Title

Central place foraging by beavers (Castor canadensis) : a test of foraging predictions and the impact of selective feeding on the growth form of cottonwoods (Populus fremontii)

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

Oecologia

Publication Date

7-1985

Volume

66

Issue

4

First Page

558

Last Page

562

Publisher

Springer

Abstract

Several predictions of central place foraging theory were tested. As predicted, beavers foraged more selectively at increasing distance from the central place. With increasing distance from the river's edge, beavers cut fewer branches and deleted small branches from their diet. Large branches were favored at all distances, which differs from patterns observed in previous studies of beaver foraging. This difference, however, is expected and supports Schoener's (1979) predictions which are based on differences between provisioning costs and item size.

The selective harvesting of branches predicted by foraging theory affects plant growth form and may influence plant reproductive patterns. High rates of branch removal caused cottonwoods to develop a shrubby architecture. The importance of selective branch choice by beavers on patterns of cottonwood reproduction (i.e., delayed sexual maturity and induced cloning) is discussed.

DOI

10.1007/BF00379350

Print ISSN

00298549

E-ISSN

14321939

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 1985 Springer. Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.

Full-text Version

Publisher’s Version

Recommended Citation

McGinley, M. A., & Whitham, T. G. (1985). Central place foraging by beavers (Castor canadensis) : a test of foraging predictions and the impact of selective feeding on the growth form of cottonwoods (Populus fremontii). Oecologia, 66(4), 558-562. doi: 10.1007/BF00379350