As you move away from the shoreline, leaving the beach behind and proceeding inland, the sandy soil become more hospitable for those plants that help consolidate it: initially grasses and then reeds mixed with rushes, shrubs and trees.
The variables that most affect life in the dune environment are the salinity, brackish wind with windblown sand grains, its high permeability and the lack of humus in the soil.
We first encounter the embryonic dunes, formed by the colonization and development of graminaceous plants capable of retaining the sand that the wind carries. These bushy grasses intercept the sand and accumulate it at their base.
From here on the consolidated dunes begin to form, fixed lines of dune, stabilized by the rooting of plants capable of developing vertically as the sand settles and equipped with dense root systems. All dune species play a very important ecological role and their presence is in fact essential in the retention and consolidation of the sediment that forms this coastal “step”. Moreover, the sand harnessed in the dune belt represents a sediment “reservoir” for the natural augmentation of the beach. The density of the plants and the height of the line of dunes that forms, finally create a natural barrier against the influence of the brackish winds, thus protecting the areas behind it from the marine aerosol.
The wood behind the beach suffers the effect of storm surges and salt and is exposed to the bora winds from the north-east. It does not, therefore, have a very regular appearance and often full of fallen branches, together with flotsam and jetsam of various kinds.
Immediately inland from the strip of coastal grasses we find dense reedbeds with Common Reed (Phragmites australis) mixed in with specimens of False Indigo Bush (Amorpha fruticosa), Spiny Rush (Juncus acutus) and Tamarisk (Tamarix gallica).
The coastal forest follows the strip of coastal reeds. Among the most typical tree species we find examples of Holm (or Evergreen Oak (Quercus ilex) that is spontaneously renewing itself as well as Black Poplar (Populus nigra) and White Poplar (Populus alba), typical of wetlands, as well as a few rare examples of English oak (Quercus robur), the oak typical of the plain woodlands of lower Friuli area. Elder (Sambucus nigra). False Acacia (Robinia pseudoacacia) and Bramble (Rubus sp.) predominate in the shrub layer, associated with Hawthorn (Crataegus oxycantha), False Indigo Bush (Amorpha fruticosa), Dogwood (Cornus sanguinea), Tamarisk (Tamerix gallica) and White Willow (Salix alba).
Alongside these spontaneous plant species and typical of the local flora there are plant species introduced in the past for agricultural use, such as the Giant Reed (Arundo donax), Siberian Elm (Ulmus pumila) and the widespread Black Poplar (Populus nigra), which are well integrated into the local woodland types.
The management of the Reserve is aimed at improving the composition of the forest by favouring the spread of the most valuable species and the healthiest specimens, with the carrying out of targeted containment cuts, the thinning of invasive species and removal of beached or dumped rubbish.