Adapting to climate change

In 2009, initiated by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the Government of Québec and the Ouranos Consortium launched an Atlas project on the biodiversity of northern Québec. This project aims to develop a tool to integrate knowledge of northern Québec’s biodiversity, taking into account the impacts of climate change.

The Northern Québec Biodiversity Atlas is an ambitious and multifaceted project which must be able to support implementation of various governmental projects, in particular, the development of a protected areas network for Québec, adapted to climate change. While the section on biodiversity knowledge is based largely on inventory data gathered by the Department of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks (Ministère du Développement durable de l’Environnement et des Parcs – MDDEP) and the Department of Natural Resources and Wildlife (Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune  – MRNF), the climate section relies on the skills and funding of the Ouranos Consortium, given its ideal fit within the “Ecosystems and Biodiversity” theme, one of the priorities of the Government of Québec’s Climate Change Action Plan (PACC–26 Fonds Vert), administered by Ouranos.

Many studies have shown that northern and arctic regions are being, and will continue to be, strongly affected by climate change. These regions in particular will undergo changes to their average temperature and precipitation, both within the regions’ core areas as well as at their extremities. In Québec, these changes will have impacts affecting various sectors of society and the environment.

In order to better understand the scale of future impacts of climate change, the Quebec Centre for Biodiversity Science was given the task of creating a literature review* consisting of four chapters, with a particular focus on the impacts to Northern Québec. From April to October 2010, under supervision of four QCBS researchers, eleven students created an extensive bibliographic database (1892 citations) that will be able to be accessed through the QCBS website. Individual review of these documents allowed the most relevant to be selected (916 references) for inclusion in the four thematic chapters of the literature review.

Literature review synthesis

A summary  of this literature review presented by the QCSB to the MDDEP in 2011 has been prepared and edited by Philippe Auzel, QCBC-CSBQ coordinator, McGill University,Hélène Gaonac’h, Communications Coordinator, Ouranos, Frédéric Poisson, Northern Québec Biodiversity Atlas Project Manager, Direction du patrimoine écologique et des parcs, MDDEP and Robert Siron, PACC-26 Scientific Coordinator, and Ecosystems, Biodiversity and Climate Change (ÉcoBioCC) Program Coordinator, Ouranos

A pamphlet describing the literature review is available in the following languages:

Compilation of the original document: researchers in charge* and students

  • Ecosystems of Québec – Sophie Calmé*, Michel Belanger, Marie-Michèle Bourassa: Université Sherbrooke; Asa Kestrup: McGill University.
  • Northern Aboriginals – Alain Cuerrier*: Institut de Recherche en Biologie Végétale;  Ashleigh Downing, Charlène Lavallée: Université de Montréal.
  • Ecological corridors and their contributions to ecosystem services – Andrew Gonzalez*: McGill University; Matthew Mitchell, Jonathan Whiteley, Alan Larocque: McGill University.
  • Protected areas  -  Fanie Pelletier*: Université Sherbrooke; Jennifer Chambers: Université Sherbrooke; Annie Ève Gagnon, Melanie Louise Le Blanc, Marie-Claire Bédard: Université Laval.

This literature review was made possible through the financial support of the Fonds Verts du Gouvernment du Québec.