Corrib Connect


Natural Heritage - Flora

Tony Whildes Lough Corrib Ecotour privides a good introductory guide to the Corrib Flora. Another excellent introduction is provided by the Corrib Country Ramblers Guide and Map.

The site is a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) selected for the following habitats and/or species listed on Annex I / II of the E.U. Habitats Directive (* = priority;numbers in brackets are Natura 2000 codes)  (see also):

[3110] Oligotrophic Waters containing very few minerals

[3140] Hard Water Lakes

[3260] Floating River Vegetation

[6210] Orchid-rich Calcareous Grassland*

[6410] Molinia Meadows

[7110] Raised Bog (Active)*

[7120] Degraded Raised Bog

[7150] Rhynchosporion Vegetation

[7210] Cladium Fens*

[7220] Petrifying Springs*

[7230] Alkaline Fens

[8240] Limestone Pavement*

[91A0] Old Oak Woodlands

[91D0] Bog Woodland*

 The Site Synopsis of the Lough Corrib SAC produced by the NPWS has detailed account of the habitats listed above. Readers wishing for more detailed information will have to have recourse to the scientific literature.

Krause and King (Vegetatio 110: 149-161, 1994)have produced a Table listing species inventories f or 25 sites in a sequence from Maam Bridge at the extreme western arm of the lake to the eastern site of the lower Corrib.

It is hardly surprising given the gradient in terms of water chemistry from the western arm of upper lough Corrib to the lower lake that is also a corresponding in vegetation. This largely attributable to the geology and the degree of physical mixing within the basins of the lake (see here) This gradation is a gradual one from an oligotrophic isoetid-dominated flora in the western arm porly mixed physically with the main upper basin, to a more mesotrophic Chara-dominated flora in the well mixed main basin of the upper Corrib. This floral and chemical regime extends to Shankhill Bay just below the Annaghdown narrows on the eastern shore of the lower basin. There is an abrupt change in water chemistry and flora evident from west to east in the lower lake. This largely due to the discharge from the Clare river impacting on the discharge from middle Lough Corrib to the lower lake creating two distinct circulation patterns, each with different physical and chemical parameters and with little mixing between the two.