Aspen Bibliography

Title

Beaver as Agents of Plant Disturbance

Document Type

Contribution to Book

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Plant Disturbance Ecology: The Process and the Response

Publisher

Elsevier Inc.

First Page

489

Last Page

528

Publication Date

10-23-2020

Abstract

Beaver are important agents of plant disturbance in wetland and riparian environments. They have two roles as a plant disturbance agent. They have earned the title of ecosystem engineers as one of their more remarkable aspects is their ability to alter physical ecosystem processes through building dam and canal networks. Beaver also are herbivores, capable of cutting woody vegetation at scales rivaled only by humans. This chapter includes information on beaver biology and ecology, the hydrologic and geomorphic changes incurred in wetlands and riparian systems by dam-building beavers, and how plants and plant communities respond to herbivory and habitat modifications made by beaver. Also described are beaver impacts to plant communities in wetlands and riparian areas disturbed by other agents. The chapter concludes by identifying pressing research questions.

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