, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 1–15

Beaver population fluctuations and tropospheric methane emissions in boreal wetlands


  • Robert J. Naiman
    • Center for Streamside Studies, AR-10University of Washington
  • Thomas Manning
    • Center for Water and the EnvironmentUniversity of Minnesota
  • Carol A. Johnston
    • Center for Water and the EnvironmentUniversity of Minnesota

DOI: 10.1007/BF00002623

Cite this article as:
Naiman, R.J., Manning, T. & Johnston, C.A. Biogeochemistry (1991) 12: 1. doi:10.1007/BF00002623


Measurements of net methane flux were made during the 1988 ice-free season (May–October) at a beaver-meadow complex in northern Minnesota, USA. The site included upland boreal forest, sedge meadow, submerged aquatic plants, and the open water of a beaver pond. Annual fluxes were 8–11 g C/m2 in the permanently wetted zones and 0.2–0.4 g C/m2 at the occasionally inundated meadow and forest sites. These data, when coupled with long-term (46 yr) data on beaver (Castor canadensis) population size and habitat alteration, suggest that about 1% of the recent rise in atmospheric methane may be attributable to pond creation by beaver in North America.

Key words

methanetropospherebeaverboreal forest

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1991