WCS 3-Sentence Science

Invasive Beavers: Bad for the Climate

May 1, 2019

Photo credit: Cristian Samper/WCS

Each year, Wildlife Conservation Society scientists publish more than 300 peer-reviewed studies and papers. “WCS 3-Sentence Science” is a regular tip-sheet — in bite sized helpings — of some of this published work.

Here we present Alejandro Kusch’s work on the effects of invasive beavers on terrestrial carbon storage :

  1. Scientists documented the effects of invasive North American beavers (Castor canadensis) on carbon sequestration of a riparian forest in Tierra del Fuego.
  2. Scientists estimated that 1.177 (+/- 0.103) megatonnes of carbon would be lost if all of the predicted 18,384 hectares (70 square miles) of habitat (14 percent of the total forested area) were colonized by beavers.
  3. These results document the impacts of invasive mammals on large terrestrial carbon sinks and highlight the need for understanding the magnitude of such effects across both landscape- and regional-scales.

Study and Journal: “Invasive species and carbon flux: the case of invasive beavers (Castor canadensis) in riparian Nothofagus forests of Tierra del Fuego, Chile” from Climatic Change
WCS Co-Author(s): Alejandro Kusch, Research Coordinator, WCS Chile

For more information, contact: Stephen Sautner, 718–220–3682, ssautner@wcs.org.

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