Narineme Braham, Osvaldo Valeria, Louis Imbeau. Characterization of Vegetation Dynamics on Linear Features Using Airborne Laser Scanning and Ensemble Learning. 2023. Forests 14(3):511
DOI : 10.3390/f14030511
Linear feature networks are the roads, trails, pipelines, and seismic lines developed throughout many commercial boreal forests. These linear features, while providing access for industrial, recreational, silvicultural, and fire management operations, also have environmental implications which involve both the active and non-active portions of the network. Management of the existing linear feature networks across boreal forests would lead to the optimization of maintenance and construction costs as well as the minimization of the cumulative environmental effects of the anthropogenic linear footprint. Remote sensing data and predictive modelling are valuable support tools for the multi-level management of this network by providing accurate and detailed quantitative information aiming to assess linear feature conditions (e.g., deterioration and vegetation characteristic dynamics). However, the potential of remote sensing datasets to improve knowledge of fine-scale vegetation characteristic dynamics within forest roads has not been fully explored. This study investigated the use of high-spatial resolution (1 m), airborne LiDAR, terrain, climatic, and field survey data, aiming to provide information on vegetation characteristic dynamics within forest roads by (i) developing a predictive model for the characterization of the LiDAR-CHM vegetation cover dynamic (response metric) and (ii) investigating causal factors driving the vegetation cover dynamic using LiDAR (topography: slope, TWI, hillshade, and orientation), Sentinel-2 optical imagery (NDVI), climate databases (sunlight and wind speed), and field inventory (clearing width and years post-clearing). For these purposes, we evaluated and compared the performance of ordinary least squares (OLS) and machine learning (ML) regression approaches commonly used in ecological modelling—multiple linear regression (mlr), multivariate adaptive regression splines (mars), generalized additive model (gam), k-nearest neighbors (knn), gradient boosting machines (gbm), and random forests (rf). We validated our models’ results using an error metric—root mean square error (RMSE)—and a goodness-of-fit metric—coefficient of determination (R2). The predictions were tested using stratified cross-validation and were validated against an independent dataset. Our findings revealed that the rf model showed the most accurate results (cross-validation: R2 = 0.69, RMSE = 18.69%, validation against an independent dataset: R2 = 0.62, RMSE = 20.29%). The most informative factors were clearing width, which had the strongest negative effect, suggesting the underlying influence of disturbance legacies, and years post-clearing, which had a positive effect on the vegetation cover dynamic. Our long-term predictions suggest that a timeframe of no less than 20 years is expected for both wide- and narrow-width roads to exhibit ~50% and ~80% vegetation cover, respectively. This study has improved our understanding of fine-scale vegetation dynamics around forest roads, both qualitatively and quantitatively. The information from the predictive model is useful for both the short- and long-term management of the existing network. Furthermore, the study demonstrates that spatially explicit models using LiDAR data are reliable tools for assessing vegetation dynamics around forest roads. It provides avenues for further research and the potential to integrate this quantitative approach with other linear feature studies. An improved knowledge of vegetation dynamic patterns on linear features can help support sustainable forest management.
Philippe Cadieux, Pierre Drapeau, Ugo Ouelet-Lapointe, Alain Leduc, Louis Imbeau, Réjean DesChênes, Antoine Nappi. Old forest structural development drives complexity of nest webs in a naturally disturbed boreal mixedwood forest landscape. 2023. Frontiers in forests and global change 6:1084696
DOI : 10.3389/ffgc.2023.1084696
Structural complexity generated by forest development processes and tree species compositional changes provide key habitat features for vertebrate communities that rely upon tree size and decay processes for foraging, denning or nesting. Complexity of forest structure in old stands could not only be key for harboring increased taxonomic species diversity but also greater functional diversity through more complexity in networks of tree cavity dependent species. Using a nest web approach that hierarchically links cavity-bearing trees with cavity formation agents (natural decay processes and avian excavators) and cavity users (non-excavator species), we compared network characteristics of nest webs along a time since fire gradient in a naturally disturbed boreal mixedwood forest landscape in eastern North America. Since 2003, twelve 24 to 40 ha plots ranging from 61 to more than 245 years after fire were surveyed at the Lake Duparquet Research and Teaching Forest in Abitibi, Quebec, Canada to detect active nesting, and denning cavities. We found that network complexity both in terms of number of vertebrate species and number of interactions among species, increased along the age gradient and was significantly higher in the older stands than predicted by chance. Whereas cavity-nesting communities in old forests used a higher diversity of tree species over a wide range of decay stages, trembling aspen remained a key cavity-bearing tree throughout the age gradient. Woodpeckers were the main cavity formation agents whereas less than 1% of cavities originated from natural decay. The structural development of older forests is thus a driver for functional diversity in cavity-using vertebrate communities through higher interaction richness in nest webs, among cavity-bearing trees, excavators and non-excavating users. The pivotal contribution of the entire gradient of old forest cover types to the overall complexity of nest webs in the boreal mixedwood zone is also a key for the resilience of the cavity-using vertebrate community to natural disturbances. We discuss how such resilience may be compromised by even-aged industrial timber harvesting with short rotations that shifts the age structure of boreal landscapes toward regenerating and young pole forests whereas old forest cover types become below their historical range of variability.
