Lough Owel as a habitat

Lough Owel, a large spring-fed calcareous lake is of major conservation significance containing three habitats that are listed on Annex I of the EU Habitats Directive - alkaline fens, transition mires and hard water lakes.

It is a shallow lake with a rocky, marl-covered bottom. Vegetation submerged includes Stonewort, notably C. rudis and C. tomentosa.

Its rocky shoreline sparse of vegetation is dominated by patches of Alder (Alnus glutinosa). The lake has some reedswamp formed by Common Reed (Phragmites australis) and Common Clubrush (Scirpus lacustris)

There are areas of marsh and fen at Bunbrosna and Tullaghan. These areas include Downy Birch (Betula pubescens) and Willows (Salix spp.)

Among the rare plant species to be found are:

  • Marsh Pea (Lathyrus palustris)
  • White Sedge (Carex curta).

Though not noted for its wildfowl Lough Owel can boast small populations of Mallard, Shoveler, Pochard and Tufted Duck. (Irish government Heritage - Iarmhi)

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