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Scottish Environment LINK - The voice of Scotland's environment movement



Biodiversity Action Plans

By 2001, action plans had been developed for 45 habitats and 391 species in the UK . Of these, 41 BAP priority habitats and 261 species either occur in, or have recently been lost from Scotland (Scottish Executive, 2005). Of these 261 BAP species and 41 BAP habitats, 173 species and 31 habitats were considered in Table 4.3 which shows show that, by 2002, 29%of BAP habitats and 18% of BAP species were in decline.

Plant species diversity is one measure of botanical composition that can provide an indication of changes in habitat quality. Changes are often associated with land management and atmospheric pollution. Effects of climate change may become evident in the future. The CS 2000 survey reported declines in plant diversity in dwarf shrub heath (- 6.6%) and arable land (- 16.4%). Only for acid grassland the survey identified a significant increase (+ 6.9%) in plant diversity in part due to an increased abundance of plant species associated with less acid conditions.

Table 4.4: Changes in Plant Diversity 1990 – 1998
Habitat Percentage change
Acid grassland + 6.9
Bracken + 2.9
Broadleaved, mixed and yew woodland + 1.2
Coniferous woodland - 1.2
Bog - 1.8
Improved grassland - 2.5
Fen, marsh and swamp - 2.7
Neutral grassland - 3.6
Dwarf shrub heath - 6.6
Arable and horticultural - 16.4
Source: CS 2000 and SNH, in Scottish Executive (2005)

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