This purpose of this report is to detail the state of the seedbank of tree mallow on Craigleith in 2021 and compare the number of seeds found with that found in a previous study conducted in 2011. A substantial seedbank of tree mallow was still present on Craigleith in 2021, although in total this was approximately half that recorded a decade previously. The more northerly parts of the island had very low accumulations of tree mallow seeds in the soil, with greater numbers of seeds in the more southerly areas. Greater numbers of seeds were found in areas where rabbits were present. It is likely that disturbance of the soil by rabbit digging creates bare patches and brings tree mallow seeds to the soil surface, where they then germinate and outcompete native vegetation.
|Scottish Seabird Centre
|Number of pages
|Published - 25 Apr 2022
Scottish Seabird Centre kindly provided funding for this project. Many thanks are due to Lily Parfitt who collected the soil samples, counted and germinated tree mallow seeds for her Honours level project at University of Aberdeen. Thanks are also due to John Hunt and Emily Burton for their help arranging logistics for transportation to Craigleith and their knowledge and continued enthusiasm for studying this fascinating little island. René van der Wal is thanked for introducing me to Craigleith and for many enthusiastic discussions on the ecology of the island. Gratitude is due to John Hunt, Emily Burton and Susan Davies, whose constructive comments improved this report.