Wednesday, November 02, 2016

"The Flora of Fair Isle" - MSc research project by Camila Quinteros

Fair Isle Sea Pinks
Thrift (Armeria maritima), is found in every monad (1 km square) of Fair Isle and across an extremely diverse range of habitats.




Camila during her presenting of this research project at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh in September 2016. Not counting mosses, liverworts, hornworts, algae, lichens or fungus, she catalogued more than 250 vascular plant species along the island (include ferns, club mosses, flowering plants), more than 210 species are native to the British Isles.


Frog Orchid (Coeloglossum viride), one of the threatened species present on Fair Isle classified as Vulnerable by the "Vascular Plant Red List for Great Britain", can be found in the north side of the island.


Oysterplant (Mertensia maritima), one of the threatened species present on Fair Isle classified as Near Threatened by the "Vascular Plant Red List for Great Britain", can be found at Muckle Uri Geo by the South Lighthouse.



Chickweed Wintergreen (Trientalis europaeae), a representative species of  "Arctic- Alpine Plants Communities" present on the island at the north side.



Round-leaved Sundew or Common Sundew (Drosera rotundifolia), carnivorous plant found in some flush streams at the north side of the island.



Northern Marsh Orchid (Dactylorhiza purpurella), easily found around the Shop in summer season.



Heath Spotted-Orchid (Dactylorhiza maculata), found at the top of Malcom's Head.



Wilson's Filmy Fern (Hymenophyllum wilsonii) at Wirvie Burn, one of the threatened species present on Fair Isle classified as Near Threatened by the "Vascular Plant Red List for Great Britain".



Field Gentian (Gentianella campestris), one of the threatened species present on Fair Isle classified as Vulnerable by the "Vascular Plant Red List for Great Britain".



 This research project is hoped to be taken by future researchers as a significant baseline to focus on the conservation of those species under threat and those that are nationally scarce. After having the results of the floristic survey plus the habitat description, and in comparison with other islands and historical botanical records done on the island, it can be said that the flora of Fair Isle is surprisingly diverse. The diversity of habitats gives home to a considerable number of species.


Camila, wearing her traditional "Boina Gaucha" from Patagonia

Well done Camila! Fair Isle thanks you for your hard work.

 Camila, grew up on Easter Island until the age of 7 then moving to Punta Arenas- Chilean Patagonia, where she received her undergrad degree on Agricultural Science at Universidad de Magallanes. She was involved in the sheep industry in the region of Magallanes that host more than 2.200.000 sheep until she decided to explore botany. She was on Fair Isle in June of this year surveying the flora of the island, for her Master of Science in Biodiversity and Taxonomy of Plants at University of Edinburgh and Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. She is hoping to find her way to continue her research in the future. 

Copies of this research project have been given to the Fair Isle Bird Observatory library, island naturalist and should be very useful in the future to the Fair Isle Marine Protective Area.

4 comments:

  1. What a wonderful and important research project. Thanks for sharing it.

    Sarah

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  2. Is there anyway I could read the project online?

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  3. Having spent a week on Fair Isle at the same time as Camila, and getting to know her and her work, I would love to see the finished project.

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  4. Great to see this getting the attention it deserves! Well done Camila for all your hard work! And thanks to the Bird Obs for hosting her visit. We'll keep everyone posted once the paper is out so it's available for all to read.

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