Sand dune communities and climate change
Scotland’s sand dune vegetation has been assessed to investigate species distribution in relation to ecological variables. The response of the vegetation is modelled to assess if ecosystem processes and species distribution are related to climate. The study will test this relationship to determine if shifts in species distributions correspond to shifts in trait characteristics of the vegetation, allowing us to identify potential species at risk from loss of suitable habitat despite no loss of suitable climate.
During 2010, the Institute carried out a resurvey of the vegetation of major Machair sites around the west and north coast of Scotland. The previous survey was carried out in 1976 and 1977 and comparison will show how management changes may have contributed to changes in the biodiversity of this important habitat. The work is being funded by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and the Scottish Government.
Who is working in this area?
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