Strand Vegetation

Strand vegetation includes “sandbuilder” plants naturally found along the shorelines, on or above the beach. It helps to stabilize the shoreline and break waves during king tides, wave events, and storm surges. It also serves as a windbreak to protect agroforests from salt spray and the drying effects of wind. The complete ecosystem includes trees, shrubs, and vines, grasses and other small plants that hold the soil and block wind and waves.

Where plants grow: different species belong in different zones

Strand vegetation refers to plants growing in the sand at the top of the beach. As you walk inland from the beach in a natural area, you will pass through several zones of vegetation, affected by salinity (salt), wind, and soil. If you plant, plant each species in its natural zone.

Illustration: Hulbirt

When to plant

If you plant coastal trees or shrubs:

What to plant

Cuttings of kōņņat (Scaevola) are the easiest and most effective thing to plant.

Protecting and encouraging strand forest

Recommendations from Brian Vandervelde

  1. Don’t cut or remove kōņņat (Scaevola).
  2. Don’t cut or remove edwaan [wild, inedible Pandanus variety], but it’s okay to replace it with loarm̗we [an edible cultivar]. loarm̗we is especially good for shorelines because it needs salt to control a scale that infests it if it grows further inland. Another variety that is good for shorelines is l̗eikm̗aan.
  3. Allow utilomar (Guettardia) to grow inland of kōņņat..
  4. Allow coconuts to “mat” (don’t thin them, even dense sprouts from fallen nuts).
  5. After heavy erosion, kiden (Heliotropium) and kōņņat will start to grow in from seeds – protect them.
  6. Foster kōñe (Pemphis).
  7. Do not allow kañal (Pisonia grandis) or kōjbar (Neisosperma oppositifolium) to invade the outer (seaward) portion. Keep them inland.
  8. Manage vines – they can be good [cover surface] or bad [if hindering establishment of desired plants].
  9. Kaōnōn (laurel dodder) can strengthen the strand vegetation, but if excessive, it causes dieback of desired plants. Conserve the topo (beach morning glory) and markinenjojo (yellow beach pea).
  10. Remove marjej (Wedelia biflora - beach sunflower) because it can grow up and choke desired plants.
  11. Remove marlap (Canavalia) because it can outcompete (shade out) desired plants.

Case studies

Waihee-Landscape Waihee-Tornefortia-Scavola.jpg