Beaver swimming

Title Info
Common name Beaver
Scientific name Castor canadensis
Taxonomic group Castoridae
Source Dan L. Perlman
Ecosystems Wetlands, aquatic; Forests
Forests Temperate deciduous forest
Wetlands and aquatic Lakes, ponds
Nutrient cycles Water
Ecological interactions Herbivory; Ecosystem engineering
Selection and adaptations Selection
Selection Morphology
Change over time Disturbance; Succession
Succession Secondary succession
Disturbance Other
Organisms Animals
Animals Mammals
Date September 13, 2003
Location Peru,Massachusetts,USA,North America

Beaver swimming, Massachusetts. Beavers can have tremendous impacts on the ecosystems where they live. What was once a forest has been flooded and the trees have all died, due to a beaver family's damming a stream and creating this pond. With this change, many species of aquatic and wetland species gain new habitat. Eventually, when the beavers move to a different site, their dam will break, the pond will drain, and the slow process of succession will begin on the wet soil left behind. First a meadow will form, then shrubs and pioneer tree species will begin growing, and eventually a mature forest of late successional tree species will develop, decades after the beavers leave. Because of the profound changes they can spur, beavers are sometimes referred to as ecosystem engineers or keystone species, due to the outsized impact of their behavior on local ecosystems. The teeth of beavers, like those of other rodents, keep growing throughout life. Without their remarkable teeth, they would be unable to cut trees and create dams.