Ariane Bernier (M.Sc. student)


Abitibi-Price Building
Room 3186
Université Laval
2405 rue de la Terrasse
Québec, Canada
G1V 0A6

Phone: (581) 995-8105

Director : Martin Simard

Research project
Enfeuillement du peuplier faux-tremble (Populus tremuloides) en sapinière à bouleau blanc de l'ouest du Québec (Canada)

In the boreal forest, timber harvesting is an important disturbance yet little is known about its consequences on forest composition at the landscape scale. In the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region of Québec (Canada), there seems to be an important increase in the proportion of trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides) after logging, which is worrying for the local logging industry relying on a softwood supply.

It is not completely clear  whether the increase in trembling aspen abundance is due to harvest or if it is part of the forest's natural post-disturbance dynamics (e.g., the post-fire increase in aspen, which is natural). If logging promotes the establishment and dominance of aspen, will it keep on increasing with the second and the third harvest, and will the coniferous forests transition to mixedwood and hardwood stands?

I will use post-logging data from the Quebec's Ministry of Natural Resources to quantify the post-logging increase in trembling aspen cover in the balsam fir-white birch forest of western Quebec, taking into account different environmental conditions such as superficial deposits and ecological type.

This study will provide new data on current trends and help predict future ones. These results will be useful to guide decision-making in a long-term perspective of sustainable forest management.