Can Reintroduction of Beavers Improve Insect Biodiversity?
32 Pages Posted: 7 Nov 2022
Ecosystem engineering species, such as beavers, may help the restoration of biodiversity. Through the building of dams and lodges and altering the natural hydrology, beavers change the habitat structure and create multiple habitats that facilitate a wide variety of other organisms including terrestrial invertebrate communities. Here we study the effect of beaver reintroduction in Klosterheden in Denmark on biomass of flying invertebrates and diversity of moths. Further, aerial photos were used to assess riparian structure and productivity using the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). Our findings show that the presence of beavers affected flying invertebrate biomass, but that this was dependent on time of the year. Further, a strong effect of presence of beavers was found on diversity of moths. The results also show an increase in vegetation productivity and structural heterogeneity at sites with presence of beavers. Overall, our results demonstrate the importance of beavers as important ecosystem engineers that affect invertebrate species composition and abundance, as well as riparian structure and productivity.
Keywords: Rewilding, moths, Biomass, wetlands
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