socio-bio-physical dynamics of anthropogenic sandy shores are investigated. This is done in collaboration with University Twente and HZ University of Applied Sciences.
The photo shows the creation of artificial dune fields for one of my field experiments.