Remarkable botanical records from Corrour in Westerness (v.c.97), including Baldellia repens (Alismataceae) and Illecebrum verticillatum (Caryophyllaceae), new to Scotland
Keywords:biological records, distribution, aquatic plants, establishment, spread, native origin
Biological recording in Britain has increased in accessibility and popularity due to recent technological advances. However, remote locations may still be under-recorded, particularly for aquatic plants and taxonomically challenging groups. We describe a set of notable botanical discoveries made in 2021 at Corrour in the Scottish Highlands (v.c.97 Westerness), including Baldellia repens, Illecebrum verticillatum (new to Scotland) and six British altitudinal records. At the time of writing, there are now four Nationally Rare vascular plant taxa recorded on the estate and 29 Nationally Scarce taxa. These findings demonstrate the value of collaboration between land managers, ecologists, BSBI staff and the local community. Both B. repens and I. verticillatum are well established at Corrour in considerable abundance and with clear evidence of regeneration. B. repens also occurs in the Tay catchment and may have arrived at Corrour via vegetative dispersal by waterfowl. The origin of I. verticillatum is more ambiguous but suggested mechanisms of dispersal include forestry, the railway or hydroelectricity workings. Despite a likely element of accidental human-mediated spread, I. verticillatum should be considered an intriguing addition to the flora of Westerness. Climate change could facilitate further establishment of this taxa in northern parts of Britain, and it is likely that other new records of both B. repens and I. verticillatum await.
Copyright (c) 2022 Sarah Watts, Ian Strachan, Richard Marriott
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