Water research institute, ministry of Energy
Department of Environmental Engineering, Environmental Engineering, University of Tehran
Department of Biology, Faculty of Basic Sciences, University of Mazandaran
Sand dunes are crucial factors related to stability of the coasts, and vegetation plays a decisive role in their creation. In this research paper, analyzing the effects of the Caspian Sea level fluctuations and human intervention on transformation of habitats and biodiversity of coastal plants on sand dunes is assumed as the main goal. The morphological structure of coastal sand dunes and the biodiversity of their plant species were investigated by selecting 11 transects in the eastern coast of the central Mazandaran (Babolsar-Amirabad), also the major changes of the sand dunes in coastal lands were evaluated during the period of the Caspian Sea water level rise, 1978-1995, using the remote sensing. The results showed that coastal dunes in the southern coasts of the Caspian Sea are divided into three groups, intact or healthy, semi-healthy and completely destructed. In total, 174 plant species belonging to 134 genera and 75 families were identified in coastal embankment ecosystems as well as in active, middle and back sand dunes of the coast. The impacts of human intervention (changes in land cover and land use) and some increase in the Caspian Sea level during 1978-1995 were identified as factors affecting the damage of coastal sand dunes.