Navigation Links
Beavers can help ease drought
Date:2/20/2008

They may be considered pests, but beaver can help mitigate the effects of drought, and because of that, their removal from wetlands to accommodate industrial, urban and agricultural demands should be avoided, according to a new University of Alberta study.

Removal of beaver should be considered an environmental disturbance on par with in-filling, peat mining and industrial water extraction, said researcher Glynnis Hood, lead author on the study and an assistant professor of Environmental Sciences at the University of Albertas Augustana Campus in Camrose, Canada.

In examining how beaver influenced some of Albertas wetlands in Elk Island National Park over a 54-year period, Hood and her co-investigator, Professor Suzanne Bayley, discovered that the presence of beaver and their dams increased by up to nine times, the presence of open water.

Climate models predict the incidence of drought in parts of North America will increase in frequency and length over the next 100 years, and beaver will likely play an important role in maintaining open water and mitigating the impact, Hood said. The infilling and drainage of wetlands has increased to make way for urban and industrial expansion, and beaver colonies are being removed both inside and outside of protected areas, which means a continued loss of water resources, Hood noted.

In times of drought they may be one of the most effective ways to mitigate wetland loss, said Hood. Some people believe climate is driving everything, but the presence of beaver has a dramatic effect on the availability of open water in an area. Beaver are helping to keep water in areas that would otherwise be dry. Even during drought, where beaver were present, there was 60 per cent more open water than those same areas during previous drought periods when beaver were absent.

The study, published recently in the online edition of Biological Conservation, also found that temperature, precipitation and other climate variables were much less important than beaver in maintaining open water areas in the wetlands of the mixed-wood boreal forest.

The role of beaver in sustaining open water is critical for several reasons. Flooding caused by beaver dams provides habitat and water resources used by land animals and amphibians, and even provides water for livestock. It can also recharge groundwater reserves.


'/>"/>

Contact: Bev Betkowski
beverly.betkowski@ualberta.ca
780-492-3808
University of Alberta
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Moss genome shows how plants invaded the land and learned to survive heat and drought
2. New Raider Amethyst prairie verbena: conserves water, drought-tolerant
3. After drought, ponds keep up with the Joneses
4. Newfound ancient African megadroughts may have driven the evolution of humans and fishes
5. Amazon forest shows unexpected resiliency during drought
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Beavers can help ease drought
(Date:4/19/2016)... , UAE, April 20, 2016 ... be implemented as a compact web-based "all-in-one" system solution ... the biometric fingerprint reader or the door interface with ... of modern access control systems. The minimal dimensions of ... ID readers into the building installations offer considerable freedom ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... Research and Markets has announced ... 2016-2020,"  report to their offering.  , ... global gait biometrics market is expected to grow ... 2016-2020. Gait analysis generates multiple variables ... to compute factors that are not or cannot ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... physicians supporting Medicaid patients in Central Florida ... telehealth thanks to a new partnership with higi.   ... can routinely track key health measurements, such as blood ... they opt in, share them with IMPOWER clinicians through ... location at no cost. By leveraging this data, IMPOWER ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2016)... Alto, CA (PRWEB) , ... May 23, 2016 ... ... and public interest organization focused on molecular nanotechnology, announced the winners for the ... of pioneer physicist Richard Feynman, are given in two categories, one for experiment ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... ... May 20, 2016 , ... The leading Regenerative Veterinary Medicine Company, ... veterinary clients have treated over 100 of their own patients with the VetStem Cell ... highest level of care for their patients. , The veterinarians are Dr Ross ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... ... May 20, 2016 , ... Korean researchers say Manumycin A triggers apoptosis, or ... way to treat the disease. Surviving Mesothelioma has just posted an article on the ... Korean institutions based their mesothelioma study on the fact the Manumycin A, a derivative ...
(Date:5/19/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Anton Paar USA, located in Ashland, Virginia is pleased to ... new structure adds a third office building to the current facilities. , Growth ... of land, along with office space adjacent to the previous main building. Through remodels ...
Breaking Biology Technology: