Mathieu Cusson

Associate Professor,
Université du Québec à Chicoutimi

Département des sciences fondamentales
Institution page


  • PhD in biology, 2004
  • MSc in biology, Université Laval 1996
  • Bachelors is biological sciences, Université de Montréal 1993


My research interests deal with the understanding of various mechanisms that shape the biodiversity and their impact on the ecosystem functioning. My research aim to evaluate how the species and their abundance within community contribute to maintain the functions of the whole assemblage. The long term objectives look at i) the spatial distribution of biodiversity and to evaluate which environmental and biotic variables are important shaping pattern; ii) link diversity and the function within communities; iii) what is the role of keystone species in the maintain of community functions, and iv) give prediction of human impacts on ecosystems. To answer these questions I use benthic intertidal habitats that show high species diversity and numbers of functional traits. The population recruitment and dynamics are fast (<1 yr), experimental manipulation in the community are not complex and abiotic variable are easy to measure in this accessible habitat. I favor field data into observational and experimental design and work both at large scale (macro-ecology and meta-analysis) and with theoretical concept like energy flux among population into community.

QCBS students

Christel Blot

Other (co-)supervisor: Pascal Bernatchez, UQAR
(Start: 2019)
Variability of coastal ecosystems and impact of the coastal protection's plan in St. Lawrence gulf
Personal page

Sonia Moron

(Start: 2019)
Roles and consequences of cumulative disturbances on the structure and functions of coastal benthic assemblages

Romy Léger-Daigle

Other (co-)supervisor: Fanny Noisette, ISMER
(Start: 2019)
Other QCBS (co-)supervisor: Christian Nozais
Photosynthetic response of eelgrass (Zostera marina) to light conditions in the water column

Previous students (since 2009)

Stéphanie Cimon

(Start: 2015, End: 2020)
Multiple stressors’ effect on intertidal benthic communities
Personal page

Aline Foubert

Other (co-)supervisor: Frédéric Lecomte, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi; Marc Mingelbier, Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs du Québec
(Start: 2012, End: 2018)
Deciphering the spatial organization of fish communities and their habitat connectivity to manage more efficiently the fish resources in a large river system (St. Lawrence River, Canada)
Personal page


Other (co-)supervisor: Archambault Philippe, Université Laval; McKindsey Chris, MPO
(Start: 2016, End: 2017)
Structure et fonctionnement des communautés benthiques intertidales d’habitats po-tentiellement vulnérables aux déversements hydrocarbures dans l’Estuaire du Saint-Laurent


(Start: 2020, End: 2022)
Other QCBS (co-)supervisor: Christian Nozais
Temporal dynamics of intertidal macroalgal productivity of the St. Lawrence

Examples of species studied

Locusta migratoria
Zostera marina


40- Author Correction: Ocean current patterns drive the worldwide colonization of eelgrass (Zostera marina) (Nature Plants, (2023), 10.1038/s41477-023-01464-3)
Journal Erratum
Yu L , Khachaturyan M , Matschiner M , Healey A , Bauer D , Cameron B , Cusson M , Emmett Duffy J , Joel Fodrie F , Gill D , Grimwood J , Hori M , Hovel K , Hughes A R , Jahnke M , Jenkins J , Keymanesh K , Kruschel C , Mamidi S , Menning D M , Moksnes P , Nakaoka M , Pennacchio C , Reiss K , Rossi F , Ruesink J L , Schultz S T , Talbot S , Unsworth R , Ward D H , Dagan T , Schmutz J , Eisen J A , Stachowicz J J , Van de Peer Y , Olsen J L , Reusch T B H ,
2023 Nature Plants (Date Added: 2023-08-18)

39- Ocean current patterns drive the worldwide colonization of eelgrass (Zostera marina)
Journal Article
Yu L , Khachaturyan M , Matschiner M , Healey A , Bauer D , Cameron B , Cusson M , Emmett Duffy J , Joel Fodrie F , Gill D , Grimwood J , Hori M , Hovel K , Hughes A R , Jahnke M , Jenkins J , Keymanesh K , Kruschel C , Mamidi S , Menning D M , Moksnes P , Nakaoka M , Pennacchio C , Reiss K , Rossi F , Ruesink J L , Schultz S T , Talbot S , Unsworth R , Ward D H , Dagan T , Schmutz J , Eisen J A , Stachowicz J J , Van De Peer Y , Olsen J L , Reusch T B H ,
2023 Nature Plants (Date Added: 2023-07-31)

38- A Pleistocene legacy structures variation in modern seagrass ecosystems
Journal Article
Duffy J E , Stachowicz J J , Reynolds P L , Hovel K A , Jahnke M , Sotka E E , Boström C , Boyer K E , Cusson M , Eklöf J , Engelen A H , Eriksson B K , Fodrie F J , Griffin J N , Hereu C M , Hori M , Hughes A R , Ivanov M V , Jorgensen P , Kruschel C , Lee K , Lefcheck J S , Moksnes P , Nakaoka M , O’Connor M I , O’Connor N E , Orth R J , Peterson B J , Reiss H , Reiss K , Richardson J P , Rossi F , Ruesink J L , Schultz S T , Thormar J , Tomas F , Unsworth R , Voigt E , Whalen M A , Ziegler S L , Olsen J L ,
2022 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (Date Added: 2022-08-12)

37- Remote Sensing of Coastal Vegetation Phenology in a Cold Temperate Intertidal System: Implications for Classification of Coastal Habitats
Journal Article
Légaré B , Bélanger S , Singh R K , Bernatchez P , Cusson M ,
2022 Remote Sensing (Date Added: 2022-08-01)

36- Photoacclimation and Light Thresholds for Cold Temperate Seagrasses
Journal Article
Léger-Daigle R , Noisette F , Bélanger S , Cusson M , Nozais C ,
2022 Frontiers in Plant Science (Date Added: 2022-03-05)

35- Not just an engineering problem: The role of knowledge and understanding of ecosystem services for adaptive management of coastal erosion
Journal Article
Jacob C , Bernatchez P , Dupras J , Cusson M ,
2021 Ecosystem Services (Date Added: 2021-09-07)

34- Hidden Stores of Organic Matter in Northern Lake Ice: Selective Retention of Terrestrial Particles, Phytoplankton and Labile Carbon
Journal Article
Imbeau E , Vincent W F , Wauthy M , Cusson M , Rautio M ,
2021 Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences (Date Added: 2021-09-07)

33- Joint effects of patch edges and habitat degradation on faunal predation risk in a widespread marine foundation species
Journal Article
Hovel K A , Duffy J E , Stachowicz J J , Reynolds P , Boström C , Boyer K E , Cimon S , Cusson M , Fodrie F J , Gagnon K , Hereu C M , Hori M , Jorgensen P , Kruschel C , Lee K , Nakaoka M , O’Connor N E , Rossi F , Ruesink J , Tomas F , Ziegler S ,
2021 Ecology (Date Added: 2021-04-22)

32- Multiple stressors and disturbance effects on eelgrass and epifaunal macroinvertebrate assemblage structure
Journal Article
Cimon S , Deslauriers A , Cusson M ,
2021 Marine Ecology Progress Series (Date Added: 2021-02-06)

31- Latitudinal variation in plant defence against herbivory in a marine foundation species does not follow a linear pattern: The importance of resource availability
Journal Article
Hernán G , Ortega M J , Henderson J , Alós J , Boyer K , Cimon S , Combes V , Cusson M , Hereu C M , Hessing‐Lewis M , Hovel K , Jorgensen P , Kiriakopolos S , Kollars N , O´Connor M I , Olsen J , Reynolds P L , Ruesink J , Voigt E , Tomas F ,
2020 Global Ecology and Biogeography (Date Added: 2020-12-06)

