This article was originally published on Phys.org
“Growing beaver populations have created a large number of new habitats along rivers and ponds. Beaver dams raise the water level, enabling the dissolution of the organic carbon from the soil. From beaver ponds, carbon is released to the atmosphere. Part of the carbon settles down on the bottom, ending up used by plants or transported downstream in the water.
“An increase in the number of beavers has an impact on the climate since a rising water level affects the interaction between beaver ponds, water and air, as well as the carbon balance of the zone of ground closest to water,” says Petri Nummi, University Lecturer at the University of Helsinki.
Current estimates indicate that beaver ponds range from carbon sinks to sources of carbon. Beaver ponds and meadows can fix as much as 470,000 tons of carbon per year or, alternatively, release 820,000 tons of carbon annually. Their overlapping functions as carbon sinks and sources make landscapes moulded by beavers complex…”
Read on at: Phys.org