Russian Journal of Theriology. Main page    

Russian Journal of Theriology. Главная страница
Доступ к статьям
Электронная подача статей, правила для авторов и тп
Вход для рецензентов
Здесь можно подписаться на новостную рассылку RJT
Контактная информация

English version

Beavers in Russian forest-steppe — characteristics of ponds and their impact on fishes and amphibians
Bashinskiy I.V., Osipov V.V.
P. 34-42
The study of beaver’s (Castor fiber) impact on steppe rivers’ ecosystems was held within the Privolzhskaya Lesostep’ State Nature Reserve (Penza Province, Russia). We investigated how pond age and permanence of beaver ponds influenced the abundance and diversity of fishes and amphibians. The majority of beaver ponds in our study area were small and dams were easily destroyed by spring floods. The formation of stable long-term ponds was evident in rivers with low discharge. The most favorable parts of rivers for beavers were anthropogenic reservoirs, where swamping and high biomass of reeds were common. The rivers were inhabited by one species of lamprey (Eudontomyzon mariae), six fish species (Esox lucius, Leucaspius delineatus, Sabanejewia baltica, Misgurnus fossilis, Barbatula barbatula, Carassius carassius), and five amphibian species (Lissotriton vulgaris, Pelobates fuscus, Bufo viridis, Rana arvalis, Pelophylax lessonae). As a result of the damming, abundance, biomass of fishes, species diversity and abundance of amphibians increased. During long-term persistence of beaver ponds fish abundance declined (the oxygen level reduced), but the number of amphibians continued to appear (more shallow water bodies appeared). Also beaver dams led to isolation of fishes in different parts of valleys and served as barriers to spawning migrations (e.g. for pike and lamprey). When beavers abandoned ponds, amphibian abundance declined, and fish abundance increased — due to increased water flow. Thus, despite some positive effects, beaver ponds were not the key habitats for fishes and amphibians.


