Use of dredge islands by a declining European shorebird, the Kentish plover Charadrius alexandrinus

  • Published source details Scarton F., Cecconi G. & Valle R. (2013) Use of dredge islands by a declining European shorebird, the Kentish plover Charadrius alexandrinus. Wetlands Ecology and Management, 21, 15-27.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Deposit soil/sediment to form physical structure of brackish/salt marshes

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation
  1. Deposit soil/sediment to form physical structure of brackish/salt marshes

    A replicated study in 2005–2007 in Venice Lagoon, Italy (Scarton et al. 2013) reported that 75 artificial islands had developed up to 70% vegetation coverage, mostly of salt marsh plant communities. On average, the islands were six years four months old when surveyed and 61% of their area was vegetated. Two salt marsh plant communities made up most of the vegetated area: a community dominated by samphire Salicornia spp. (55% of vegetated area) and a community dominated by shrubby swampfire Sarcocornia fruticosa (20% of vegetated area). Islands 5–15 years old had higher overall vegetation coverage (70%) than islands 0–2 years old (27%) or islands 16–19 years old (37%). Statistical significance of this cover result was not assessed. Methods: Between 2005 and 2007, vegetation communities on 75 artificial islands were mapped using aerial photographs and field surveys. The islands had been created between 1988 and 2007 by depositing dredged sediment into geotextile-lined pens (with some gaps in the walls to encourage tidal creek formation). The island surfaces settled to 50–100 cm above sea level: an elevation intended to allow salt marsh vegetation to develop. The average area of the islands was 11.3 ha (range 0.1–51.4 ha).

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

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