• Distinguishing dune environments based on topsoil characteristics: a case study on the Sefton Coast

      Millington, Jennifer A.; Booth, Colin A.; Fullen, Michael A.; Trueman, Ian C.; Worsley, Annie T. (Coastal Defence: Sefton MBC Technical Services Department, 2010)
      It is important to understand the effects of coastal change on the migration of coastal dune environments and their associated imprint on soil processes, for both environmental and ecological motives. Geographical Information Systems (GIS) have been applied to investigate soil spatial patterns and their controlling influences on the Sefton dunes. To verify relationships between plant communities and soil types, groundtruthing of existing vegetation maps has been achieved through analysis of representative, geo-referenced, topsoil (0-5 cm) samples (n = 115), fromclassified dune environments (n = 10), for the purpose of distinguishing dune environments from their soil characteristics. Samples were analysed for pH, organic matter content, particle size, total soil organic carbon and total soil nitrogen, geochemical composition and magnetic susceptibility. Significant differences (p <0.05) are apparent for the suite of soil characteristics collated, indicating individual dune environments are associated with specific soil properties. Therefore, identification and mapping of dune soil habitats can provide baseline information for conservation management.