The influence of hydrological regime and grazing management on the plant communities of a karst wetland (Skealoghan turlough) in Ireland


Link to Full Text

Download Full Text

Publication Date

January 2008


Question: What is the influence of hydrological regime, soils and management on the plant community composition and species richness of Skealoghan turlough (groundwater dependent calcareous wetland). Location: Skealoghan turlough, County Mayo, Ireland. Methods: Percentage cover of vascular plants and bryophytes were recorded, and data on hydrological regimes, soils and management were collected. Data were analysed using multivariate statistical techniques. Results: A total of 69 species of vascular plants and mosses were recorded. Cluster analysis grouped the samples into two separate communities, the Cirsio‐Molinietum and the Ranunculo‐Potentilletum anserinae plant communities. The plant community composition and species richness followed a main gradient down into the turlough basin, but also varied with microtopography, resulting in a mosaic of vegetation types. Conclusions: The biodiversity and conservation value of the site is linked to the heterogeneity in its physical environment in which hydrology, soils and grazing management all play critical roles.


Diversity, Groundwater, Hydrology, Grazing Management, Wetland

Document Type



Applied Vegetation Science, Vol. 11, no. 1 (2008).