Habitat 2130* Coastal dunes with herbaceous vegetation. Grey dunes



See habitat register entry


Dunas grises CádizwebThese are secondary (or grey) dunes of the Atlantic coast. In them the intensity of the wind decreases with respect to the first line of the beach and allows the stabilisation of the substrate. These conditions favour the development of herbaceous and woody vegetation of a small size (low-lying shrubs). Although this is the case, the poverty of these soils and the addition of marine aerosols transported by wind prevents their development to a more mature vegetation. The accumulation of organic matter and the lower proportion of bare soil for the development of the vegetation make these dunes adopt darker or greyer tones than the primary dune (yellow dune).

This habitat is mainly located on the Andalusian Atlantic coastline where the Doñana dunes stand out (the greatest system of mobile dunes in Europe) and Flecha del Rompido as a natural habitat of Thymus carnosus, a small endemic shrub that is seriously endangered.


In Europe, this habitat can be found in the Atlantic, Boreal, Continental, Macaronesian and Mediterranean regions. In Spain, this habitat is restricted to the Atlantic coastline (Andalusia, Galicia, Asturias and Cantabria) and the Macaronesian area (Canary Islands).
In Andalusia, it is found throughout the coast of Huelva and in some enclaves of Cadiz and Estepona (Malaga).


  • Unregulated public use (trampling, vehicles).
    Presence of invasive exotic species.
    Competition of exotic species with Thymus carnosus.
    Urban pressure.
    Coastal deterioration and erosion.


Pasarela1. Control of the passage and parking of vehicles.
2. Regulation and channelling of access to the beach.
3. Information panels.
4. Regulation of sports and leisure activities in the dune system (e.g. horse riding).
5. Legislative protection and use management plans.
6. Restoration and revegetation in cases where there has been erosion and/or degradation due to natural or anthropic causes.


Examples of fixed dunes with herbaceous vegetation in Andalusia and some representative species.