Friday, October 7, 2022

Authority removes invasive species from Dunes

Donegal County Council has removed invasive species which pose a threat to the native vegetation of sand dunes in Marble Hill recently. The main threats to the dune habitat were sycamore and sea buckthorn.

The effect of these invasive species relates to their shading-out and competing with the native dune plants and production of floristically-poor dense thickets. This is particularly true of Sea Buckthorn thickets which can completely alter the character of the local dune habitat, species composition, and the nutrient status of the soil where it grows.

The contractor has initially cleared the area of ​​sea buckthorn scrub by manual techniques, such as the mechanical removal of larger items or chain saw. Materials were then chipped and removed from the site for disposal, along with any larger non-chipped branches and trunk wood. Larger Sea buckthorn stumps were then weep-wiped with Glyphosphate and the remaining, smaller shrubs, sprayed with Timbrel.

The removal of invasive species from the dunes leaves the natural marram environment which will ensure their integrity. Sand dunes are a natural line of coastal defense which are of increasing importance as the sea level continues to rise and more frequent extreme weather events take place. Giving nature a helping hand at Marble Hill will assist ensure the integrity of the dunes and their response to climate change, the marine officer for Donegal County Council, David Friel said.

In the face of Climate Change coastal dunes are a natural defense against Coastal Erosion. Sand dunes provide natural coastal protection against storm surge and high waves and help prevent or reduce coastal flooding and structural damage to properties behind them.

The preservation and strengthening of these natural coastal defenses plays an important role in increasing our coastal resilience to the impacts of climate change.

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