Flora guardian survey records 2004 - 2013 for Scotland
This dataset of 258 species records gives distribution and abundance data on 13 of Plantlife's Back from the Brink vascular plant species (Astragalus danicus, Betula nana, Cephalanthera longifolia, Dianthus deltoides, Epipactis helleborine, Epipactis youngiana, Gentianella campestris, Juniperus communis, Linnaea borealis, Lychnis viscaria, Platanthera bifolia, Platanthera chlorantha, Spiranthes romanzoffiana), it collates information collected at sites by Plantlife's Staff and Flora Guardians over a nine -year period.
This dataset also includes species records for invasive non native species at key sites as monitored by Flora guardians. Japanese Knotweed, Rhododendron, New Zealand Pigmyweed and Buddleja at various sites are included within this dataset.
Dataset records collected (in the most instances) as part of the ongoing BFB Programme instigated to safeguard and increase numbers of rare species at their native sites. Monitoring data is essential to assess the population health and distribution of rare and threatened species, as well as integral to the decision making about management techniques etc. that should be carried out for species and at specific sites. It gives a clear indication of population trends and informs our UK conservation fieldwork.
Data should not be regarded as having comprehensive geographic or temporal coverage due to constraints given above. Records are variable in quality. Many records are detailed, with six-figure grid references and full dates, but some are not. Experience is needed in interpretation. Although the dataset is comprised of records from surveys conducted or collated/checked by botanical experts and we are in the most instance confident that species were correctly identified and the geographic position derived properly, Plantlife recognises a margin of human error must be considered when looking at the dataset as a whole. Plantlife cannot therefore guarantee 100% accuracy of information included in the dataset.
Flora Guardians visit the BFB sites (usually) once a year and carry out a detailed assessment of the population - manually counting the number of plants present and noting grid reference of populations, and general site details. If the plant populations are too numerous to count manually an estimation of population size may be given. The estimation may be worked out by surveying several quadrats or transects at the site and extrapolating abundance data based on area size. Flora Guardians are often botanical experts in their own right and have been fully trained to recognise BFB species. If uncertain a second expert will be consulted to ensure correct identification.
In some instances Plantlife will contract a botanical expert to visit sites and provide a report on findings. This information is also included in this dataset (and is subject to the same standards listed above).
Grid references can be indicative of site location or species population. For further information on this distinction please contact Plantlife.
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