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dc.contributor.authorWillby, Nigel Jen_UK
dc.contributor.authorLaw, Alanen_UK
dc.contributor.authorLevanoni, Odeden_UK
dc.contributor.authorFoster, Garthen_UK
dc.contributor.authorEcke, Fraukeen_UK
dc.description.abstractEcosystem engineers can increase biodiversity by creating novel habitat supporting species that would otherwise be absent. Their more routine activities further influence the biota occupying engineered habitats. Beavers are well-known for transforming ecosystems through dam building and are therefore increasingly being utilised for habitat restoration, adaptation to climate extremes, and in long term rewilding. Abandoned beaver ponds develop into meadows or forested wetlands that differ fundamentally from other terrestrial habitats and thus increase landscape diversity. Active beaver ponds, by contrast, are superficially similar to other non-engineered shallow wetlands, but ongoing use and maintenance might affect how beaver ponds contribute to aquatic biodiversity. We explored the 'within-habitat' effect of an ecosystem engineer by comparing active beaver ponds (BP) in southern Sweden with coexisting other wetlands (OW), using sedentary (plants) and mobile (water beetles) organisms as indicators. BP differed predictably from OW in environmental characteristics and were more heterogeneous. BP supported more plant species at plot (+15%) and site (+33%) scales, and plant beta diversity, based on turnover between plots, was 17% higher than in other wetlands (OW), contributing to a significantly larger species pool in BP (+17%). Beetles were not differentiated between BP and OW based on diversity measures but were 26% more abundant in BP. Independent of habitat creation beaver are thus significant agents of within-habitat heterogeneity that differentiates beaver ponds from other standing water habitat; as an integral component of the rewilding of wetlands re-establishing beaver should benefit aquatic biodiversity across multiple scales.en_UK
dc.publisherRoyal Society, Theen_UK
dc.relationWillby NJ, Law A, Levanoni O, Foster G & Ecke F (2018) Rewilding wetlands: beaver as agents of within-habitat heterogeneity and the responses of contrasting biota. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 373 (1761), Art. No.: 20170444.
dc.rightsPublisher policy allows this work to be made available in this repository. Accepted for publication in Philosophical Transactions B: Biological Sciences by the Royal Society. The original publication is available at:
dc.subjectaquatic habitaten_UK
dc.titleRewilding wetlands: beaver as agents of within-habitat heterogeneity and the responses of contrasting biotaen_UK
dc.typeJournal Articleen_UK
dc.citation.jtitlePhilosophical Transactions B: Biological Sciencesen_UK
dc.type.statusAM - Accepted Manuscripten_UK
dc.contributor.funderSvenska Forskningsrådet Formasen_UK
dc.contributor.funderThe Carnegie Trusten_UK
dc.contributor.affiliationBiological and Environmental Sciencesen_UK
dc.contributor.affiliationBiological and Environmental Sciencesen_UK
dc.contributor.affiliationSwedish University of Agricultural Sciencesen_UK
dc.contributor.affiliationAquatic Coleoptera Conservation Trusten_UK
dc.contributor.affiliationSwedish University of Agricultural Sciencesen_UK
dc.description.refREF Compliant by Deposit in Stirling's Repositoryen_UK
Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles

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