Pauline Suffice, Marc Mazerolle, Louis Imbeau, Marianne Cheveau, Hugo Asselin, Pierre Drapeau. Site occupancy by American martens and fishers in temperate deciduous forests of Québec. 2023. Journal of mammalogy 104(1):159-170
DOI : 10.1093/jmammal/gyac092
Interspecific interactions can mediate site occupancy of sympatric species and can be a key factor in habitat use patterns. American martens (Martes americana) and Fishers (Pekania pennanti) are two sympatric mesocarnivores in eastern North American forests. Due to their larger size, fishers have a competitive advantage over martens. We investigated site occupancy of martens and fishers in temperate deciduous forests of Québec, an environment modified by forest management and climate change. We formulated hypotheses on the spatial distribution of the studied species based on the knowledge of local trappers and on the scientific literature regarding forest cover composition, habitat fragmentation, and competitive relationships. We used a network of 49 camera traps monitored over two fall seasons to document site occupancy by both species. We used two-species site occupancy models to assess habitat use and the influence of fishers on martens at spatial grains of different sizes. None of the habitat variables that we considered explained site occupancy by fishers. Availability of dense old coniferous stands explained the spatial distribution of martens both at the home range grain size and at the landscape grain size. We identified the characteristics of habitat hotspots based on the knowledge of trappers, which highlighted the importance of stand composition, height, age, and canopy closure. The characteristics of habitat hotspots for martens in temperate deciduous forests refine the habitat suitability model for American martens that was originally developed for boreal forests of Québec.
Mariano Feldman, Rémi Chevalier, Nicole J. Fenton, Marc Mazerolle, Louis Imbeau. Eating frogs in the north: attempted predation of Tringa melanoleuca on boreal Lithobates adult frogs (Anura: Ranidae). 2022. Herpetology notes 15:399-402
Émilie Desjardins, Nicole J. Fenton, Marcel Darveau, Marc Mazerolle, Louis Imbeau. Waterfowl use of mine tailing ponds in comparison with beaver ponds
in boreal eastern Canada. 2021. Avian Conservation and Ecology. 16(2):24
DOI : 10.5751/ACE-02003-160224
Wetlands are essential for many animal and plant species. However, many of these ecosystems are being degraded. Wetland degradation affects the habitat of certain groups of species such as waterfowl, which use these environments at different stages of their life cycle. In this study, we assessed the quality of man-made wetlands, i.e., mine tailing ponds, in comparison to beaver ponds, which are natural wetlands used by waterfowl. We conducted repeated surveys of breeding waterfowl species present on 12 mining ponds and 38 beaver ponds in boreal western Quebec, Canada. We also conducted brood surveys and considered environmental variables at the sites that could affect their occupancy. Conditions at the mining ponds appear to be as favorable for the establishment of breeding waterfowl as those observed in beaver ponds. Using site occupancy models, we found that five out of the six species studied were as likely to occupy and breed in mining ponds as in beaver ponds: Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris), American Wigeon (Mareca americana), Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca), and Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus). Both adults and broods of Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula) were more likely to use mining ponds than beaver ponds, but we did not find a direct relationship between goldeneye occupancy and environmental variables at our sites. Overall, the results of our study suggest that mining ponds have the potential to be managed for waterfowl and used by this group during the breeding season. However, further studies are required to assess the long-term effects of mining ponds on wildlife, particularly regarding contaminants such as heavy metals likely present at such sites.
