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Yan Boucher, Pierre Grondin and Isabelle Auger
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  1. Historical and physiographical determinants of tree species distribution in human-dominated boreal landscapes Yan Boucher, Pierre Grondin and Isabelle Auger 97 th Annual meeting of the Ecological society of America June 10th 2012

  2. Fire Credits: SOPFEU

  3. Historical logging Credits: Archives Nationales du Québec

  4. Landclearing Credits: Archives Nationales du Québec

  5. Objectives (1) How has land-use history of the last 150 years have influenced stand-replacing disturbance dynamics in the southern boreal forest of Québec, Canada ? (2) How have stand-replacing disturbance dynamics and physiography controlled the present-day tree species composition ? (3) How could this information be used in a context of ecosystem-based management and CC adaptation ?

  6. Study area

  7. Study area Elevation (m) < 2 K people > 10 K people

  8. Historical setting

  9. Fire history: 1820-1899

  10. Fire history:1900-1924

  11. Fire history: 1925-1949

  12. Fire history: 1950-2005

  13. Fire history reconstruction

  14. Logged area over time

  15. Logged area over time

  16. Logged area over time

  17. Disturbances regime • The elevation gradient has dramatically influenced disturbance dynamics • The fire regime has been considerably influenced by settlement • Logging as extensively affected the study area

  18. Present-day forest analysis • Present-day forest composition • Cover dominated by • Balsam fir (A. balsamea) • Black spruce (P. mariana) • White birch (B. papyrifera) • Trembling aspen (P. tremuloides) • Transition matrix species vs environmental variables • Logistic regression analysis

  19. Species distribution and elevation

  20. Composition vs. fire history

  21. Composition vs. fire history

  22. Composition vs. fire history

  23. Composition vs. fire history

  24. Composition vs. soil variables

  25. Impact of logging • Balsam fir (A. balsamea) (+) • Black spruce (P. mariana) (-) • White birch (B. papyrifera) (no effect) • Trembling aspen (P. tremuloides) (-)

  26. Take-home messages • Historical ecology is key to understanding the present and anticipating the future • Trembling aspen proliferation is related to fire history and physiography, rather than logging activities • Anticipated change in the fire regime could favor trembling aspen and other fire-adapted species • Long-term perspectives are needed about the impact of landuse and stand-replacing disturbances

  27. Questions ? yan.boucher@mrnf.gouv.qc.ca