Project Background

The habitat Floating River Vegetation, or “3260 Water courses of plain to montane levels with the Ranunculion fluitantis and Callitricho-Batrachion vegetation”, has been given little attention in Ireland. This habitat is listed in Annex I of the EU Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC) and consequently the Irish government is obliged to designate SACs for its conservation and thus maintain this habitat in a “favourable conservation status”. Little is known of the diversity of the plant communities of the habitat or of its spatial distribution within Ireland. This project aims to provide a more thorough definition of the habitat in an Irish context and to establish baseline data for a number of sites to allow for future habitat monitoring. The project is creating a living collection of material in the NBG for future educational displays and research. In addition the project will undertake a preliminary investigation of the genetic diversity of plants within and between catchments. To date, nothing is known about the genetic diversity of these plants in Irish waterways.

Project Aims

  • Assess the current status of the habitat.
  • Provide a definition of the habitat in an Irish context.
  • Create a living collection of plants for educational and research purposes.
  • Elaborate on existing keys and field guides for identification of species within the habitat.

Project Staff and Partners

Colin Kelleher (National Botanic Gardens) Deirdre Lynn (National Parks and Wildlife Service).