Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Sandy Shore

Photo credit: Wang Luan Keng

Description

Sandy shores used to be found in small patches along the coasts of primeval Singapore, with the largest stretch on the southeast coast from Tanjong Rhu to Changi Point. Singapore today, however, has few natural sandy shores left, due mainly to land reclamation. They are found mostly on offshore islands such as Pulau Semakau, Pulau Ubin, and Pulau Tekong. On the main island, substantial sandy beaches are found now in Changi Beach and the western bank of Sungei Simpang. Artificial beaches can instead be seen in many places, including our Southern Islands, Pasir Ris, and the East Coast Parkway.

Some sandy shores in Singapore are formed via erosion and weathering of quartz, giving rise to sandy beaches found at Changi, some southern islands and other islands in the Straits of Johore.

Due to their proximity to the sea, sandy shores are characteristically extreme in terms of environmental conditions. This includes high temperatures, high light intensity, low humidity and the presence of salt sprays. On top of that, sandy substrates are rather porous, thus having low water retention and nutrient content. Very few plants are adapted to this type of 'dry' and nutrient-poor habitat. Sandy shores also lack the hard substrate required by many sessile marine organisms.

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Sandy Shore

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