The coastline of southern Portugal is composed of extensive beaches with dune chains interspersed with cliffs. Until the 1980s, human occupation was small all around the year and was based on fishing, agriculture and shellfish gathering. This region's excellent preservation and distinctive character led to its declaration in 1988 as a Natural Park, a protected area. However, human occupation, particularly tourism, has dramatically increased in the last two decades. Linked with a persistent lack of rain and rising air temperature, coastal ecosystems of the Natural Park are under pressure, which can lead to their degradation.
Beach primary dunes are particularly sensitive to spoilage and degradation, as the vegetation is only herbaceous, and the sand is a substrate easily transported by the wind. The European beachgrass is the most important perennial herbaceous plant for fixing sand and maintaining primary dunes (Ammophila arenaria (L.) Link).
Last April, when visiting Carrapateira, a beach ln the southern part of the Natural Park, one of the most beautiful beaches of Portugal and perhaps of Europe, I was surprised by a dune where European beachgrass was very abundant and grew luxuriantly. The sun was shining in the sky and on the grass. A moderate wind made the plant leaves, and flowers undulate — the brown-yellow sand contrasted with the midday sky's blue. Using the minimum aperture of the lens (f/22), I got all the planes focused. It was wild nature at its best.
Benefits of VIP membership:
• Download all new issues of Landscape Photography Magazine
• Download all back issues of Landscape Photography Magazine
• Download all new issues of Wild Planet Photo Magazine
• Download all back issues of Wild Planet Photo Magazine
• Download premium eBooks worth £19.45.
• Create your Personal Portfolio Page – click here to see sample
• Your pictures stay attached to your Personal Portfolio Page forever
• We promote all your uploaded pictures to over 300,000 members and followers
• Submission Priority – your submission goes to the front of the queue
• Fast Support – we aim to reply within 12 hours
Create your Personal Portfolio Page and let us share your published pictures with over 300,000 members and followers.
Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor