Killorglin Biodiversity Survey reveals the occurrence of a number invasives

American skunk cabbage

As part of the viodiversity survey of Killorglin in May a total of 24 different habitat types were recorded in the environs of the town. Of the habitats recorded; the river, lake, estuary, woodland, reed bed, salt marsh, and rocky shore are of most importance from a biodiversity perspective. The current survey identified 228 species of mainly terrestrial flora and fauna as occurring within the study area. This includes 162 species of higher plants (mostly native species); 15 fern and related species; 9 mosses and liverworts; 1 seaweed species; 26 bird species; 2 mammals and 6 species of insects.

Five invasive alien species were recorded as likely to have a significant impact on biodiversity:

·       Rhododendron (Rhododendron ponticum) which is having a moderate impact on the hedgerow and scrub woodland habitats by shading out native species.

·       Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica) which is abundant within the town and is significantly impacting on the marginal habitats associated with the river.

·       American Skunk Cabbage (Lysichiton americanus) which was recorded in sections of wet woodland along the Steel Bridge Walk and which frequently occurred in the wet willow-alder-ash woodland to the south of the town which is part of the Castlemaine Harbour SAC.

·       Giant Rhubarb (Gunnera tinctoria) which was the least frequent invasive species and was recorded in a grassland area adjacent to the car park just south of the town and was also recorded along the eastern banks of the River Laune, south of the town.

·       Krauss's Clubmoss (Selaginella kraussiana) which was recorded in the wet woodland to the south of the town. 

© Peter Foss 2012