Howeth Lab graduate student Chris Sferra recently published his Master's thesis in Ecosphere!
Sferra, C.O., Hart, J.L. and J.G. Howeth. 2017. Habitat age influences metacommunity assembly and species richness in successional pond ecosystems. Ecosphere 8(6):e01871.
Link to paper: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ecs2.1871/full
Stay tuned for more exciting research coming out of this study system in the next few years.
Keywords: beaver pond; Castor canadensis; chronosequence; community assembly; dendrochronology; disturbance; diversity-age; metacommunity; secondary succession
Not just the beavers take advantage of the pond ecosystems they form, other species appreciate the pond habitat as well. River otters can be observed in the older and deeper beaver-formed ponds that we study in the Talladega National Forest. Take a look at this video of river otters playing in an approximately 60 year-old beaver pond during one of graduate student Thomas Olinger's angling surveys (fast-forward to 1 minute in the video to see the otters):