World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Machair (geography)

Article Id: WHEBN0011172177
Reproduction Date:

Title: Machair (geography)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Outer Hebrides, South Uist, Inner Hebrides, Geography of Ireland, Pasture, List of landforms, List of islands of Scotland, Rhinanthus minor, Machars, Geology of Scotland
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Machair (geography)

This article is about the landform. For the TV series, see Machair (TV series). For the area in Galloway from the same root, see The Machars.

The machair (Scottish Gaelic pronunciation: [ˈmaxɪɾʲ]; sometimes machar in English) refers to a fertile low-lying grassy plain found on some of the north-west coastlines of Ireland and Scotland, in particular the Outer Hebrides. Two distinct types exist:


In both cases, a machair is a former beach, left higher in elevation than the current adjacent beach following a drop in sea level or isostasy.

Machairs largely owe their fertility to the fact their sand has a high seashell content- sometimes as high as 90%. This sand is blown inland, acts to neutralize the acidity of the peatbogs and results in the fertility of the grassland.


Machairs have received considerable ecological and conservational attention, chiefly because of their unique ecosystems. They can house rare carpet flowers, such as Irish Lady's Tresses, orchids and Yellow Rattle,[1] along with a diverse array of bird species including the Corn Crake, Twite, Dunlin, Common Redshank and Ringed Plover, as well as rare insects such as the northern colletes bee. Some machairs are threatened by erosion caused by rising sea levels as well as by recreational use of vicinity beaches.



External links

  • Wildlife Hebrides - wildlife in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland.
  • Living Landscape Series - Grasslands - Creating Grasslands
  • Action plan for Machair
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.