Derrinclare, Co Offaly cutover bog community mosaic

In August I undertook a brief survey of Derrinclare cutover bog in Offaly. This site is included in the Map of Irish Wetlands (Foss & Crushell 2011) under site code OF123 Derrinclare Cutover. Only limited site data was available as the site was identified from interpretation of aerial photography.

This cutover bog area has been abandoned for a considerable time and has been allowed to regenerate a variety of semi-natural vegetation types, including secondary bog communities, birch scrub and woodland and gorse scrub, mixed deciduous and conifer woodland, and fen communities. 

Within the cutover, fen habitat occurs in the lower lying parts of the site that were subject to peat cutting in the past. The fen vegetation has established in areas under the influence of mineral rich ground water, probably as a result of past cutting extending into the mineral substrate beneath the former bog. The fen communities include areas of Cladium mariscus fen and Schoenus nigricans fen. The fen areas are rich in brown mosses including Campylium stellatum, Scorpidium scorpioides, and the liverwort Aneura pinguis. The fen habitat occurs in an intimate mosaic together with scrub and regenerating bog communities.

During the vegetation survey of Derrinclare, three active larval webs of Marsh Fritillary (Euphydryas aurinia) butterfly were recorded towards the southern edge of the site. 

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Overview of cutover bog habitat at Derrinclare, County Offaly.    

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Diverse range of habitats present at Derrinclare, County Offaly including scrub, Molinia dominated grassland, and bog communities.    

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Cutover bog with secondary regenerating alkaline fen at Derrinclare, County Offaly. Note the presence of Cladium mariscus.    

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Brown mosses dominate the ground layer confirming base rich fen conditions at Derrinclare, County Offaly. Species include Campylium stellatum, Scorpidium scorpioides, and the liverwort Aneura pinguis.

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Marsh Fritillary (Euphydryas aurinia) larval web on Succisa pratensis leaf.     

© Peter Foss 2012