The Road Taken: Ecosystem Engineers

Travelling through Sweden last summer, a back road through a forest took us through an unexpected landscape.  It looked as though a storm had cast it’s devastation striking down trees which lay hapzardly across a water course.  On closer inspection it turned out to be a piece of skillful engineering accomplished by a rather innocuous looking creature.  It was my first encounter with the extraordinary feats of a beaver family’s industrious accomplishments.

Their ability to physically alter habitats by cutting down trees, building dams, digging canals and building lodges has resulted in their recognition as ecosystem engineers.  The resulting change to the environment is far reaching, benefitting and altering the distribution and abundance of many organisms.

WPC: “The Road Taken”.

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6 thoughts on “The Road Taken: Ecosystem Engineers

  1. They sure do alter (and enhance) an ecosystem! Beavers have made quite a comeback in our area, causing quite a few problems with road managers and a few homeowners. Laws have been passed protecting them, so they have a say in court. 😉

  2. Beavers are great and the tireless work they do is amazing. We have watched them a couple of times at night in the forests north of Poland. Pity they are often seen as a threat.

  3. They are very industrious…Clever creatures, but they are not funny to have on your own grounds if you own the land they are on and you try to keep it open and your trees upright…

    1. Yes, i can understand why they are high on the list of human v. Animal conflict species. Recently saw a news item on CNN somewhere in the States a beavers’ dam broke and the flooding downstream resulted in destroying/ seriously damaging houses. So few wilderness areas left ….

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