30- Climate drives the geography of marine consumption by changing predator communities
Journal Article
Whalen M A , Whippo R D B , Stachowicz J J , York P H , Aiello E , Alcoverro T , Altieri A H , Benedetti-Cecchi L , Bertolini C , Bresch M , Bulleri F , Carnell P E , Cimon S , Connolly R M , Cusson M , Diskin M S , D’Souza E , Flores A A V , Fodrie F J , Galloway A W E , Gaskins L C , Graham O J , Hanley T C , Henderson C J , Hereu C M , Hessing-Lewis M , Hovel K A , Hughes B B , Hughes A R , Hultgren K M , Jänes H , Janiak D S , Johnston L N , Jorgensen P , Kelaher B P , Kruschel C , Lanham B S , Lee K , Lefcheck J S , Lozano-Álvarez E , Macreadie P I , Monteith Z L , O’Connor N E , Olds A D , O’Leary J K , Patrick C J , Pino O , Poore A G B , Rasheed M A , Raymond W W , Reiss K , Rhoades O K , Robinson M T , Ross P G , Rossi F , Schlacher T A , Seemann J , Silliman B R , Smee D L , Thiel M , Unsworth R K F , van Tussenbroek B I , Vergés A , Yeager M E , Yednock B K , Ziegler S L , Duffy J E ,
2020 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (Date Added: 2020-11-25)

29- The BenBioDen database, a global database for meio-, macro- and megabenthic biomass and densities
Stratmann T , van Oevelen D , Martínez Arbizu P , Wei C , Liao J , Cusson M , Scrosati R A , Archambault P , Snelgrove P V R , Ramey-Balci P A , Burd B J , Kenchington E , Gilkinson K , Belley R , Soetaert K ,
2020 Scientific Data (Date Added: 2020-07-07)

28- Blue Carbon Storage Capacity of Temperate Eelgrass (Zostera marina) Meadows
Journal Article
2018 Global Biogeochemical Cycles (Date Added: 2019-08-29)

27- Impact of multiple disturbances and stress on the temporal trajectories and resilience of benthic intertidal communities
Journal Article
Cimon S , Cusson M ,
2018 Ecosphere (Date Added: 2018-11-06)

26- Latitude, temperature, and habitat complexity predict predation pressure in eelgrass beds across the Northern Hemisphere
Journal Article
Reynolds, PL, Stachowicz, JJ, Hovel, K, Bostrom, C, Boyer, K, Cusson, M, Eklof, JS, Engel, FG, Engelen, AH, Eriksson, BK, Fodrie, FJ, Griffin, JN, Hereu, CM, Hori, M, Hanley, TC, Ivanov, M, Jorgensen, P, Kruschel, C, Lee, K-S, McGlathery, K, Moksnes, P-O, Nakaoka, M, O'Connor, MI, O'Connor, NE, Orth, RJ, Rossi, F, Ruesink, J, Sotka, EE, Thormar, J, Tomas, F, Unsworth, RKF, Whalen, MA, Duffy, JE
2018 Ecology (Date Added: 2018-05-10)

25- Form-function relationships in a marine foundation species depend on scale: a shoot to global perspective from a distributed ecological experiment
Journal Article
Ruesink, JL, Stachowicz, JJ, Reynolds, PL, Boström, C, Cusson, M, Douglass, J, Eklöf, J, Engelen, AH, Hori, M, Hovel, K, Iken, K, Moksnes, P-O, Nakaoka, M, O'Connor, MI, Olsen, JL, Sotka, EE, Whalen, MA, Duffy, JE
2018 Oikos (Date Added: 2018-05-10)

24- Meta-analysis of reciprocal linkages between temperate seagrasses and waterfowl with implications for conservation
Journal Article
Kollars N M , Henry A K , Whalen M A , Boyer K E , Cusson M , Eklöf J S , Hereu C M , Jorgensen P , Kiriakopolos S L , Reynolds P L , Tomas F , Turner M S , Ruesink J L ,
2017 Frontiers in Plant Science (Date Added: 2018-01-26)