  • Anderson N.L., Paszkowski C.A. & Hood G.A. 2015. Linking aquatic and terrestrial environments: Can beaver canals serve as movement corridors for pond-breeding amphibians? // Animal Conservation. Vol.18. No.3. P.287–294.
  • Baker B.W. & Hill E.P. 2003. Beaver (Castor canadensis) // Feldhamer G.A., Thompson B.C. & Chapman J.A. (eds.). Wild Mammals of North America: Biology, Management, and Conservation. Second Edition. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press. P.288–310.
  • Balciauskas L., Balciauskiene L. & Trakimus G. 2001. Beaver influence on amphibian breeding in the agrolandscape // Czech A. & Schwab G. (eds.). The European Beaver in a New Millennium. Proceedings of 2nd European Beaver Symposium. Bialowieza, Poland, 27–30 September 2000. P.105–112.
  • Bashinskiy I.V. 2014. Impact assessment of European beaver reintroduction on amphibians of small rivers // Russian Journal of Biological Invasions. Vol.5. No.3. P.134–145.
  • Gallant D., Berube C.H., Tremblay E. & Vasseur L. 2004. An extensive study of the foraging ecology of beavers (Castor canadensis) in relation to habitat quality // Canadian Journal of Zoology. Vol.82. No.6. P.922–933.
  • Dalbeck L., Luscher B. & Ohlhof D. 2007. Beaver ponds as habitat of amphibian communities in a central European highland // Amphibia-Reptilia. Vol.28. P.493–501.
  • Dalbeck L. & Weinberg K. 2009. Artificial ponds: a substitute for natural beaver ponds in a Central European Highland (Eifel, Germany)? // Hydrobiologia. Vol.630. P.49–62.
  • Dgebuadze Yu.Yu., Zavyalov N.A. & Petrosyan V.G. (eds.). 2012. [European Beaver (Castor fiber L.) as a Key Species of a Small River Ecosystem (Prioksko-Terrasnyi Nature Biosphere Reserve)]. Moscow. KMK Scientific Press. 150 p. [in Russian, with English summary].
  • Halley D.J. & Lamberg A. 2001. Populations of juvenile salmon and trout in relation to beaver damming of a spawning stream // Czech A. & Schwab G. (eds.). The European Beaver in a New Millennium. Proceedings of 2nd European Beaver Symposium. Bialowieza, Poland, 27–30 September 2000. P.122–127.
  • Heyer R.W., Donnelly M.A., McDiarmid R.W., Hayek L.C. & Foster M.S. 1994. Measuring and Monitoring Biological Diversity: Standard Methods for Amphibians. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press. 364 p.
  • Hill A.R. & Duval T.P. 2009. Beaver dams along an agricultural stream in southern Ontario, Canada: their impact on riparian zone hydrology and nitrogen chemistry // Hydrological Processes. Vol. 23. P.1324–1336.
  • Hood G.A. & Bayley S.E. 2008. The effects of high ungulate densities on foraging choices by beaver (Castor canadensis) in the mixed-wood boreal forest. Canadian Journal of Zoology. Vol.86. P.484–496.
  • Hood G.A. & Larson D.G. 2014. Beaver-created habitat heterogeneity influences aquatic invertebrate assemblages in boreal Canada // Wetlands. Vol.34. P.19–29.
  • Ivushkin A.S., Kupriyanov V.V., Sysoev N.V. & Khryanin V.N. 2001. [Surface water] // Vishnevskiy K.D. (ed.). [Penza Encyclopedia]. Moscow: Nauchnoe Izdatel’stvo Bolshaya Rossiyskaya Entsiklopediya. P.480–481 [in Russian].
  • Karraker N.E. & Gibbs J.P. 2009. Amphibian production in forested landscapes in relation to wetland hydroperiod: A case study of vernal pools and beaver ponds // Biological Conservation. Vol.142. P.2293–2302.
  • Krylov A.V. & Bobrov A.A. (eds.). 2007. [Succession Changes in the Small River Ecosystem]. Moscow: KMK Scientific Press. 372 p. [in Russian, with English summary].
  • Kuzmin S.L. 2012. [Amphibians of the Former USSR]. Moscow: KMK Scientific Press. 370 p. [in Russian].
  • Naiman R.J., Johnson C.A. & Kelley J.C. 1988. Alteration of North America streams by beaver // BioScience. Vol.38. No.1. P.753–762.
  • Nummi P. 1989. Simulated effects of the beaver on vegetation, invertebrates and ducks // Annales Zoologici Fennici. Vol.26. No.1. P.43–52.
  • Osipov V.V. 2011. [Influence of environment-transforming activity of river beaver Castor fiber L. on the fish associations of small rivers in the Privolzhskaya Lesostep’ Nature Reserve] // Povolzhskiy Ekologicheskii Zhurnal. No.3. P.278–286 [in Russian, with English summary].
  • Parker H. & Rшnning Ш.C. 2007. Low potential for restraint of anadromous salmonid reproduction by beaver Castor fiber in the Numedalslеgen River Catchment, Norway // River Research and Applications. Vol.23. P.752–762.
  • Parker J.D., Caudill C.C. & Hay M.E. 2007. Beaver herbivory on aquatic plants // Oecologia. Vol.151. P.616–625.
  • [The Red Data Book of the Russian Federation. Animals]. 2001. Moscow: Astrel. 862 p. [in Russian].
  • Reshetnikov Yu.S. (ed.) 2003. [Atlas of Freshwater Fishes of Russia]. Vol.1. Moscow: Nauka. 378 p. [in Russian].
  • Skelly D.K. & Richardson J.L. 2010. Larval sampling // Dodd Jr. C. K. (ed.). Amphibian Ecology and Conservation: A Handbook of Techniques. New York: Oxford University Press. P.55–70.
  • Westbrook C.J., Cooper D.J. & Baker B.W. 2006. Beaver dams and overbank floods influence groundwater surface water interactions of a Rocky Mountain riparian area // Water Resources Research. Vol.42: W06406.
  • Yermokhin M.V. & Tabachishin V.G. 2011. [Abundance accounting result convergence of Pelobates fuscus (Laurenti, 1768) migrating toadlets at full and partial enclosing of a spawning waterbody by drift fences with pitfalls] // Sovremennaya Gerpetologiya. Vol.11. No.3–4. P.121–131 [in Russian, with English summary].
  • Zavyalov N.A., Krylov A.V., Bobrov A.A., Ivanov V.K. & Dgebuadze Yu.Yu. 2005. [Impact of the European Beaver on Small River Ecosystems]. Moscow: Nauka. 186 p. [in Russian, with English summary].
  • Zavyalov N.A., Albov S.A., Petrosyan V.G., Khlyap L.A. & Goryaynova Z.I. 2010. [Invasion of ecosystem engineer – European beaver (Castor fiber L.) in the Tadenka River basin (Prioksko-Terrasnyi Nature Reserve)] // Russian Journal of Biological Invasions. No.3. P.39–61 [in Russian, with English summary].

Скачать PDF