Date of Award

Fall 1977

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biological Sciences



Committee Director

Gerald F. Levy

Committee Member

Lytton J. Mussleman

Committee Member

Harold G. Marshall

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.B46 T95


A unique series of interdunal depressions was recognized on the barrier dune system of southeastern Virginia. Plant distribution and succession, and environmental factors controlling them, were studied in the series. Plant community distribution appears to be predominantly controlled by soil moisture, interspecific competition, and feral hog disturbance. Both biotic and physiographic succession are apparent with Quercus virginiana probably climax for both. Salt spray and feral hog and migratory waterfowl activity are important controlling factors of plant succession. Results indicate that the zonal appearance of shrubs and trees on the Virginia and North Carolina coasts is due to the absence of arborescent forms in medium to high salt spray areas because of their intolerance to salt spray. Evidence suggest that soil moisture deficiency is a major factor in determining perennial foredune constituents and that foredune-grass, shrub, and tree zones are not progressive seral stages on stable or degrading sea coasts.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).