CARL Research Reports 2021

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Now showing 1 - 5 of 13
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    The ecology and management of Ballybrack Woods and Beaumont Quarry: an exercise in urban greenspace management
    (Community-Academic Research Links, University College Cork, 2021-03) Horan, Sadhbh; Harrison, Simon; Cork Nature Network; Douglas Tidy Towns; Civil Society Organization
    In this era of globalization, invasive alien species are quickly becoming one of the main drivers of environmental decline, and with more than half of the world’s population living in urban centres, the management of biodiversity within this ecosystem is of increasing importance. One such invasive species which is highly prevalent in urban ecosystems is winter heliotrope (Petasites fragrans (Vill.) C.Presl, (Asteraceae), a clonal plant species that has become invasive in the UK and Ireland. Information on this plant is limited, especially in relation to how it should be managed. It is well documented that clonal plants can be some of the most difficult to manage effectively. The aim of this study is to determine how winter heliotrope should be managed and if this invasive species should be a top priority for park managers to eradicate. This was tested in a number of ways including mapping the species distribution in two urban parks, collecting quantitative data on the species itself using quadrats, and gathering further information from organisations and individuals who have dealt with plant in the past. Another feature of this project is the public’s perception of invasive species in urban parks which was completed via questionnaire. Results found that densities of winter heliotrope were not affected by habitat or slope but were affected by canopy overhead and the presence of native broadleaved woodland. There were also significant differences in leaf height and diameter across zones. The questionnaires given to park users showed that alien species were not a priority and they were much more concerned with other aspects such as litter and antisocial behaviour. Finally, it was determined from interviews that park managers do not have access to sufficient information on invasive species or regulated long-term management plans in Ireland or elsewhere. This has highlighted the need for more comprehensive research into this area as a whole and specifically into invasives such as winter heliotrope.
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    The South Parish tree audit final report
    (Community-Academic Research Links, University College Cork, 2021) Wall, Grace; Pigott, Megan; Lettice, Eoin; Green Spaces for Health; Nagornaja, Kristine; Young, Maria; Civil Society Organization
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    The potential of Ireland’s native three-spined stickleback (Gasterostues aculeatus) for the biological control of mosquito larvae (subfamily: Culicinae) in Ballyvergan Marsh, Youghal, Co. Cork
    (Community-Academic Research Links, University College Cork, 2021-03-05) Walsh, Katrina; Harrison, Simon; Youghal Tidy Towns; Civil Society Organization
    Marshes provide suitable habitats for larval development of nuisance and vector mosquitoes worldwide. Ecological and ecotoxicological consequences of traditional methods have forced mosquito management to less destructive approaches such as Open Marsh Water Management (OMWM); a technique that promotes larval control by tidal flushing and giving native predatory fish access to isolated larval habitats. However, management schemes such as OMWM are rare in European marshes and non-existent in Ireland. Ballyvergan marsh is a coastal marsh located on the south-east coast of Ireland that supports populations of threespined stickleback, Gasterosteus aculeatus, within a tidal creek and Aedes and Culex mosquito larvae (Subfamily: Culicinae) in isolated, brackish pools. A field study was conducted to determine the biological control potential of three-spined sticklebacks against mosquito larvae by investigating 1) the predator-prey interactions between three-spined sticklebacks and Culicinae larvae in three different sub-habitats of the marsh 2) the functional response of threespined sticklebacks in brackish and freshwater 3) the consumption rates as a function of group size. All experiments were conducted in controlled in situ conditions using 10L plastic buckets with mesh windows. Sticklebacks showed strong biological control potential, consuming larvae across different sub-habitats of the marsh. A Type Ⅱ functional response in brackish and freshwater was identified with an estimated maximum consumption rate of 429 ± 32 larvae per pair of sticklebacks in 24 hours. It is suggested that management methods, such as OMWM would control local mosquito populations in Ballyvergan marsh through predation by threespined sticklebacks. There is an increasing emphasis on the need to apply ecologically sound mosquito control solutions, as the risk of re-emerging vector-borne diseases in Europe continues to rise with climate change.
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    An audit of the activities of Ballinora and District Community Association and its effectiveness within the community
    (Community-Academic Research Links, University College Cork, 2021-08-19) O'Shea, Bryan; Cottey, Andrew; Ballinora and District Community Association; Civil Society Organization
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    You’re not ALONE: exploring the impact of Covid-19 on loneliness and social isolation: a cohort study of ALONE service users in South Tipperary
    (Community-Academic Research Links, University College Cork, 2021-05-22) O'Reilly, Philip; Shore, Caroline; ALONE; Civil Society Organization
    This research looks at the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on a small cohort of older people in South Tipperary in terms of loneliness and social isolation. Primary research was carried out with five service users of the ALONE Good Morning South Tipperary service to ascertain their views of the pandemic and how it has affected their everyday lives. The interviews took place over the phone and the qualitative data was recorded on a dictation device. The epistemological positioning applied to this research is constructivism and the theoretical perspective is from an interpretivist lens. A full review of the literature on the impact of Covid-19 on older people was carried out as well as a comprehensive review of the literature on loneliness and social isolation. This dissertation was completed as part of the UCC Community-Academic Research Links initiative (CARL) in conjunction with ALONE. The qualitative data collected was analysed using thematic analysis. The themes highlighted in the findings include: the impact of Covid-19 on ALONE service users, loneliness and social isolation, activation and socialisation programmes, the importance of the ALONE Good Morning South Tipperary service, and future development of ALONE services in Tipperary. All research participant’s noted that Covid-19 has been especially difficult for people over seventy and has led to an increase in loneliness and social isolation among this age cohort. Participant’s reported feelings of frustration with the closure of day centres, family resource centres, community education classes and coffee shops in their communities. Research participants were highly complementary about the Good Morning South Tipperary service and look forward to availing of other specialist ALONE services when the restrictions ease. In the final chapter, this researcher makes a number of concluding remarks and recommendations on the future development of ALONE services in Tipperary