|Appears in Collections:||Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles|
|Peer Review Status:||Refereed|
|Title:||Medium vs. short-term effects of herbivory by Eurasian beaver on aquatic vegetation|
|Citation:||Law A, Jones K & Willby N (2014) Medium vs. short-term effects of herbivory by Eurasian beaver on aquatic vegetation, Aquatic Botany, 116, pp. 27-34.|
|Abstract:||It is important to disentangle the effects of physical ecosystem modifications from plant-herbivore interactions to understand how keystone species, such as beavers, influence aquatic ecosystems, especially when populations are reintroduced or non-native. Through dam building beavers have the potential to influence macrophytes indirectly by altering the hydrological regime, but macrophytes also comprise a major component of beaver diet. In water bodies uninfluenced by dams, direct grazing will therefore be the primary basis of beaver-induced effects on macrophytes. Temporal change in macrophyte height, abundance and composition from three habitats within a pond system in Scotland were measured over a nine year period following beaver introduction. From 2003 to 2012, persistent, selective grazing by beaver led to three-fold increases in macrophyte richness and significant turnover in composition, reflecting overall reductions in abundance of the preferred dominant species (e.g. Iris pseudacorus). Within-season herbivory effects were quantified in 2011-2012 using exclosures and by conducting cafeteria-style choice experiments. Significant volumes of macrophyte biomass (mostly rhizomes of Menyanthes trifoliata) were removed at constant rates throughout the growing season. Feeding was highly selective whilst effects on diversity were negligible in the short term. In the medium term, selective foraging by beavers significantly increased alpha and beta diversity of macrophytes. Macrophytes in temperate and boreal regions are potentially widely influenced by beaver grazing, although the positive effects we observed are not necessarily universal and are unlikely to persist within individual sites indefinitely.|
|Rights:||The publisher does not allow this work to be made publicly available in this Repository. Please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study.|
|Affiliation:||Biological and Environmental Sciences|
University of Stirling
Biological and Environmental Sciences
|Aquatic Botany 2014b.pdf||1.37 MB||Adobe PDF||Under Embargo until 31/12/2999 Request a copy|
Note: If any of the files in this item are currently embargoed, you can request a copy directly from the author by clicking the padlock icon above. However, this facility is dependant on the depositor still being contactable at their original email address.
This item is protected by original copyright
Items in the Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.
If you believe that any material held in STORRE infringes copyright, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org providing details and we will remove the Work from public display in STORRE and investigate your claim.