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Habitats of an Urban Nature Reserve An illustrated case study of Possil Marsh Nature Reserve, Glasgow This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike.

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Presentation on theme: "Habitats of an Urban Nature Reserve An illustrated case study of Possil Marsh Nature Reserve, Glasgow This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike."— Presentation transcript:

1 Habitats of an Urban Nature Reserve An illustrated case study of Possil Marsh Nature Reserve, Glasgow This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License

2 Overview Possil Marsh, shown left, is an area of semi- natural habitat set in a man- made landscape. As shown here, to the north the land is used for agriculture and the Campsie Fells located 11 kilometres to the north can be seen from the reserve.

3 Overview To the south and east of Possil Marsh lie areas of housing. While to the west lies Balmore Road, a busy A road leading into the centre of Glasgow. On the other side of this road lies Lambhill cemetery and crematorium.

4 Overview This rest of this presentation consists of photographs illustrating the semi-natural habitats that make up the reserve and provide a home to the reserve’s unexpectedly rich urban biodiversity

5 Neutral Grassland Grassland growing on soil with neutral ph Hills and farmland outside the reserve Scattered stunted trees and shrubs, known as scrub

6 Tall Herb Tall herb, which can include willow herb, bramble and a variety of seeding plants can provide good protection for nesting birds and a food source in winter

7 Scrub Habitat

8 Dense Scrub These stunted trees and bushes are typical of scrub habitat. The trees are kept to a small stature because of poor quality soils and/or flooding that prevents strong root systems need to support larger trees

9 Fen Habitat Fen is low, flat swampy land or bog. Swamp is seasonally flooded bottom land often with woody plants. Bog is soft, naturally waterlogged land.

10 Swamp habitat The seasonal drying out of swampy habitat often allows woody plants that would be absent in wetter marsh to grow. The bullrushes shown here are also typical of swamp. Woody plants Bull rushes

11 Artificial drainage Swamp usually has better drainage than marsh or bog allowing a greater amount of seasonal drying out. Drainage can either be natural or in the case of Possil Marsh artificial drainage can allow management of water levels

12 Bog Bogs are usually wet and spongy underfoot The substrate of a bog is frequently composed of spagnum moss

13 Marsh & Mire Marsh is usually wetter than a bog, with standing water that to be crossed needs to be waded through most of the year. Mire is wet, soggy and muddy ground often around the edges of marsh.

14 Marsh A close up of a typical marsh with the plants growing up through standing water

15 Open water habitat The open water found in the centre of the reserve is a key habitat for aquatic organisms and provides wintering or breeding habitat for ducks, swans, geese and gulls.

16 Aquatic Vegetation The open water is fringed by aquatic vegetation such as the reed beds shown here. Reed beds provide cover for breeding birds and a suitable habitat for many aquatic invertebrates.

17 Carr As the habitat becomes drier aquatic vegetation gives way to marshy land and to bog. The next transition is to scrub, especially willow, and an area of bog or fen where scrub has become established is know as carr. Carr Aquatic vegetation Marsh Bog

18 Willow Carr

19 Pond Another aquatic habitat in the reserve is this pond which acts as a reed bed filter for water runoff from the adjacent arable land. Without such filtering much off the fertilizer applied to the fields would run straight in to the reserve’s aquatic habitats, increasing pollution and reducing biodiversity on the reserve

20 Acidic and neutral grassland Depending on the ph of the underlying soil grassland can be classed as acidic or neutral. In the foreground of this picture the presences of clumps of rushes indicates the grassland is acidic and growing on a peaty soil. Acidic grassland Neutral grassland

21 Canal Like many cities Glasgow has a network of human built canals that provided transport routes during the industrial revolution and now provide refuges for urban wildlife. One of these, the Forth and Clyde Canal runs along the reserve boundary.

22 Hedgerow Habitat Hedge or hedgerow can be an important wildlife habitat as in an urban or agricultural landscape it can offer well grown trees and bushes providing food and shelter that are otherwise absent. The hedge shown here runs along the edge of the reserve and provides a much more complex and interesting wildlife habitat that a typically short and manicure suburban hedge.

23 What types of habitat can you identify? Scrub Tall herb Grassland

24 What types of habitat can you identify? Swamp Marsh Neutral grassland Scrub The whole area is fen

25 What types of habitat can you identify? Tall herb Scrub or Carr Marsh or mire

26 What types of habitat can you identify? Swamp Marsh or bog Willow carr Farmland

27 Attribution  This presentation has been prepared by Ross MacLeod, Division of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Glasgow and is based on the University of Glasgow’s Conservation and Ecology field trip to Possil Marsh Nature Reserve, Glasgow run by Dr Stewart White Ross MacLeodRoss MacLeod  The presentation and the photos within it have been released as an Open Educational Resources under a Creative Commons Attribution- NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License as part of a UK Centre of Bioscience Open Educational Resources project  For more information and any feed back please contact UK Centre of Bioscience or Ross MacLeod UK Centre of Bioscience Ross MacLeodUK Centre of Bioscience Ross MacLeod


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