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Qualitative and quantitative effects of reintroduced beavers on stream fish

Record type: Article

Reintroduction of beaver (Castor spp) may facilitate rehabilitation of freshwater habitats providing a cost-effective sustainable means of improving ecological conditions. Despite extensive research, debate and consultation, a general consensus on the impact of beaver on fishes has proven elusive because of variability in biological response. This paper provides a systematic review of the impacts of beaver dams on fishes and fish habitat based on a meta-analysis of the literature and expert opinion. Research is regionally biased to North America (88%). The most frequently cited benefits of beaver dams were increased habitat heterogeneity, rearing and overwintering habitat and flow refuge, and invertebrate production. Impeded fish movement because of dams, siltation of spawning habitat and low oxygen levels in ponds were the most often cited negative impacts. Benefits (184) were cited more frequently than costs (119). Impacts were spatially and temporally variable and differed with species. The majority of 49 North American and European experts considered beaver to have an overall positive impact on fish populations, through their influence on abundance and productivity. Perceived negative effects related to the movement of aquatic organisms in tributary streams, including upstream and downstream migrating salmonids, and the availability of suitable spawning habitat.

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Citation

Kemp, Paul S., Worthington, Tom A., Langford, Terence E.L., Tree, Angus R.J. and Gaywood, Martin J. (2012) Qualitative and quantitative effects of reintroduced beavers on stream fish Fish and Fisheries, 13, (2), pp. 158-181. (doi:10.1111/j.1467-2979.2011.00421.x).

More information

Published date: 1 June 2012
Keywords: beaver dams, fish migration, meta-analysis, public perception, salmon, species reintroduction
Organisations: Centre for Environmental Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 339769
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/339769
ISSN: 1467-2960
PURE UUID: c9e7680d-bc0d-44b0-817d-0ba1cb0dfaa9
ORCID for Paul S. Kemp: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4470-0589

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 30 May 2012 12:43
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 05:52

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Contributors

Author: Paul S. Kemp ORCID iD
Author: Tom A. Worthington
Author: Terence E.L. Langford
Author: Angus R.J. Tree
Author: Martin J. Gaywood

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