Science database


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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The impacts of Phalaris arundinacea (reed canarygrass) invasion on wetland plant richness in the Oregon Coast Range, USA depend on beavers

Published by: Biological Conservation

1st July 2005

Researchers found that areas with beaver dams created ideal conditions for an invasive plant species (Phalaris arundinacea) in Oregon, USA. This invasive plant outcompeted native plants and led to a reduction of biodiversity. Since there are a lot of beaver wetlands in the area, the researchers warned that this plant presents a threat to local ecosystem health. Please note, this resource is not open-access.

Spatio-temporally variable effects of a dominant macrophyte on vascular plant neighbors

Published by: Wetlands

1st June 2005

Researchers studied how plants help each other grow in four beaver wetlands in the USA. This is relatively well understood for saltwater wetlands, but less so for freshwater wetlands. The researchers looked at a type of rush plant called Juncus effusus and found that when its stems are upright, it crowds out other plants. However, after the stems collapse, it creates a nice spot for other plants to grow on top, potentially by providing a stable place to grow or by increasing oxygen in the soil with its roots. Please note, this resource is not open-access.

The Importance of Beaver (Castor Canadensis) to Coho Habitat and Trend in Beaver Abundance in the Oregon Coast Coho ESU

Published by: Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife

1st May 2005

This report contains an analysis of how beaver conservation efforts have fared in Oregon, USA. Beavers play a vital role in creating habitat for juvenile coho salmon and these beaver conservation efforts had the ultimate objective of supporting salmon populations. In 1997, a programme to discourage beaver trapping began. This was successful because fewer beavers were being trapped but there had not been a clear increase in habitat for salmon.

Territory and group sizes in Eurasian beavers (Castor fiber): echoes of settlement and reproduction?

Published by: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

29th April 2005

Traditional theories suggest animals defend the smallest territory which contains enough resources for reproduction. However, in social animals, territory patterns may become more complex. This study explores this idea for beavers, showing that their territories don't just depend on resources but also on when pairs actually arrived in the territory - the pairs that arrived earlier got the bigger territories!

Marine-derived nitrogen and carbon in freshwater-riparian food webs of the Copper River Delta, southcentral Alaska

Published by: Oecologia

13th April 2005

In Alaska, coho salmon return from the sea to freshwater to spawn and die. This study tested the theory that this process enriches freshwater beaver ponds with nutrients from the sea, supporting food webs and benefitting the young salmon. They tested ponds under a variety of conditions and showed that the spawning salmon can provide up to half of the carbon and nitrogen that the young salmon need, making sure that the young salmon survive. Please note, this resource is not open-access.

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