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Lönnqvist, Joel, 2014. Local and landscape effects on the diversity of plant communities in Swedish beaver ponds. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment

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Abstract

The European beaver Castor fiber is considered an ecosystem engineer and a key species because of its dam building behavior. Little is known about the factors affecting plant diversity in beaver impounded streams. This study aimed to investigate if local and landscape variables affect plant diversity of beaver ponds. Plant inventories were performed in 12 different ponds in three different latitudinal regions and the vegetation data collected was compiled into groups according to Raunkiear life form and dispersal traits. Landscape variables related to the catchments of the beaver ponds were processed in a geographic information system (GIS). The total plant diversity in the beaver ponds could not be explained by landscape variables while diversity of water-associated terrestrial plants grouped together with aquatic plants did show correlations with landscape variables. The median richness was the same upstream as downstream for the total plant species. All other water-associated groups, however, had greater median richness downstream the beaver pond than upstream. This study concluded that landscape variables such as total stream length in the catchment, total number of lakes in the catchment and catchment size is correlated with the diversity of aquatic and water-associated terrestrial plants in beaver ponds. It was also concluded that streams and their riparian zones have lower median plant richness upstream than downstream a beaver pond.

Main title:Local and landscape effects on the diversity of plant communities in Swedish beaver ponds
Authors:Lönnqvist, Joel
Supervisor:Ecke, Frauke and Levanoni, Oded
Examiner:Grandin, Ulf
Series:UNSPECIFIED
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2014
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:None
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment
Keywords:beaver pond, Castor fiber, aquatic plants, hydrophytes, helophytes, macrophytes, landscape, nitrogen, plant dispersal, catchment
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-s-4917
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-s-4917
Subjects:Plant ecology
Language:English
Additional Information:Master Program in Limnology, Uppsala University
Deposited On:19 Oct 2015 13:30
Metadata Last Modified:19 Oct 2015 13:30

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