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Persistence, extinction and different species pools within the flora of lake islands in western Ireland

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The vascular flora on twenty-nine lake islands in Lough Corrib, western Ireland was surveyed in 1992–93. Thirteen of these islands had been surveyed by the author in 1974 (Roden, 1979). Data on species–area curves and species turnover between 1974 and 1992 are presented. Species numbers on each island did not change greatly in the 18-year interval and extinctions were most common on smaller islands. It is known that six of the islands surveyed are less than 150 years old and their flora must have immigrated over open water during that period. It is shown that this group of species has a different log species/log area regression than the remaining flora, with a much shallower slope (low Z value). The proportion of less widespread species was greatest on islands nearest to the mainland. The implication of different slopes in different species groups and the restriction of turnover to rare species is discussed with reference to the island Theory of Biogeography.

Keywords: Extinction; Ireland; island biogeography; lake islands; species groups; vascular plants

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: 21 St John's Terrace, Galway, Ireland

Publication date: March 1, 1998

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