Site Condition Monitoring of the downy willow Salix lapponum component of the Vascular Plant Assemblage interest of Skinsdale Peatlands SSSI, 2016
Considerably more downy willow Salix lapponum was present on the site than previously recorded.
Tea-leaved willow Salix phylicifolia was also present.
Several populations of both mountain willows are regarded as self-sustaining using the Gilbert (2015) monitoring guidance.
The Salix lapponum component of the vascular plant assemblage interest is regarded as being in favourable condition using Common Standards Monitoring for Vascular Plants.
Red deer were the chief cause of trampling and browsing damage.
Note that duplicates of some or all records may be held by other data providers such as BSBI & Highland Biological Recording Group.
Skinsdale Peatlands SSSI
Site Condition Monitoring is a six-year rolling programme of assessment, against quality standards, of the state of notified features on designated sites. This report is principally concerned with mountain willows on Skinsdale Peatlands SSSI. Downy willow Salix lapponum is a nationally scare species of mountain willow which forms part of the Vascular Plant Assemblage interest of Skinsdale Peatlands SSSI. Monitoring visits to the site over the previous 12 years had suggested the population of downy willow had declined. The main aim of the current assessment therefore was to relocate and assess the current status of the known populations of downy willow and to search for any unrecorded stands of the plant within the SSSI. A secondary aim was to assess whether there were any pressures on the downy willow population. Although not part of the core remit of the survey, any populations of the nationally scarce dwarf birch Betula nana and alpine bearberry Actostaphylos alpinus that were encountered were recorded.
Stands of mountain willow were subjected to three types of monitoring recording:
i) Standard SCM protocols for assessing Mountain Willow
ii) A new recording protocol based on the recommendations of Gilbert (2015)
iii) Standard Vascular Plant SCM recording
Grid references and location photographs relating to the known population of downy willow were used to relocate it. In addition, the location of a willow stand whose identification remained ambiguous was revisited in order to assess its status. Additional searching of potential habitat locations was undertaken to extend the range of known locations of the target feature.
To gain access to steep ledges and cliffs standard rock climbing equipment was used. A few areas that remained inaccessible were surveyed by binoculars. Mountain willow locations were recorded using a hand-held GPS receiver and by photography.
Wells, C. & Clay, PLC. (2018) Condition Survey of Upland and Peatland Notified Features on Designated Sites 2016: Skinsdale Peatlands SSSI. Scottish Natural Heritage, Unpublished Research Report.
Looking up... the number of records that can be accessed through the NBN Atlas. This resource was last checked for updated data on 27 Jul 2020. The most recent data was published on 27 Jul 2020.Click to view records for the Site Condition Monitoring of the downy willow Salix lapponum component of the Vascular Plant Assemblage interest of Skinsdale Peatlands SSSI, 2016 resource.