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00992 Lough Gowna pNHA



SITE CODE: 000992 


Lough Gowna is located 10km north-west of Granard on the River Erne. It is a medium sized lake divided into two main sections by a narrow channel at Dernaferst bridge. The substrate is Silurian grits and slates and it is situated in a Drumlin filled basin giving it a torturans nature with many bays and inlets. Nearby Sean Lough is of similar habitat and inclued in the site. The site was not visited recently.

In 1975 An Foras Forbartha described the lake as having a relatively low base status with a PH of 7.5 and this indicated by the presence of two plants, Water lobelia (Lobelia dartmanna) and Quillwort (Isoetes lacustris) which have an oligotrophic habit. A stonewort of limited distribution Nitella flexilis also present. Common planktane organisms present are, Dratams (A. Sterionella), Blue-Green Algae (Anabaena, Ceolosphaerium) and Cladocera (Daphan, Dioptamus).

Peat bog occurs along the shore in the north and east where the unusal Bulrush (Typha angustifolia) occurs along with the unusual uplans fern Thelypteris limbosperma. Elsewhere the shores are stoney being either flat or sloping. A woodland fringe present in places with Willow (Salix), Alder (Alnus), Ash (Fraxinus excelsior), Hazel (Corylus) and Holly (Llex aquilifolium). Some scattered Oak (Quernus) occurs and the ground flora includes Cow Wheat (Melampryum pratense) Hand Fern (Blechnum spicant) and Crinkled Buckler Fern (Dryopteris aemula).

This is an important site for wintering waterfowl with nationally important populateus of Great Grebe (51) along with Whooper Swan (29) and Golden Plover (65) species in Annex I of EU Birds Directive (Counts 1988). Several other species present.

Nutrient inflow is leading to Eutrophicatien and is a threat to the digotrophe communities. Algal blooms quite common with fish kills and in this important coarse fishing area this is a serious threat.

With its importance for wintering waterfowl and the presence of interesting oligotraphic plant communities which are scarce in the midlands, this site has high scientific interest.