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Title: Activity of beavers as an ecological factor that affects the benthos of small rivers - a case study in the Żylica River (Poland)
Authors: Strzelec, Małgorzata
Białek, Katarzyna
Spyra, Aneta
Keywords: Beaver dam; Invertebrate fauna; Mountain rivers
Issue Date: 2018
Citation: Biologia, Vol. 73, Iss. 6 (2018), s. 577-588
Abstract: The Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) has a greater impact on local ecosystems than other herbivores, and the affected area exceeds the range of its presence. Its activity may change or create new habitats by modifying the availability of the biotic and abiotic resources available not only to beavers, but also to other groups of animals. Our aim was to study how beaver activity affects the benthos composition in a small river and in a beaver pond. The way in which beavers function in the case of small rivers has received little attention. The study showed a lower density of benthos above the dam (beaver pond - 1467 ind./m2) compared to the river (3147 ind./m2). Below the dam, the diversity of Trichoptera and Coleoptera was greater, while Diptera were more abundant in the beaver pond. Betidae were a constant component in the benthos assemblages and were most abundant in the beaver pond. Collectors-gatherers and predators were the most numerous in the beaver pond. Decreasing percentages of collectors-gatherers were observed with an increased abundance of collectors-filterers and shredders in the river. All of the ratio values except the P/T FFG (Predators to total of all other groups) were lower in the beaver pond compared to the river. The % EPT (Ephemeroptera Plecoptera and Trichoptera) was also greater in the beaver pond. Small differences in the physicochemical properties of the water and organic matter content in the bottom sediments were found both above and below the beaver dam.
DOI: 10.2478/s11756-018-0073-y
ISSN: 0006-3088
Appears in Collections:Artykuły (WNP)

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