A floristic survey of Fair Isle

Camila V Quinteros Peñafiel, Nick Riddiford, Alexander Twyford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Fair Isle is a small isolated island located off the northern tip of Great Britain. Recognised internationally for rare migratory birds and important seabird colonies, the flora of Fair Isle has received far less attention. To rectify this, we present the first comprehensive floristic study of the island. A botanical survey was performed for each monad, and habitat information was collated following the NCC Phase 1 habitat survey method. These data were compiled to give a comprehensive checklist of 318 species, classified into 31 orders, 68 families and 191 genera according to APG IV. Of the total number of species, 255 are native to Great Britain and the remaining 63 are aliens. The list includes 10 species under threat, 7 nationally scarce and 1 nationally rare species. Our results reveal that even though Fair Isle is about 200 times smaller than the full archipelago of Shetland, it holds over one-third the number of species. The island is also notable for its complex mosaic of habitats, which include a range of communities that are rare or under threat elsewhere in the British Isles. We also provide additions since Scott & Palmer (1987) to the flora of Fair Isle, and recommendations for future monitoring to record changes in land-use and the effects of climate change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-111
JournalNew Journal of Botany
Volume7
Issue number2-3
Early online date22 Dec 2017
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Dec 2017

Keywords

  • Fair Isle
  • floristic survey
  • Great Britain
  • island diversity
  • Shetland

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