Field Trip - Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore - 3 of 12
By Paul Katula, Dateline: GARY, Ind. (May 27, 2006)


Dense network makes sand suitable for other plants:
As marram grass reproduces, the density of plants on the dune increases. If summer breezes are gentle and sand piles up slowly or if one particular area is shielded from the winds that shift the sand, the internodes will be short, and the marram grass may not survive. Rhizomes may also poke above the ground and die from exposure in sheltered places that have no sand buildup at all, so this pioneer species actually thrives when sand drift is most severe.

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