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Contemporary Problems of Ecology

2016 year, number 4

Beavers as Regulators of Substance and Energy Transfer in Ecosystems of Small Rivers. Why is it Difficult to Get an Overall Picture?

Rdeyski State Reserve, 175271, Kholm, Chelpanova str., 27
Keywords: бобры, малые реки, средообразующая деятельность, beavers, small rivers, habitat-forming activity


Beavers act as important agents which regulate the transfer of matter and energy from land to water and vice versa. Nevertheless, despite many examples of regulation of energy and matter flows by beavers, we cannot extrapolate the obtained results and get an overall picture of the beavers’ role as regulators of ecosystem processes. This can be explained by the strong contextual dependency of the results of beavers’ habitat-forming activity and by changes in the animals’ behavior after re-populating the habitat area. The peculiarities of the beavers’ influence on the habitat were analyzed on the example of small rivers which were recently populated by beavers and small rivers where beavers had already been living for 60-80 years.