Gilles Joanisse, Marc Mazerolle, Mathilde Lapointe St-Pierre, Louis Imbeau. Woodland salamander population structure and body condition under irregular shelterwood systems. 2021. Can. J. For. Res. 51(9):1281-1291
DOI : 10.1139/cjfr-2020-0405
Ecosystem-based management aims to preserve old-growth forest attributes using techniques mimicking natural disturbances. One such technique is irregular shelterwood logging, but its impacts on forest floor organisms are poorly known. Our objective was to quantify the effects of three different treatments of irregular shelterwood on population structure and the body condition of the eastern red-backed salamander (Plethodon cinereus) 5–6 years following harvesting. A total of 64 sites in western Québec were sampled using artificial refugia and quadrat searches. Large salamanders (>32 mm) were more abundant in the gap treatment than in strip, uniform, or control treatments. Small salamanders (≤32 mm) followed the same pattern, although the differences were marginal. For a given treatment, small salamanders were as abundant as large salamanders. Salamander body condition differed between the 2 years of sampling but did not differ among treatments, regardless of salamander size. We conclude that environmental conditions in irregular shelterwood treatments 5–6 years following harvesting support populations of small vertebrates on the forest floor.
Antoine Adde, N.K.S Barker, S. Cumming, Marcel Darveau, Louis Imbeau. Breeding duck habitat in North America: reviewing 60 years of research. 2021. Ecoscience 28 (1):33-52
DOI : 10.1080/11956860.2020.1802933
Many studies over the past 50 years have sought to identify environmental factors influencing breeding duck abundance and distribution in northern North America. Because results are currently scattered within the scientific literature, a summary of established duck-habitat associations would help to orientate future modelling research. Our goal was to review the published research testing for duck-habitat associations in northern North America. We reviewed 124 studies, summarizing their geographical coverage and species representation, and then analyzing the duck-habitat associations they tested. We identified 533 associations on 133 covariates falling into 16 environmental classes. Covariates of the ‘wetland’ classes were the most frequently associated with ducks; among these, ‘wetland area’ and ‘wetland density’ were the most common. ‘Climate’ covariates were the second most common associations, suggesting the potential for projecting the effects of climate change on ducks. The best-documented anthropogenic class was ‘agriculture’, for which associations with ducks were mostly negative. However, relatively few studies tested for associations with covariates for anthropogenic disturbances, which suggests that more research is needed to support forecasts of duck distribution under future human activity. This review and the accompanying database of duck-habitat associations will support future modelling studies by facilitating the selection of suitable habitat covariates.
Marc Mazerolle, Mariano Feldman, Nicole J. Fenton, Marcel Darveau, Philippe Marchand, Louis Imbeau. Trends and gaps in the use of citizen science derived data as input for species distribution models: A quantitative review 2021. PlosOne 16(3):e0234587
DOI : 10.1371/journal.pone.0234587
Citizen science (CS) currently refers to the participation of non-scientist volunteers in any discipline of conventional scientific research. Over the last two decades, nature-based CS has flourished due to innovative technology, novel devices, and widespread digital platforms used to collect and classify species occurrence data. For scientists, CS offers a low-cost approach of collecting species occurrence information at large spatial scales that otherwise would be prohibitively expensive. We examined the trends and gaps linked to the use of CS as a source of data for species distribution models (SDMs), in order to propose guidelines and highlight solutions. We conducted a quantitative literature review of 207 peer-reviewed articles to measure how the representation of different taxa, regions, and data types have changed in SDM publications since the 2010s. Our review shows that the number of papers using CS for SDMs has increased at approximately double the rate of the overall number of SDM papers. However, disparities in taxonomic and geographic coverage remain in studies using CS. Western Europe and North America were the regions with the most coverage (73%). Papers on birds (49%) and mammals (19.3%) outnumbered other taxa. Among invertebrates, flying insects including Lepidoptera, Odonata and Hymenoptera received the most attention. Discrepancies between research interest and availability of data were as especially important for amphibians, reptiles and fishes. Compared to studies on animal taxa, papers on plants using CS data remain rare. Although the aims and scope of papers are diverse, species conservation remained the central theme of SDM using CS data. We present examples of the use of CS and highlight recommendations to motivate further research, such as combining multiple data sources and promoting local and traditional knowledge. We hope our findings will strengthen citizen-researchers partnerships to better inform SDMs, especially for less-studied taxa and regions. Researchers stand to benefit from the large quantity of data available from CS sources to improve global predictions of species distributions.
