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Dynamics of Territorial Occupation by North American Beavers in Canadian Boreal Forests: A Novel Dendroecological Approach

1
Département des Sciences Fondamentales, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, 555 boul de l’Université, Chicoutimi, QC G7H 2B1, Canada
2
Institut de Recherche sur les Forêts, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Campus of Amos, 341 Rue Principal Nord, Amos, QC J9T 2L8, Canada
3
Restoration Ecology Research Group, Department of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Skogsmarksgränd, 907 36 Umeå, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2020, 11(2), 221; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11020221
Received: 19 December 2019 / Revised: 10 February 2020 / Accepted: 11 February 2020 / Published: 14 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
Research Highlights: Our study highlights a new, simple, and effective method for studying the habitat use by beavers in Canadian boreal forests. Information regarding the presence of beaver colonies and their habitat occupation is essential for proper forest management and damage prevention in the boreal forest. Background and Objectives: The North American beaver (Castor canadensis) is a major element of natural disturbance, altering the dynamics and structure of boreal forest landscapes. Beaver-related activities also affect human infrastructure, cause floods, and lead to important monetary losses for forestry industries. Our study aimed to determine the spatiotemporal patterns of beaver occupation of lodges over time. Materials and Methods: Using a dendroecological approach to date browsing activity, we studied the occupation of two lodges per water body for eight water bodies located in the boreal forest of Québec, Canada. Results: Three sites showed alternating patterns of lodge use (occupation) over time, three sites (37.5%) demonstrated no alternating patterns of use, and two sites (25%) presented unclear patterns of lodge use. Conclusions: Alternating patterns of lodge use can be linked to food depletion and the need to regenerate vegetation around lodges, while non-alternating patterns may be related to fluctuations in water levels, the specific shrub and tree species surrounding the lodges, the size of the beaver territory, and the number of lodges present on a water body. View Full-Text
Keywords: engineer species; forest damages; habitat; natural disturbances; population dynamic; wildlife engineer species; forest damages; habitat; natural disturbances; population dynamic; wildlife
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MDPI and ACS Style

Labrecque-Foy, J.-P.; Morin, H.; Girona, M.M. Dynamics of Territorial Occupation by North American Beavers in Canadian Boreal Forests: A Novel Dendroecological Approach. Forests 2020, 11, 221. https://doi.org/10.3390/f11020221

AMA Style

Labrecque-Foy J-P, Morin H, Girona MM. Dynamics of Territorial Occupation by North American Beavers in Canadian Boreal Forests: A Novel Dendroecological Approach. Forests. 2020; 11(2):221. https://doi.org/10.3390/f11020221

Chicago/Turabian Style

Labrecque-Foy, Julie-Pascale; Morin, Hubert; Girona, Miguel M. 2020. "Dynamics of Territorial Occupation by North American Beavers in Canadian Boreal Forests: A Novel Dendroecological Approach" Forests 11, no. 2: 221. https://doi.org/10.3390/f11020221

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