American beavers (Castor canadensis) are emblematic of diverse and dynamic freshwater ecosystems across North America. Numerous studies have described positive associations between beaver-modified habitats and biodiversity across a wide range of taxa. Yet few studies have documented biodiversity associated with the epicenter of beaver-modified habitats – the beaver lodge. We used an internet-connected, solar-powered, time-lapse camera system to examine daily and seasonal temporal partitioning amongst vertebrate taxa that visited an American beaver lodge in south-central Nebraska over 9 mo. We observed at least 28 species on the lodge, and many organisms were present during discrete daily and seasonal time periods. These observations provide a more holistic view of a widely recognized, yet understudied, component of beaver-modified habitats. Future use of similar visual-recording systems may reveal that other animal structures, such as burrows, nests, and hives, are prominent ecosystem components in the wild.
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Vol. 185 • No. 2