23- Spatial organisation of fish communities in the St. Lawrence River: a test for longitudinal gradients and spatial heterogeneities in a large river system
Journal Article
Foubert A , Lecomte F , Legendre P , Cusson M ,
2017 Hydrobiologia (Date Added: 2017-12-20)

22- Fall Composition of Storage Lipids is Associated with the Overwintering Strategy of Daphnia
Journal Article
Mariash H L , Cusson M , Rautio M ,
2017 Lipids (Date Added: 2017-02-14)

21- Notre Golfe : l’émergence d’un réseau intersectoriel pour l’étude de l’environnement socioécologique du golfe du Saint-Laurent
Journal Article
Archambault, P, Grant, C, Audet, R, Bader, B, Bourgault, D, Cusson, M, Doyon, S, Dumont, D, Lamalle, S, Levasseur, M, Morin, , Pelletier, , Schloss, I, St-Onge, G, Therriault, G, Tremblay, H, Tremblay, J-, Tremblay, R, Plante, S
2016 Le Naturaliste canadien (Date Added: 2017-07-31)

20- Allochthonous carbon is a major regulator to bacterial growth and community composition in subarctic freshwaters
Journal Article
Roiha T , Peura S , Cusson M , Rautio M ,
2016 Scientific Reports (Date Added: 2017-02-14)

19-Forest ecosystem health and biotic disturbances: Perspectives on indicators and management approaches
Book Chapter
Sambaraju, K, DesRochers, P, Rioux, D, Boulanger, Y, Kulkarni, N, Verma, RK, Pautasso, M, Pureswaran, DS, Martel, V, Hébert, C, Cusson, M, Delisle, J
2016 Ecological Forest Management Handbook ( Date Added: 2016-07-18)

18- Relationships between biodiversity and the stability of marine ecosystems: Comparisons at a European scale using meta-analysis
Journal Article
Cusson, M, Crowe, TP, Araújo, R, Arenas, F, Aspden, R, Bulleri, F, Davoult, D, Dyson, K, Fraschetti, S, Herkül, K, Hubas, C, Jenkins, S, Kotta, J, Kraufvelin, P, Migné, A, Molis, M, Mulholland, O, Noël, LM-LJ, Paterson, DM, Saunders, J, Somerfield, PJ, Sousa-Pinto, I, Spilmont, N, Terlizzi, A, Benedetti-Cecchi, L
2015 Journal of Sea Research (Date Added: 2016-08-09)

17- Dissolved organic matter concentration, optical parameters and attenuation of solar radiation in high-latitude lakes across three vegetation zones
Journal Article
Forsström, L, Rautio, M, Cusson, M, Sorvari, S, Albert, R-L, Kumagai, M, Korhola, A
2015 Écoscience (Date Added: 2016-05-03)

16- Resistance of benthic intertidal communities to multiple disturbances and stresses
Journal Article
Joseph, L, Cusson, M
2015 Marine Ecology Progress Series (Date Added: 2015-09-21)

15- Biodiversity mediates top-down control in eelgrass ecosystems: a global comparative-experimental approach
Journal Article
Duffy, JE, Reynolds, PL, Bostrom, C, Coyer, JA, Cusson, M, Donadi, S, Douglass, JG, Eklof, JS, Engelen, AH, Eriksson, BK, Fredriksen, S, Gamfeldt, L, Gustafsson, C, Hoarau, G, Hori, M, Hovel, K, Iken, K, Lefcheck, JS, Moksnes, P-O, Nakaoka, M, O'Connor, MI, Olsen, JL, Richardson, JP, Ruesink, JL, Sotka, EE, Thormar, J, Whalen, MA, Stachowicz, JJ
2015 Ecology Letters (Date Added: 2015-05-27)

