Paşca C., Ungureanu L., Ionescu G., Popa M., Gridan A. 2016. Riparian habitat modelling in the context of beavers (Castor fiber) repopulation in Braşov, Romania // Russian J. Theriol. Vol.15. No.1: 49–54 [in English].
Claudiu Paşca [firstname.lastname@example.org], National Institute for Research and Development in Forestry “Marin Drăcea”, Braşov, Romania; Liviu Ungureanu [email@example.com], Faculty of Silviculture and Forest Engineering, Transilvania University of Braşov, Braşov, Romania; Georgeta Ionescu[firstname.lastname@example.org], National Institute for Research and Development in Forestry “Marin Drăcea”, Braşov, Romania; Marius Popa [email@example.com], National Institute for Research and Development in Forestry “Marin Drăcea”, Braşov, Romania; Alexandru Gridan [firstname.lastname@example.org], National Institute for Research and Development in Forestry “Marin Drăcea”, Braşov, Romania.
ABSTRACT. The reintroduction of Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) in Romania started in 1998 and was a complete success in terms of population and natural range enlargement. The habitat modelling capacity of beaver was more and more obvious once with the increase of population densities, demonstrating the high potential of this species to create new trophic niches for other species and implicitly biodiversity enrichment. The study was conducted on a floodplain area near the Bвrsa River, where the habitat became a vegetation and fauna paradise, by the constant intervention of beavers that had colonized the area in 2009–2010. In the first stage of this study, the habitats were classified and existing stands, shrubs and herbaceous vegetation was demarcated according to their composition and age (for tree vegetation). Further, a habitat analysis has been performed grounded on the correlation of dendrochronological sampling and satellite images captured between 2005 and 2014. On the basis of the aforementioned method, the right moment for beaver installation within the studied area has been determined quite precisely. This study is a clear example that beavers succeed to use in their best interest the opportunities offered by nature. Moreover, through the changes they produce on the environment, beavers have a strong impact on the natural succession processes.
KEY WORDS: beaver repopulation, habitat modelling, beaver impact, dendrochronology.