Life On Aardagullion Bog

Flora of Ardagullion Bog
The LIFE team are currently undertaking a comprehensive ground study of the flora and fauna of Ardagullion Bog SAC, and already there have been some surprising results. We’ll have details of it here soon, but for now, the most recent published survey work (Fernandez et all, 2003 – 2006) reveals that Ardagullion has a relatively large central ecotope area present with frequent pools with a high Sphagnum cover.
Active Raised Bog covers 14.00ha (24.28%) of the high bog area.

There is a relatively large central ecotope in this bog with frequent pools with a high Sphagnum cover. There is an extensive sub-central ecotope around the central area and extending to the southern region of the bog. In the high bog centre, the summit is level and the habitat appears to be primary. The pools are frequent and well developed with Sphagnum cuspidatum (some have S. magellanicum).

Drosera anglica is present in all with algae and Menyanthes trifoliata in some. All the pools are bordered in part by Sphagnum species.

The inter-pool areas are dominated by Sphagnum species (80%) with robust Calluna vulgaris, Eriophorum vaginatum, Rhynchospora alba and Narthecium ossifragum also prominent. This area does not appear to have been seriously burnt although a few hummocks feature dead moss and Cladonia floerkeana. The area is a classic pool / hummock system with frequent pools of different shapes (some are round and others are long and sinuous) interspersed with hummocks, flats and islands of vegetation. Many hummocks have good clumps of Cladonia portentosa and C. uncialis. The ground is wet and quaking.

Ardagullion is a good example of a central ecotope type. The acrotelm is good varying in depth from 5 to 10cm except on the burnt hummocks where it is absent.

Degraded Raised Bog was considered to cover 36.67ha (63.62%) of the high bog area. Apart from the Active Raised Bog, the remainder of the bog is sub-marginal except for a dry marginal area to the west associated with forestry – and the facebank ecotope which is a narrow band of vegetation dominated by robust Calluna vulgaris on the cut-face slopes on the bog margins.

There is an extensive area of marginal habitat to the south-west. This area is very dry due to drains associated with surrounding forestry. The Calluna vulgaris which dominated here is very robust and plants are an average of 80cm in height. There is abundant Cladonia portentosa between the bushes. A small section in the southeast of the bog also features this vegetation complex. On a slope by the eastern cutaway margin, Carex panicea dominates with Trichophorum caespitosum and Erica tetralix. There is Calluna vulgaris present but it is small and young and together with bare peat indicates burning in this region. The best of the sub-marginal habitat is very wet with lots of standing water which made it difficult to distinguish permanent pools of which there may be a few. The vegetation is co-dominated by Sphagnum species (50%) and Eriophorum vaginatum (40%). Also Narthecium ossifragum (10%) and Eriophorum angustifolium (10%) are prominent. Trichophorum caespitosum (5%) occurs through the vegetation as occasional tussocks. Sphagnum cover is high (50%) with large carpets of S. magellanicum, S. capillifolium and S. papillosum. Both Calluna vulgaris and Erica tetralix have sparse coverage of 5% each and there are small patches of Cladonia portentosa (+) present.

Fauna of Ardagullion Bog

Many of the typical fauna associated with raised bog habitats are likely to occur at Ardagullion Bog. However, there is a lack of documented site-specific data relating to the fauna of the bog. The LIFE team are currently addressing this as part of our project.

Raised Bog Life