Graduation Year


Date of Thesis Acceptance

Spring 5-10-2017

Major Department or Program



Lyman Persico


Beaver are considered a keystone species because of their ecologic impact on riparian areas. Along Panther Brook, New York, they have constructed six dams along resulting in the formation of ponds and meadows. This study investigates what geomorphic parameters (gradient, sediment size, total shear stress, total stream power) are associated with beaver meadows. The results show that beaver prefer to live in areas with gradients of 0.001-0.025, median sediment sizes of 0.05 cm- 0.9 cm, total bank-full shear stress from 0 Pa-142.9 Pa, and bank-full stream power values from 1 W/m – 513 W/m. Beavers also prefer valleys that are wide enough (at least 35 m-45 m across) to accommodate the ponds and meadows. These parameters may help identify other reaches in the Adirondacks that are capable of hosting beaver.

Page Count


Subject Headings

Beavers -- Behavior, Huntington Wildlife Forest (N.Y.) -- Panther Brook, Geomorphology, Adirondack Mountains (N.Y.) -- Wildlife, Morphology, Stream animals -- Ecology, Stream animals -- Habitat, Dams -- New York (State), Animals & the environment, Animals -- Habitations, Whitman College -- Dissertation collection 2017 -- Geology Department

Permanent URL

Document Type

Whitman Community Accessible Thesis



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