Philippe Cadieux, Alain Leduc, Pierre Drapeau, Louis Imbeau. Effets des pratiques d’aménagement de la forêt boréale du Québec sur ses populations d’oiseaux. 2020. Rapport scientifique présenté au Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs du Québec. Centre d’Étude de la Forêt (Québec). 105 p. + Annexes
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Roger Puig-Gironès, Miguel Clavero, Josep Rost, Pons Pere, Louis Imbeau. Does post-fire salvage logging affect foraging activity by rodents? 2020. European Journal of Wood and Wood Products 139(5):777-790
DOI : 10.1007/s10342-020-01285-5
Following wildfires, salvage logging is applied for silvicultural, safety or even aesthetic reasons. Such operations impact on biological legacies, impair natural vegetation recovery and may affect several animal species that depend on vegetation structure and specific plant resources. Rodents, such as wood and Algerian mice, use vegetation cover as protection against predators and are important prey, moderately effective seed dispersers and efficient seed predators. Different post-fire management strategies may either promote rodent abundance, enhancing their key biological roles, or result in low rodent abundance, creating a low seed predation window of opportunity when assisted regeneration of burnt forests is required. In order to evaluate the effects of post-fire salvage logging on plant-animal interactions, we compared plant regeneration, the availability of trophic resources (seeds and fleshy fruits), rodent foraging activity and rodent relative abundance between unlogged and logged burnt pine forests in the north-eastern Iberian Peninsula at different distances (up to 700 m) from the burnt area perimeter. The results show that vegetation recovered more slowly in salvage logged than in unlogged areas. Foraging activity of rodents increased both with the volume of woody debris, mainly derived from salvage logging, and with increasing foliage cover. Management strategies aimed at promoting the presence of rodents and associated biodiversity can, however, hamper assisted regeneration by seed sowing.
Mariano Javier Feldman, Arnaud Benoit-Pépin, Louis Imbeau, Osvaldo Valeria. Qu’est ce qui explique l’utilisation d’une structure linéaire par les prédateurs du caribou boréal ainsi que son compétiteur apparent? 24e colloque de la Chaire AFD. Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Rouyn-Noranda, Québec. (2022-11-22)
Akib Hasan, Jennifer Lento, Anouschka R. Hof, Miguel Montoro Girona, Guillaume Grosbois, Louis Imbeau. First characterization of the trophic structure and biodiversity of esker lakes 24e colloque de la Chaire AFD. Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Rouyn-Noranda, Québec. (2022-11-22)
Narimène Braham, Osvaldo Valeria, Louis Imbeau. Végétation des chemins forestiers : comment le balayage laser aéroporté nous renseigne sur leur état 24e colloque de la Chaire AFD. Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Rouyn-Noranda, Québec. (2022-11-22)
Arnaud Benoit-Pépin, Louis Imbeau, Osvaldo Valeria, Mariano Javier Feldman. Explication de l'utilisation des structures linéaires par les prédateurs du caribou boréal ainsi que son compétiteur apparent. 15e colloque annuel du CEF, Université de Sherbrooke, Québec (2022-09-29)
Akib Hasan, Miguel Montoro Girona, Louis Imbeau, Jennifer Lento, Guillaume Grosbois. First characterization of the trophic structure and biodiversity of esker lakes 15e colloque annuel du CEF, Université de Sherbrooke, Québec (2022-09-28)
Nathan Chabaud, Louis Imbeau, Marc Mazerolle, Pierre Drapeau, Pauline Suffice, Marianne Cheveau. Habitat selection by fisher (Pekania pennanti) in Quebec deciduous forest 15e colloque annuel du CEF, Université de Sherbrooke, Québec (2022-09-28)
