MacGowan I.,Scottish Natural Heritage
Zootaxa | Year: 2015
The Silba admirabilis species group is diagnosed within the genus Silba Macquart by the combination of partly yellow tarsomeres and the distinctive features of the male genitalia. Thirteen new species within this species group are described from the Afrotropical region; namely Silba bakongo MacGowan sp. nov., Silba boulangi MacGowan sp. nov., Silba bredoi MacGowan sp. nov., Silba garamba MacGowan sp. nov., Silba hambai MacGowan sp. nov., Silba inimvua MacGowan sp. nov., Silba lubumbashi MacGowan sp. nov., Silba mbuti MacGowan sp. nov., Silba saegeri MacGowan sp. nov., Silba spiculata MacGowan sp. nov., Silba tekei MacGowan sp. nov., Silba upemba MacGowan sp. nov., and Silba wittei MacGowan sp. nov. Ten previously described species within the genus Silba are also identified as belonging to the S. admirabilis species group. One species of the genus Lonchaea also belonging to this group is re-assigned to Silba. The synonymies Silba displata McAlpine, 1964 = Silba hilli (Malloch, 1928) and Silba fragranti MacGowan, 2007 = Sil-ba chalkei McAlpine, 1956 are established. A key and illustrations of male genitalia are provided to all species. Further information is presented relating to the taxonomy and distribution of previously described members of this species group whose range extends from the Afrotropical to Australasian regions. Copyright © 2015 Magnolia Press.
Angus S.,Scottish Natural Heritage
Ocean and Coastal Management | Year: 2014
The low-lying, relatively flat landscape of the western seaboard of the Uists has a particular vulnerability to climate change, especially to rising sea levels. Winter water tables are high, and a high proportion of the area is permanent open water and marsh. Any changes in aquatic relationships could pose serious problems for the Uist environment, where the closely inter-connected habitats are internationally recognised for their conservation value. The uncertainty of most aspects of climate change is imposed upon an existing level of high climatic variability in the Western Isles, greatly complicating local habitat and land use scenarios, but rising sea level, possibly the most threatening aspect of climate change, is a certainty. Rising sea level alone has the potential to raise water levels within the islands by progressively reducing the effectiveness of an ageing drainage network, not only raising water levels, but possibly also facilitating saline infiltration of the water table. This raises problems for habitats, species, and for land users, in islands where habitat processes and human interaction with the environment have always been particularly closely linked. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
Rennie A.F.,Scottish Natural Heritage |
Hansom J.D.,University of Glasgow
Geomorphology | Year: 2011
A widely held belief persists that rising land levels since the latter part of the last glaciation will help safeguard much of the Scottish coast from the impact of global sea level rise. Although the landforms of much of Scotland's coast reflect long-term land uplift, recent investigations show that uplift rates are now modest and are less than rising sea levels. When comparisons are made between long-term land-level changes using Glacio-Isostatic Adjustment models, representative of the last few thousand years (Shennan and Horton, 2002; Shennan et al., 2009), and recent land-level changes using Continuous GPS records, representative of the last decade (Bradley et al., 2006), it is apparent that recent rates of uplift are slower than longer-term averages. We show here that when tidal records are considered, they show marked increases over recent decades although the extent to which these are part of a longer-term trend is uncertain. When considered alongside the UKCP09 climate projections, these tidal observations are of value in narrowing or calibrating the wide choice of sea level projections under various climate change scenarios. It appears that Scotland's observed tidal record now lies close to the 95% projection of the UKCP09 High Emission Scenario and isostatic uplift now contributes little towards mitigating the effect of relative sea level rise on the Scottish coast. If the observed recent patterns are maintained, this has significant implications for strategic planning, flood risk management and sustainable development on Scotland's coast, and particularly on low-lying coastal zones around the major cities. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.
Gordon J.E.,Scottish Natural Heritage |
Gordon J.E.,University of St. Andrews
Geoheritage | Year: 2012
Traditional approaches to geological interpretation have a strong didactic focus, whereas the early development of tourism had a strong experiential basis in the Romantic notions of sublime and picturesque landscapes. This article examines the links between geodiversity, landscape, literature, art and geotourism in Scotland using historical case studies from the Falls of Clyde and Staffa, and modern case studies from the North West Highlands Geopark and the Dumfries and Galloway area. Enabling people to rediscover their geoheritage through new and memorable experiences can help the geoconservation community to engage with a wider audience and to develop a broader constituency of interest and support. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.
O'Brien C.D.,Scottish Natural Heritage
Urban Ecosystems | Year: 2015
Amphibians are suffering global declines in populations, and urban habitats are becoming increasingly important for the survival of several species. Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) in Inverness (Highlands, UK) were studied over 3 years to assess their role in supporting breeding amphibians. Amphibians were found in seven of the 12 SuDS ponds surveyed in 2010 and eight of the same 12 in 2011 and 2012. Of the eight, common frog Rana temporaria bred in every pond and common toad Bufo bufo bred in two of them. Palmate newts Lissotriton helveticus were found in one pond in 2012. Chemical analysis (pH and for ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, phosphate and chloride ions) showed none of the ponds contained pollutants at levels known to have adverse effects on amphibians. Nutrient levels in Inverness SuDS are lower than those found in a previously published sample of lowland British ponds: six of the 12 SuDS ponds had NO3 concentrations <0.5 mg/l N and phosphate <0.05 mg/l P (i.e. below levels which would normally be considered eutrophic). The suitability of SuDS for the nationally scarce great crested newt Triturus cristatus was also evaluated. The Inverness SuDS had higher great crested newt Habitat Suitability Indices than ponds in the wider countryside and exhibited a greater variation in size than previous studies of urban ponds in the UK, which may increase their ability to support a range of species. © 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York.