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      Biosphere Reserve Information



  General Description   Located just south-west of the city of Killarney in south-west Ireland, this biosphere reserve and national park comprises the mountains and woodlands surrounding Lough Leane Lake and adjacent smaller lakes, moorlands, parks and gardens. Much of the natural woodland has been cleared but the remaining fragments include the most extensive areas in the country. Due to differing geology in the biosphere reserve, three main woodland types can be distinguished: woods of sessile oak (Quercus petraea) with holly (Ilex aquifolium) in the understorey on sandstone; a yew (Taxus baccata) wood growing on almost bare limestone; and carr forest dominated by Alnus glutinosa in places along the north-east shore of Lough Leane and in other poorly-drained areas.
Present human impacts on and uses of the area include conifer afforestations, lake eutrophication and tourism activities. Additional human influence is the past introductions of alien species that have impacted on the natural ecosystems of Killarney. The most notable of these introduced species are Rhododendron ponticum and sika deer which overgraze the woodland floor and pose a potential threat to the genetic integrity of the native red deer.
Human history has also left its mark in the Killarney area, e.g. with the well preserved remains of Inisfallen Abbey on an island in Lough Leane, Muckross Abbey, or the Muckross House which serves as a visitor center today. This Killarney National Park Education Centre fulfills an important educational role within the national park and biosphere reserve, which is one of the best-known tourist destinations in Ireland.
  Major ecosystem type   Temperate broad-leaf forest
  Major habitats & land cover types  
  Location   5201'N; 935'W
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   10,129
  Core area(s)  
  Buffer zone(s)  
  Transition area(s) when given  
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   +22 to +842
  Year designated   1982
  Administrative authorities  
  Brief description   Limnology
Water Pollutants
Wildlife Population Dynamics
Comparative Ecological Research
Fire History and Effects
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Hydrology, pollution, pollutants.
  Biodiversity   Ecology, fires/fire ecology, population genetics/population dynamics, wildlife.
  Socio-economic   n.a.
  Integrated monitoring   n.a.
  Contact address    
Killarney National Park
Muckross, Killarney
 County Kerry
  Telephone   (353.64) 314 40
  Fax   (353.64) 339 26

Last updated: 30/08/2001

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