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Project ID: 2005NE100B

Title: Beaver in Agricultural Watersheds: Potential for Mitigating Degraded Midwestern Streams

Project Type: Research

Focus Categories: Surface Water, Geomorphological Processes, Sediments

Keywords: Degraded streams, beaver dams, sediment trapping, stream restoration

Start Date: 03/01/2005

End Date: 02/28/2006

Federal Funds: $10,000

Non-Federal Matching Funds: $38,642

Congressional District: 1

Principal Investigators:
Dean Eisenhauer

C. William Zanner
University of Nebraska

Michael G. Dosskey

Scott Hygnstrom


Proper management of beaver in agricultural regions may be an effective and cost-efficient way to improve ecological conditions and promote sustainability of agricultural ecosystems. In eastern Nebraska, channel incision in agricultural areas is the major cause of streambank instability and cropland loss, increasing sediment pollution to streams. Beaver are recognized as ecosystem engineers for their significant role in the physical structure of ecosystems. The net value of beaver for restoring incised channels in small agricultural ecosystems remains to be assessed. Toward this goal, our objective is to quantify the capability of beaver to improve degraded channels and riparian areas in agricultural watersheds in the central U.S. This project will focus on the deeply-eroded, rolling hill watersheds of the Little Nemaha and Salt Creek River basins in southeastern Nebraska. The project will be conducted to determine the impact of beaver on stream channel and riparian hydrology and morphology in the basins. This research will illuminate the potential importance of beaver to ecological restoration and conservation of agricultural ecosystems in the central U.S.

Progress/Completion Report PDF

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Maintained by: John Schefter
Last Updated: Friday June 10, 2005 11:20 AM
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