Stewart Angus

Stewart Angus
Scottish Natural Heritage

About

34
Publications
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530
Citations

Publications

Publications (34)
Article
Full-text available
Processes of island colonisation have long been of interest to biologists. Colonisation events themselves are rarely observed, but the processes involved may be inferred using genetic approaches. We investigated possible means of island colonisation by common toads (Bufo bufo) in western Scotland (the Isle of Skye and five neighbouring small island...
Article
The well-known local tradition that the lochs of South Uist and Benbecula were navigable prior to their drainage is reviewed using a combination of published sources, place-names, modern Digital Terrain Models (DTMs) and aerial imagery. Reconstructions of lochs to likely pre-drainage surface levels via DTMs identified extensive navigable loch syste...
Article
This paper aims to explore how resilience to climate change can be achieved and optimised within an example of a complex, high-vulnerability and low-elevation coastal zone. In Uist, Outer Hebrides, Scotland, a completed INTERREG project provided a framework for resilience planning in a complex, multifaceted environment, where official bodies, NGOs,...
Article
Full-text available
Coastal habitats are at risk from both direct (temperature, rainfall), and indirect (sea-level rise, coastal erosion) impacts due to a changing climate.Beyond the environmental impacts and ensuing habitat loss, the changing climate will have a significant societal impact to coastal communities ranging from health to livelihoods, as well as the loss...
Article
Caisteal Ormacleit [Ormiclate Castle], on the west side of South Uist, was constructed in the early 18th century by Clanranald for his wife Penelope, reputedly in the style of a French chateau, incorporating building materials imported from or via the east coast of South Uist at a time when there were neither roads nor carts. This high-status build...
Article
Exposed, low-lying dune-wetland habitat complexes may have multi-faceted functionality that means they are effectively meta-ecosystems, where inter-acting nearshore, littoral, dune and freshwater components and processes must be considered together, sometimes in conjunction with interactions with contiguous inland habitats. The low-lying dune-macha...
Article
Full-text available
The natural conservation of coastal lagoons is important not only for their ecological importance, but also because of the valuable ecosystem services they provide for human welfare and wellbeing. Coastal lagoons are shallow semi-enclosed systems that support important habitats such as wetlands, mangroves, salt-marshes and seagrass meadows, as well...
Article
Full-text available
Recent work suggests saltmarshes are particularly good for demonstrating how the coast can change in response to environmental influences. The pace of current Scottish relative sea level rise (Rennie and Hansom, 2011) may lead to inundation of coastal salt marsh, and so it is critical to be able to monitor the response of saltmarsh to sea level ris...
Article
This paper reviews the legal and ecological implications of seaweed harvesting in Scotland, in the context of current attention to potential approaches for its future regulation. Definitions of the different forms of seaweed removal are provided. It is believed that small-scale harvesting is sustainable provided that certain guidance is followed. R...
Article
The various legal obligations for the monitoring and surveillance of saline lagoons in Scotland are reviewed, in the context of the scale of any actual or potential impacts, the problem of a highly variable water column and biota, and likely cost–benefits. It is concluded that Habitats Directive obligations can be met with a single inventory survey...
Article
The majority of Scotland's saline lagoons are located on the low-lying coastlines of the Western Isles and the northern archipelagos of Orkney and Shetland, where recorded annual relative sea level rise rates are among the highest in Scotland. The sediment-impounded lagoons of Orkney and Shetland will either lose their impoundment and become incorp...
Article
Of the 52 Sites of Special Scientific Interest in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, 12 are separated from the main islands at high tide. Within these 12 sites, only one of which (St Kilda) has any human inhabitants, there are a further eight islands or groups of islands more than 2 km apart, so that within the Outer Hebrides, there are - for practica...
Article
The low-lying, relatively flat landscape of the western seaboard of the Uists has a particular vulnerability to climate change, especially to rising sea levels. Winter water tables are high, and a high proportion of the area is permanent open water and marsh. Any changes in aquatic relationships could pose serious problems for the Uist environment,...
Article
The storm of 11–12 January, 2005, affecting northern Scotland, had a particularly severe impact in the Uists, Outer Hebrides, resulting in widespread damage to property and infrastructure, and in the loss of five lives. In addition to the physical impact on the coast, there was widespread marine flooding. Reasons are suggested for the severe impact...
Article
Full-text available
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Coastal margin habitats (sand dunes and beaches, machair, saltmarsh, shingle and beaches, maritime cliffs) constitute a transition zone between terrestrial and marine habitats. They are doubly sensitive to climate change, experiencing changes in rainfall, temperature, storminess, etc., but also habitat loss due to coastal erosion...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
1. Scotland has approximately 71% of Britain’s dunes (including machair) by area, 60% of sea cliff by length, 13% of saltmarsh by area and less than 5% of shingle by length. Information on lagoons is currently deficient. 2. Coasts are dynamic habitats where change is inevitable. However, difficulties associated with establishing baseline data in te...
Article
Full-text available
Machair is a complex habitat and also a complex of habitats. The results of the first cycle of Scottish Natural Heritage's Site Condition Monitoring are presented and reviewed. Issues relating to the cultivated machair plain and its associated fallows in the islands of the Uists are addressed in more detail. There, socio-economic changes have led t...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change scenarios for NW Scotland and the Western Isles envisage a combination of rising sea level, increased winter precipitation, and increased frequency and severity of winter storms. The flat, low-lying machair lands of the Uists are thus particularly vulnerable, not only from marine overtopping of coastal dune ridges, but also from inla...
Article
Full-text available
Machair is a complex dune grassland habitat confined to Scotland and Ireland. With two-thirds of the world area of machair in Scotland, the UK has a special responsibility for this resource, and the UK Machair Habitat Action Plan identifies a range of realistic management targets and actions aimed at protecting and enhancing the habitat.Machair's c...
Article
Scottish machair is now regarded as having international importance both for nature conservation and for its physiographic, botantical and ornithological interest. Dune and machair systems are by their very nature dynamic and therefore erosion and deposition may occur naturally. The high average and extreme wind speeds which have contributed to the...
Article
The abundance and composition of the macrofauna of Outer Hebridean beaches is determined mainly by the degree of exposure to wave action. Most of the beaches are on the western seaboard, many without any form of shelter, and thus receive the full force of the Atlantic swell.Twenty principal sites in Lewis and Harris were sampled for intertidal macr...
Article
Full-text available
Machair grassland is listed in Annex I of the EC Habitats Directive but is not defined in the Directive or its associated documentation. The only published definition of machair systems (Ritchie 1976) involves six main criteria, yet does not permit the separation of machair and non-machair systems in all parts of Scotland, which has two thirds of t...

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Projects

Projects (3)
Archived project
CoastAdapt was a three-year project aimed to safeguard people living in North Atlantic coastal communities and help them adapt to the impacts of climate change. Five pilot study sites in Iceland, Norway, Ireland and Scotland were identified to determine the issues experienced by local communities. Municipalities and citizens, working together with project partners, developed and trialled adaptation strategies designed to cope with the impacts of climate change.
Project
Identify likely changes to coastal habitats in Scotland and assess trends and risks. Review literature and SNH survey results - integrate with related studies.