On the Radio- Beavers may help to reduce pollution

A beaver perches on the shore (Bryn D/flickr)

Eden DeWald | June 18, 2018

This week’s segment focuses on a new study about the ecosystem services that beavers provide.


Beavers could help contain pollutants in ponds and streams.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

Hydrology professor Richard Brazier at the University of Exeter in England led a study observing a family of beavers. The beavers have been living in a secured re-creation of their habitat since 2011. The scientist primarily studied their dam building routine. Inside the dams, researchers found soil runoff from near by agriculture which contained nitrogen and phosphorus. Agricultural runoff is a concern for wildlife since new pollutants damage all aspects of the ecosystem. The beavers were able to trap the soil in their dam creating less pollutant exposure in the surrounding water. The dams also created more ponds in the ecosystem and increased vegetation.

Research will continue to see if the pollutants can be completely removed from the water.

For more information, visit iowa-environmental-focus-dot-org.

From the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, I’m Betsy Stone.

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