DescriptionBeavers (Castor fiber) are the most influential mammalian ecosystem engineer, heavily modifying rivers and floodplains and influencing hydrology, geomorphology, nutrient cycling, and ecology. They do this by constructing dams, digging canals and burrows, felling trees and introducing wood into streams, which in turn impounds water, raises shallow water tables, and alters the water balance, sediment transport and channel patterns, biogeochemical cycling, and aquatic and terrestrial habitats. A complex of beaver dams can provide important ecosystem services, they might: increase surface and subsurface water storage, modify the reach scale partitioning of water budgets, cause site specific flood attenuation, alter low flow hydrology, increase evaporation, increase water and nutrient residence times, increase geomorphic heterogeneity, increase carbon and nutrient storage, increase exports of dissolved organic carbon and ammonium, decrease the export of nitrate, increase lotic to lentic habitat transitions and aquatic primary production, and increase biodiversity on a reach scale. However, all potential effects of the beaver are heavily dependent on the ype of beaver modification, as well as on the landscape context. Here, I summarize existing work on the topic and then evaluate together with the participants the potential of beaver ecosystem services in the Dutch landscapes.
|30 Jun 2023
|Kennisdag ‘Dierlijke graverij: Dijken, spoor en wegen én
ecologie natuurlijk een uitdaging / een natuurlijke uitdaging’
|Degree of Recognition
- Ecosystem Service