IN CONSERVATION ON 26TH MAY 2022

Origins of Ireland’s Biodiversity A SCIENTIFIC MEETING TO ADDRESS ISSUES RELATING TO POST GLACIAL COLONISATION OF IRELAND

Origins of Ireland’s Biodiversity

A SCIENTIFIC MEETING TO ADDRESS ISSUES RELATING TO POST-GLACIAL COLONISATION OF IRELAND

Dr. Paddy Sleeman

School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University College, Cork, T23 Y363 and Environmental Research Institute, Lee Road, Sunday’s Well, Cork T23XE10  Ireland.

E-mail: p.sleeman@ucc.ie

There is remarkable scientific interest in the origins of Ireland’s ecosystem. This has been assisted and encouraged by a series of meetings held in Cork, starting with the first meeting in the 1980s (Sleeman et al. 1986), followed by the two Mind the Gap meetings (Davenport et al. 2006, Sleeman et al. 2014). These are now referred to as the” Mind the Gap” series.

This meeting due to be held in September 2023 is to coincide with and celebrate Fota Wildlife Park’s 40th anniversary.  All of the meetings associated with the final series were held at Fota Wildlife Park and the subsequent volume was published with assistance from Fota.

There have been key changes in the way we view several mammals for example Leislers’ bat (Boston et al. 2015), badgers (Allen et al. 2020), and foxes (McDevitt et al. 2020). There have also been changes in how we view birds (e.g. Kelly 2008, 2020). Useful reviews have been published  (e.g. Montgomery et al. 2014, Woodman 2016), each of which have highlighted the fact that a significant number of questions remain unanswered.

How did so many predators survive in the absence of mammalian prey species (the prey gap), before  humans began to re-introduce them or did they ? Where did the ecosystem originate from and what are the associated implications?

A meeting is planned for 2023, commencing on the evening of September 7th and all day on September 8th and 9th, at Fota Wildlife Park – to discuss these issues and in celebration of Fota Wildlife Park’s anniversary.

While papers are welcome on any relevant topic, the focus will be on ecosystem function (for example the prey gap), parasites, microbiomes, and mycorrhizal fungi and in particular their genetics.

This blog is to elicit an expression of interest. E-mail: p.sleeman@ucc.ie

REFERENCES

ALLEN AR, ET AL. (2020) Genetic evidence further elucidates the history and extent of badger introductions from Great Britain to Ireland. R.Soc. Open Sci 7: 200288. http:dx.doi/10.1098/rsos.200288

BOSTON, E.S.M., MONTGOMERY, W.I., HYNES, R., & PRODÖHL, P., (2015) New insights on postglacial colonisation in western Europe: the phylogeography of Leisler’s bat (Nyctalus leisleri). Proceeding of the Royal Society 282: 2014

DAVENPORT, J.L., SLEEMAN, D.P., & WOODMAN, P.C., (2006) (eds) Mind The Gap Postglacial colonization of Ireland. Irish Naturalists Journal Special Supplement 5-18

KELLY, T. (2008) The origin of the avifauna of Ireland. In Sleeman, D.P., Carlsson J & Carlsson, J.E.L., (eds) Mind the Gap II: new insights into the Irish postglacial. Irish Naturalists’ Journal, Belfast

KELLY, T.(ED) (2020) New Survey of Clare Island. Volume 8 Birds. Royal Irish Academy, Dublin

MC DEVITT, A. ET AL. (2020) Next-generation phylogeography resolves post-glacial colonisation patterns in a widespread carnivore, the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) in Europe

MONTGOMERY WI, ET AL (2014) Origins of British and Irish mammals: disparate post-glacial colonization and species introductions. Quaternary Science Review 98: 144-165

SLEEMAN, D.P., DEVOY, R.J., & WOODMAN, P.C., (eds) (1986) Proceeding of the Postglacial colonization conference. Occassional Publication of the Irish Biogeographical Society No 1

SLEEMAN, D.P., CARLSSON, J., & CARLSSON, J.E.L., (2014) Mind the Gap II. New Insights into the Irish postglacial. Irish Naturalists’ Journal

WOODMAN, P. (2016) Ireland’s First Settlers time and the Mesolithic. Oxbow, Oxford.

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