Narimène Braham, Osvaldo Valeria, Louis Imbeau. Caractérisation de la dynamique de végétation des structures linéaires à l'aide du système de balayage laser aéroporté 15e colloque annuel du CEF, Université de Sherbrooke, Québec (2022-09-28)
Mariano Javier Feldman, Louis Imbeau, Marc Mazerolle. Communautés d'amphibiens utilisant des petits étangs du Nord-du-Québec 3e colloque annuel de la Chaire industrielle CRSNG-UQAT sur la biodiversité en contexte minier. Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Rouyn-Noranda, Québec. (2022-04-22)
Akib Hasan, Miguel Montoro Girona, Louis Imbeau, Jennifer Lento, Anouschka R. Hof, Guillaume Grosbois. Go to the lakes to know the forest biodiversity: The esker project 23e colloque de la Chaire AFD. Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (2021-12-07)
Marcel Darveau, Louis Imbeau. LA CARTE ÉCOFORESTIÈRE ET LES MILIEUX HUMIDES : QUELLES APPLICATIONS POUR LA FAUNE? 8eRendez-vous des ressources naturelles - la gestion des milieux humides et hydriques (2021-05-27)
Louis Imbeau, Émilie Desjardins. Utilisation des parcs a résidus miniers par la sauvagine en comparaison avec des étangs a castors en Abitibi Témiscamingue 3e colloque annuel de la Chaire industrielle CRSNG-UQAT sur la biodiversité en contexte minier. Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Rouyn-Noranda, Québec. (2021-04-21)
Guillaume Grosbois, Louis Imbeau, Miguel Montoro Girona. The ice age: the responsible of highest level of waterbird and aquatic biodiversity today? 22e colloque de la Chaire AFD. Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, complètement virtuel (2020-12-02)
Arnaud Benoit-Pépin, Louis Imbeau, Osvaldo Valeria. Caribou forestier et la foresterie, à la croisée des chemins 22e colloque de la Chaire AFD. Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, complètement virtuel (2020-12-02)
Narimène Braham, Osvaldo Valeria, Louis Imbeau. Modélisation de la refermeture de la végétation des chemins forestiers en forêt boréale 22e colloque de la Chaire AFD. Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, complètement virtuel (2020-12-02)
Léa Darquié, Vincent Poirier, Louis Imbeau, Patricia Raymond, Benoit Lafleur, Annie DesRochers. Effets du dégagement mécanique sur la croissance, les stocks de carbone et la qualité de l’habitat faunique dans un peuplement mixte 22e colloque de la Chaire AFD. Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, complètement virtuel (2020-12-02)
Chanèle Poirier, Antoine Adde, Marie-Eve Sigouin, Marcel Darveau, Geneviève Labrecque, Louis Imbeau, Jérôme Cimon-Morin. Intégration d’enjeux de gestion durable des milieux humides et riverains
en aménagement forestier 21e colloque de la Chaire AFD. Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Rouyn-Noranda, Québec. (2019-11-30)
Louis Imbeau, Lise Jaton, Osvaldo Valeria, Philippe Marchand, Nicole J. Fenton. Détection des milieux humides : une approche régionale adaptée à l’Abitibi 21e colloque de la Chaire AFD. Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Rouyn-Noranda, Québec. (2019-11-30)
Pauline Suffice, Louis Imbeau, Hugo Asselin, Marianne Cheveau, Pierre Drapeau. Évaluation des facteurs pouvant expliquer l'augmentation des populations de pékan et la diminution des populations de martre 20e colloque de la Chaire AFD. Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Lorrainville, Québec. (2018-11-30)
Annick Antaya, Pierre Drapeau, Louis Imbeau, Alain Leduc. Connectivité fonctionnelle et occupation de l’habitat par le Grand Pic en paysage agroforestier boréal 20e colloque de la Chaire AFD. Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Lorrainville, Québec. (2018-11-30)
Annick Antaya, Pierre Drapeau, Alain Leduc, Louis Imbeau. Affiche 8
Connectivité fonctionnelle et occupation de l’habitat par le Grand Pic en paysage agroforestier boréal 19e colloque de la Chaire AFD. Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Ste-Germaine-Boulé, Québec. (2017-11-30)