New Discoveries


Highlights of the freshwater algal survey of Clare Island

Almost 800 species of freshwater and terrestrial algae have been recorded thus making Clare Island the most species-rich area of the British Isles for its size – present on the island are almost 20% of the freshwater algal flora of Britain and Ireland.

A considerable turnover of the algae (about one-third) was discovered to have taken place over the period between the two surveys with gains and losses running at about 250 species - climate change, loss of habitat, sampling intensity and chance all might play a part in accounting for the high turnover

Of the major phyla of freshwater the green algae are the most common (ca. 380 sp.) with the beautiful and bizarrely-shaped desmids the most species-rich (150 sp) group within the green algae. Several very distinctive desmids and members of other phyla were not recorded by William West in 1910 and 1911 – impossible to know whether these are new introductions or simply overlooked during the earlier survey

Desmids and other freshwater algae known from Clare Island but not mentioned by William West (photos by David John and Peter York)

  • Netrium digitus var. latum (desmid, green alga)
  • Micrasterias thomasiana var. notata (desmid, green alga)
  • Closterium striolatum (desmid, green alga)
  • Gymnodinium fuscum (dinoflagellate)
  • Ceratium carolinianum (dinoflagellate)
  • Characiopsis naegelii (yellow-green alga)


New Discoveries from Previous Volumes

1. HighFieldworkerslights from the new survey of the shoreline of Clare Island
2. Need an electron microscope to identify a barnacle?
3. Extinctions caused by very cold winters identified
4. New marine algae discovered
5. Climates
6. New fossils found in Southern Clare Island
7. New Discoveries from work done on the Abbey on Clare Island 




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