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The Fungi of Irish Grasslands and Their Value for Nature Conservation

Roland McHugh, David Mitchel, Mark Wright and Roy Anderson
Biology and Environment: Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy
Vol. 101B, No. 3 (Dec., 2001), pp. 225-243
Published by: Royal Irish Academy
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20500123
Page Count: 19
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The Fungi of Irish Grasslands and Their Value for Nature Conservation
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Abstract

Many species of grassland fungi are sensitive to the application of artificial fertilisers, especially those containing phosphorus. It may take a considerable time for fertilised sites to be rehabilitated, even if managed positively for nature conservation. In this respect, analysis of the resident mycota offers an excellent way to identify and classify ancient unfertilised grassland sites. The present paper seeks to further knowledge of these habitats in Ireland by presenting preliminary results for Ireland of a waxcap survey of the British Isles instigated by the British Mycological Society. We review various systems used in Continental Europe for assessing the quality of ancient grasslands through their mycota. We have constructed a system for assessing Irish grassland sites using a species quality score that takes into account species indicator value in a broader context combined with apparent rarity in Ireland. The system is simple and robust and can be used in parallel with the other Continental systems.

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