Coastal foredunes are the most dynamic part of a dune system. They occupy the drier raised coastal sand and gravels seaward of the coastal forest zone. Dry beach sand is moved inland by wind and trapped by dunes and their plants.
Sand dunes form in coastal areas where there is shelter from strong waves, a good supply of sand, onshore winds, and dunebinding plants such as grasses and sedges.
The two main species of ‘sand-binders’ native to New Zealand are the endemic sedge pingao, and the silvery sand grass or spinifex. Other native plants in dunes are sand tussock, sand coprosma and sand daphne. A common introduced sandbinding plant is marram grass that has taken over considerable expanses of New Zealand’s dune landscape.
- Coastal foredune vegetation in Wellington fact sheet (PDF, 387K)
- Coastal Restoration Trust of NZ Sustainable management on dune ecosystems
- Dunes@otago Research into dune systems
- Restoring Waikato's indigenous biodoversity Waikato Biodiversity Forum