13- Large-Scale Variation in Combined Impacts of Canopy Loss and Disturbance on Community Structure and Ecosystem Functioning
Journal Article
Crowe, TP, Cusson, M, Bulleri, F, Davoult, D, Arenas, F, Aspden, R, Benedetti-Cecchi, L, Bevilacqua, S, Davidson, I, Defew, E, Fraschetti, S, Golléty, C, Griffin, JN, Herkül, K, Kotta, J, Migné, A, Molis, M, Nicol, SK, Noël, LM-LJ, Pinto, IS, Valdivia, N, Vaselli, S, Jenkins, SR
2013 PLoS ONE (Date Added: 2014-04-25)

12- Compensatory dynamics, human perturbations and the stability of European rocky shore assemblages
Journal Article
Bulleri F, B-CL
2012 Oikos (Date Added: 2016-06-28)

11- Temporal stability of European rocky shore assemblages: Variation across a latitudinal gradient and the role of habitat-formers
Journal Article
Bulleri, F, Benedetti-Cecchi, L, Cusson, M, Maggi, E, Arenas, F, Aspden, R, Bertocci, I, Crowe, TP, Davoult, D, Eriksson, BK, Fraschetti, S, Golléty, C, Griffin, JN, Jenkins, SR, Kotta, J, Kraufvelin, P, Molis, M, Pinto, IS, Terlizzi, A, Valdivia, N, Paterson, DM
2012 Oikos (Date Added: 2014-04-25)

10- Secondary production as a tool for better understanding of aquatic ecosystems
Journal Article
Dolbeth, M, Cusson, M, Sousa, R, Pardal, MA
2012 Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences (Date Added: 2014-04-25)

9- Towards a pan-Arctic inventory of the species diversity of the macro- and megabenthic fauna of the Arctic shelf seas
Journal Article
Piepenburg, D, Archambault, P, Ambrose Jr , WG, Blanchard, AL, Bluhm, BA, Carroll, ML, Conlan, KE, Cusson, M, Feder, HM, Grebmeier, JM, Jewett, SC, Lévesque, M, Petryashev, VV, Sejr, MK, Sirenko, BI, W?odarska-Kowalczuk, M
2011 Marine Biodiversity (Date Added: 2014-04-25)

8- The relation between productivity and species diversity in temperate-arctic marine ecosystems
Journal Article
Witman, JD, Cusson, M, Archambault, P, Pershing, AJ, Mieszkowska, N
2008 Ecology (Date Added: 2014-04-25)

7- Biodiversity of benthic assemblages on the Arctic continental shelf: Historical data from Canada
Journal Article
Cusson, M, Archambault, P, Aitken, A
2007 Marine Ecology Progress Series (Date Added: 2014-04-25)

6- Effect of different sampling designs and methods on the estimation of secondary production: A simulation
Journal Article
Cusson, M, Plante, J-F, Genest, C
2006 Limnology and Oceanography: Methods (Date Added: 2014-04-25)

5- Modeling the depuration potential of blue mussels (Mytilus spp.) in response to thermal shock
Journal Article
Cusson, M, Tremblay, R, Daigle, G, Roussy, M
2005 Aquaculture (Date Added: 2014-04-25)

4- Global patterns of macroinvertebrate production in marine benthic habitats
Journal Article
Cusson, M, Bourget, E
2005 Marine Ecology Progress Series (Date Added: 2014-04-25)

3- Small-scale variations in mussel (Mytilus spp.) dynamics and local production
Journal Article
Cusson, M, Bourget, E
2005 Journal of Sea Research (Date Added: 2014-04-25)

2- Inhibition of fungal growth in thermoregulating locusts, Locusta migratoria, infected by the fungus Metarhizium anisopliae var acridum
Journal Article
Ouedraogo, RM, Cusson, M, Goettel, MS, Brodeur, J
2003 Journal of Invertebrate Pathology (Date Added: 2011-04-12)

1- Influence of topographic heterogeneity and spatial scales on the structure of the neighbouring intertidal endobenthic macrofaunal community
Journal Article
Cusson, M, Bourget, E
1997 Marine Ecology Progress Series (Date Added: 2014-04-25)