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Quantifying links between turlough vegetation community diversity and hydrology

Nova Sharkey

Supervisor:  Dr. Steve Waldren

Turloughs are priority EU habitats, protected under the Water Framework Directive (among other legislation) and occurring primarily in Ireland.  The biota of turloughs is intrinsically linked with the hydrological regime, as evidenced by the zonation of vegetation along the flooding gradient.  This project will examine changes in vegetation along these gradients in conjunction with information on the flooding regime (obtained through continuous monitoring of water depth) in 20 turloughs.  This will provide novel information on the effect of inundation on vegetation communities in turloughs with varying hydrological regimes, and will enable the development of predictive models of turlough vegetation in response to flooding.  The information produced will help determine environmental and biodiversity conservation policy.

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Last updated 14 December 2009