Beavers as molecular geneticists: A genetic basis to the foraging of an ecosystem engineer

Joseph K. Bailey, Jennifer A. Schweitzer, Brian J. Rehill, Richard L. Lindroth, Gregory D. Martinsen, Thomas G Whitham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

92 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Ecological genetics is increasingly recognized as critical to understanding interactions among organisms and ecosystem processes. Using a common garden with pure and hybrid cottonwood trees of known genotype, two years of field surveys, and a cafeteria feeding experiment, we link introgression of Fremont genetic markers, condensed tannins (a genetically based plant trait), and foraging by beavers. These data support two major arguments. First, hybridization is an important mechanism for the transmission of ecologically functional traits. Second, links between a genetically based plant trait in a dominant riparian-forest tree species and the foraging behavior of beavers, an ecosystem engineer, emphasize that genetically based plant traits can directly and indirectly link population, community, and ecosystem processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)603-608
Number of pages6
JournalEcology
Volume85
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2004

Fingerprint

geneticists
Castoridae
foraging
ecosystem
ecosystems
riparian forest
riparian forests
tannin
introgression
genetic marker
foraging behavior
proanthocyanidins
forest trees
field survey
gardens
garden
genotype
hybridization
genetic markers
organisms

Keywords

  • Beavers
  • Chemistry
  • Community genetics
  • Cottonwoods
  • Ecological genetics
  • Genetic markers
  • Herbivory
  • Hybridization
  • Phytochemistry
  • Populus
  • Selective
  • Tannins
  • Terrestrial-aquatic linkages

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology

Cite this

Bailey, J. K., Schweitzer, J. A., Rehill, B. J., Lindroth, R. L., Martinsen, G. D., & Whitham, T. G. (2004). Beavers as molecular geneticists: A genetic basis to the foraging of an ecosystem engineer. Ecology, 85(3), 603-608.

Beavers as molecular geneticists : A genetic basis to the foraging of an ecosystem engineer. / Bailey, Joseph K.; Schweitzer, Jennifer A.; Rehill, Brian J.; Lindroth, Richard L.; Martinsen, Gregory D.; Whitham, Thomas G.

In: Ecology, Vol. 85, No. 3, 03.2004, p. 603-608.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bailey, JK, Schweitzer, JA, Rehill, BJ, Lindroth, RL, Martinsen, GD & Whitham, TG 2004, 'Beavers as molecular geneticists: A genetic basis to the foraging of an ecosystem engineer', Ecology, vol. 85, no. 3, pp. 603-608.
Bailey JK, Schweitzer JA, Rehill BJ, Lindroth RL, Martinsen GD, Whitham TG. Beavers as molecular geneticists: A genetic basis to the foraging of an ecosystem engineer. Ecology. 2004 Mar;85(3):603-608.
Bailey, Joseph K. ; Schweitzer, Jennifer A. ; Rehill, Brian J. ; Lindroth, Richard L. ; Martinsen, Gregory D. ; Whitham, Thomas G. / Beavers as molecular geneticists : A genetic basis to the foraging of an ecosystem engineer. In: Ecology. 2004 ; Vol. 85, No. 3. pp. 603-608.
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