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Biodiversity Action Plan - October 2003
BIODIVERSITY AUDIT - MOUNTAIN AND MOOR
MOUNTAIN & MOOR
At high latitudes elsewhere, alpine and sub-alpine
heaths characterise the vegetation with dwarf shrubs such as alpine
bearberry, juniper, crowberry
Slow growing mosses, lichens and liverworts become dominant components in these communities, and rich communities of liverworts inhabit the colder, wetter north-facing slopes. Golden eagle, dotterel, ptarmigan, ring ouzel, mountain hare and deer inhabit these mountain areas.
Seana Bhraigh, in the Parish of Kincardine and
Croick, holds an important montane flora which, in
However, it is for its limestone caves, the largest in Scotland, that Inchnadamph is better known. Excavations from caves above the Allt Nan Uamh (Burn of the Caves) have revealed bones of the animals that inhabited this part of Scotland around the time of the last Ice Age. They include brown bear, polar bear, arctic fox, reindeer, lynx and lemming. Smoo Cave is another impressive limestone cave at the head of the narrow coastal inlet at Durness.
Upland calcareous grassland is generally restricted to shallow soils over lime-rich rocks. Despite its name, it occurs down to sea level in exposed conditions, and arctic-alpine plants can be present. The most important type in nature conservation terms is the Mountain avens variant, which occurs along the North Coast.
The knock-and-lochan landscape on the gneiss in the
West is characterised by rocky outcrops, small hills and lochans,
interspersed with small areas of blanket bog and oceanic - montane heath
dominated by heather, cross-leaved heath and deer grass. The wetter areas
have a greater proportion of bog mosses, and are home to waders such as