Lambay is an island of just over 240 hectares lying some four kilometres off the east coast of county Dublin, Ireland. Two previous publications have dealt with the vascular flora of Lambay: Hart’s survey of 1881 and 1882 (Hart, 1883); and Praeger’s 1905 and 1906 survey as part of the Irish Naturalist’s survey of the island (Praeger, 1907), for which he was organiser and chief editor.
A total of 308 vascular plant taxa are recorded as naturalised on Lambay. Of the 950 taxa recorded for county Dublin, an historical total of 391 taxa have been reported from the island, of which four are probable errors, and 78 were not seen during the present survey. Fifty-four taxa have been recorded for the first time, of which 33 have probably arisen as weeds of agriculture or horticulture. Comparisons are made between the flora and vegetation today and the two previous surveys published in 1883 and 1907. An analysis of the flora in relation to that of county Dublin, and comparisons to other Irish islands are made. Changes in vegetation are recorded, in particular the decline in heathland, based upon maps and photographs from Praeger’s survey in 1906 (above).
A graphical presentation of the changes in species numbers between the three surveys (above). Examples of changes in other Irish island floras demonstrate similar patterns of taxa richness, as well as immigration and extinction rates (Webb, 1980; Webb & Hodgson, 1968).
Hart, H.C. 1883 Notes on the Flora of Lambay Island, County of Dublin. Proc. Royal Irish Acad. Ser. II, vol. 3: 670- 693.
Praeger, R.Ll. 1907 Contributions to the Natural History of Lambay – Phanerogams and vascular cryptogams of Lambay. The Irish Naturalist 16: 90-99.
Webb, D.A., 1980 The flora of the Aran Islands., J. Life Sci. Roy. Dublin Soc., 2: 51-83.
Webb, D.A., 1982 The Flora of Aran: additions and corrections., Irish Naturalists’ J., 20: 45
Webb, D.A., Hodgson, J., 1968 The flora of Inishbofin and Inishshark., Bot. Soc. Brit. Isles Proc., 7(3): 345-363.