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Tuesday, April 10 • 10:15am - 10:30am
DISTURBANCE LEGACIES AND RESILIENCE: How Is Community Structure of Southern Québec Temperate Forest Affected by Land-uses of the Last 80 Years? An Insight Using Tree Species and Functional Diversity

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AUTHORS: Caroline Gagné*, University of Quebec in Montreal, Institute of temperate forest science and Center for forest research; Frédérik Doyon, University of Quebec in Outaouais, Institute of temperate forest science and Center for forest research; Christian Messier, University of Quebec in Montreal, University of Quebec in Outaouais, Institute of temperate forest science and Center for forest research; Élise Filotas, University of Quebec Téluq and Center for Forest Research

ABSTRACT: Since the 1800s, forested areas in southern Québec have shrunk and became highly fragmented as they have thereafter undergone several successive anthropogenic disturbances. This study aims at answering the following questions: 1) can historical land-uses and forest disturbances be related to a species and functional diversity erosion in the southern Québec temperate forest and 2) is the local ecosystem memory more important than the external memory for explaining species and functional diversity variations? During the summer 2015, tree sampling was conducted within 64 sites in the Montérégie region. A total of 17 functional response traits were then selected and a search in the literature and trait databases was done in order to obtain trait values for each species present in sampling sites. Traits were divided in sub-groups representing different ecological processes related to tree life cycle and functional diversity index was computed for each of them. Then explanatory variables related to historical land-uses and disturbances were computed for the years 1930-40, 1958, 1983 and 2015 and for 4 spatial scales (30m, 60m, 600m and 2km radii). This was done using photo-interpretation and data integration from multiple data sources. Data exploration was done using correlation analyses and final analyses were done with hierarchical multiple linear regression models. We found strong relationships between some historical land-uses and disturbances and tree species abundance, tree diversity and functional diversity. For species and functional diversity, landscape contextual variables were better predictors than the in-site ones. In fact, some old historical land-uses and disturbances (1930-40 and 1958) still have a strong influence on the current tree species and functional diversity. These results plaid for suggesting that external ecosystem memory has a larger influence on species and functional diversity than local memory.

Tuesday April 10, 2018 10:15am - 10:30am
Water Tower Parlor

Attendees (20)