Úna Fitzpatrick & Paul Green

IPAs in County Waterford have been selected by the BSBI Vice county recorder (Paul Green) using methodology that has been developed to ensure that their selection is an objective process based on available data rather than a personal or politically influenced decision. The methodology was strictly designed to ensure only the selection of areas of extreme importance for plants within the county. The National Biodiversity Data Centre has assisted with development of the methodology and with data manipulation and display (need a mechanism for external review). It is recommended that, where possible, the IPA’s be reviewed on a 5 yearly basis.

 Methodology used in County Waterford

This method used is based on a County Rare Plant Register (CRPR) and lists of axiophytes for County Waterford.
*All criteria refer to existing populations. This will vary depending on recording effort. In Waterford it is a population known from 2000 onwards.
  1. Tetrads that support threatened species.
IPAs include tetrads that contain:
(a)    any legally protected species (Flora Protection Order)
(b)   ≥ 3 species that are listed in the National Red Data Book (1988)
(c)    ≥ 5 species that are listed as nationally scarce (revised Curtis & Neff 2005)
(d)    > 10 species that are locally rare, scarce or in decline (as stated in the County Rare Plant Register 2008).
  1. Tetrads that are rich in ‘worthy’ or interesting plants (axiophytes)
IPAs include tetrads that contain:
-          tetrads with 60+ axiophytes.
  1. Tetrads that are rich in species indicative of good quality habitat
IPAs include:
-          For the 10 most important habitat types within the county, two tetrads containing a high number of axiophyte species for that habitat type. The 10 habitat types and the two most important tetrads within each have been chosen by the vice county recorder.
Habitats selected for Waterford
  1. Salt marsh
  2. Coastal dry heath
  3. Sand dune (includes sand and shingle bar)
  4. Species rich fen
  5. Upland blanket bog
  6. Alluvial wet woodland
  7. Oak woodland
  8. Coastal grassland
  9. Steep rocky broad-leaved valleys with a river
  10. Lakes, loughs, ponds and reservoirs