Urban North American beaver (Castor canadensis) damage of trees and saplings was compared between shore forests and forests uphill of macadam, wood chip, and raised wood board human pathways used daily in Radnor Lake State Natural Area, Nashville, TN. Also, comparisons of beaver damage were made between shore forests and forests uphill of bare earth deer paths used less than once a month by humans and the forests were on 5% and 30% slopes. Means, standard deviations, and t-tests (P≤ 0.05) were calculated for percent beaver damage, which included undamaged stems, beaver-cut stems, and beaver-cut stumps. Significant differences in beaver damage of trees and saplings were found between forests uphill of the human pathways used daily and the respective shore forests. Beaver damage of trees and saplings was not significantly different between the shore forests and forests uphill of the deer paths used less than once a month by humans for the 5% slope forest; however, the differences were significant for the 30% slope forest. Beaver damage of trees and saplings was significantly greater in the uphill of the deer paths forests than the uphill of the human pathways forests for comparable slope forests. Human scent on the pathways used daily made of macadam, wood chips, and raised wood boards was interpreted to be the barrier sensed by beavers to not cross over or under the human pathways to damage trees and saplings. This research suggests utilizing human pathways as an odor fence to spatially limit beaver damage, which provides a whole forest management alternative to individual tree protection for management of beaver damage in the urban forest.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Soil Science