Science database

KNOWLEDGE BASE

We have gathered decades of scientific research from Great Britain, continental Europe and North America to share with people interested in diving deeper into the world of beavers.

This list of resources is being constantly amended and updated.

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Landscape-scale carbon storage associated with beaver dams

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters

2nd July 2013

This article investigated sediment volume and total organic carbon content in beaver meadows on the eastern side of Rocky Mountain National Park to estimate the landscape-scale carbon storage in these meadows relative to adjacent uplands.
The article found that beaver meadows store substantial organic carbon along headwater mountain rivers. Relict beaver meadows represent ~8% of total carbon storage within the landscape, but around 23% when beavers actively maintained the meadows, reflecting cumulative effects in heterotrophic respiration and organic matter oxidation associated with historical declines in beaver populations.

Beaver dams maintain native fish biodiversity by increasing habitat heterogeneity throughout a low-gradient stream network

Published by: Freshwater Biology

1st July 2013

Ecologists studied how beaver dams impact fish biodiversity. In theory, more diverse habitats should be good for biodiversity, but real-world evidence was lacking. This study looked at several beaver dams and examined the stream habitats that were created. They found that the number and diversity of fish was positively associated with habitat diversity. They also found that beaver dams contribute to habitat diversity. This study highlights the importance of beavers in maintaining healthy aquatic ecosystems. Please note, this resource is not open-access.

Reference-free SNP discovery for the Eurasian beaver from restriction site-associated DNA paired-end data

Published by: Molecular Ecology

1st July 2013

In this study, scientists wanted to find genetic markers to keep track of Eurasian beavers in Scotland after being brought back. Since there was no exact map of beavers' genes, they made their own to identify over 2,500 markers. They report on two different tests which show that this method works well.

Captive Management Guidelines for Eurasian Beavers (Castor fiber)

Published by: Royal Zoological Society of Scotland

1st June 2013

This report was the first document to offer comprehensive advice on managing Eurasian beavers in captivity, including for translocations and reintroductions. It covers themes related to beaver welfare: how to capture them, how to build a safe enclosure, what to feed them, what health and veterinary care is required. The report also touches on aspects of beavers' behaviour, ecology, and history. With this text, the contributors aimed to improve beaver welfare and support successful reintroduction efforts.

Proximate weather patterns and spring green-up phenology effect Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) body mass and reproductive success: The implications of climate change and topography

Published by: Global Change Biology

1st April 2013

This study compared weather patterns, plant growth, beaver health, and beaver reproduction over 11 years. They found that beavers were less healthy after cold winters, warmer springs, and wetter springs. These were impacts not only related to the climate but also the local habitat. For example, wet springs may lead to lots of tasty bushes growing, but those which are near the water (and so accessible to beavers) may get waterlogged and struggle. Beavers can't access the tasty bushes which are further away. Understanding these interactions helps develop effective conservation strategies amid climate change.

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