Sylvie de Blois

Associate Professor,
McGill University

Plant Science
Institution page


  • Baccalauréat, U. McGill, 1992
  • Maîtrise, U. de Montréal, 1994
  • Ph. D., U. de Montréal, 2001

  • Research

    In my research, I aim to define and integrate concepts and theories from landscape ecology and plant biology in order to provide the scientific basis for biodiversity conservation and restoration efforts. This knowledge is especially critical in the context of a worldwide, unprecedented rate of biodiversity decline and the realisation that networks of nature reserves urgently need to be complemented by conservation measures in production landscapes. Landscape ecologists investigate the causes and consequences of the composition and spatial configuration of landscape mosaics. Much of my work has centered on assessing the impact of agricultural land-uses on plant populations and communities in temperate or tropical ecosystems, impacts which are locally and globally highly significant and increasing. I study plant responses to changes in landscape structure particularly in habitats where conflicts arise between conservation and production systems (e.g., agricultural field margins, buffer areas surrounding nature reserves). I am especially interested in linear habitats that can provide structural and functional connectivity at the landscape scale and the mechanisms responsible for plant resilience in these habitats, whether the plants are of conservation interest or invasive. My work has relevance for biodiversity conservation both within and outside nature reserves, corridor function and species migration patterns, the control of invasive plants, and integrated vegetation management.

    QCBS students

    Laura Boisvert-Marsh

    (Start: 2015)
    Assessing patterns and processes affecting migration of plant species in a changing climate
    Personal page

    Previous students (since 2009)

    Rafael Otfinowski

    Postdoctoral fellow
    (Start: 2011, End: 2013)
    Tools to evaluate the risks of biological invasions in the context of climate change

    Frieda Beauregard

    (Start: 2008, End: 2016)
    Modelling the distribution of native plants of Quebec in a climate change context
    Personal page

    Chaeho Byun

    (Start: 2009, End: 2015)
    Other QCBS (co-)supervisor: Jacques Brisson
    Wetland restoration for inhibiting common reed (Phragmites australis) seedling establishment

    Maria Del Carmen Ruiz

    Other (co-)supervisor: Catherine Potvin
    (Start: 2005, End: 2011)
    Relationship among land use, diversity, and ecosystem functioning

    Reto Schmucki

    (Start: 2002, End: 2009)
    Population dynamics of Trillium grandiflorum in hedgerows and forest patches of an agricultural landscape

    Laura Boisvert-Marsh

    Other (co-)supervisor: Catherine Périé
    (Start: 2009, End: 2012)
    Spatiotemporal changes at the northern limit of tree distribution in Quebec since 1970.

    Dominic Chambers

    (Start: 2008, End: 2011)
    Modeling tree abundance in eastern North America in response to climate change.

    Jean-Francois Denis

    (Start: 2008, End: 2011)
    Other QCBS (co-)supervisor: Jacques Brisson
    Invasion dynamics and competitive interactions between native and exotic common reed (Phragmites australis) in a freshwater wetland

    Paola Gomez Garcia

    Other (co-)supervisor: Gerardo Ceballos, National Autonomous University of Mexico
    (Start: 2009, End: 2012)
    Assessing habitat availability and connectivity for the jaguar (Panthera onca) in Yucatan, Mexico
    Personal page

    Natalie James

    (Start: 2009, End: 2012)
    Other QCBS (co-)supervisor: Marcel Darveau
    Modelling the effects of climate change on the distribution of wetland plants in Quebec

    Alexandra Sasha Liston

    (Start: 2008, End: 2011)
    Spatio-temporal dispersal patterns of forest herbs in linear habitat corridors

    Christie-Anna Lovat

    (Start: 2010, End: 2013)
    Clinal variation in the native and invasive haplotypes of Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. Ex Steud in Northeastern North America

    Beatriz Osorio Rodriguez

    (Start: 2008, End: 2009)
    Biodiversity in the context of climate impact assessment (Maîtrise professionnelle)

    Taddeo Sophie

    (Start: 2008, End: 2011)
    Coexistance and invasion risk of two genotypes of common reed in freshwater wetlands

    Sophie Taddeo

    (Start: 2008, End: 2011)
    Spatially-explicit model of invasion risk

    Katherine Lavoie

    (Start: 2015, End: 2018)
    The migration of indigenous plants and horticulture ornamentals in the context of climatic changes: risks and opportunities

    Examples of species studied

    Phragmites australis
    Trillium grandiflorum
    Picea mariana
    Thuja occidentalis


    37- Unravelling potential northward migration pathways for tree species under climate change
    Boisvert‐Marsh L , Blois S ,
    2021 Journal of Biogeography (Date Added: 2021-03-15)

    36- Restoring functionally diverse communities enhances invasion resistance in a freshwater wetland
    Byun C , de Blois S , Brisson J ,
    2020 Journal of Ecology (Date Added: 2020-06-26)

    35- Divergent responses to climate change and disturbance drive recruitment patterns underlying latitudinal shifts of tree species
    Boisvert-Marsh L , Périé C , de Blois S ,
    2019 Journal of Ecology (Date Added: 2019-03-24)

    34- Northern protected areas will become important refuges for biodiversity tracking suitable climates
    Berteaux, D, Ricard, M, St-Laurent, M-H, Casajus, N, Perie, C, Beauregard, F, de Blois, S
    2018 Scientific Reports (Date Added: 2018-10-02)

    33- How well does bordering forest composition predict tree establishment in utility corridors?
    Boivin, P, De Blois, S, Brisson, J
    2018 Applied Ecology and Environmental Research (Date Added: 2018-06-29)

    32- Management of invasive plants through ecological resistance
    Byun C , de Blois S , Brisson J ,
    2017 Biological Invasions (Date Added: 2017-08-10)

    31- Rapid latitudinal range expansion at cold limits unlikely for temperate understory forest plants
    Beauregard F , de Blois S ,
    2016 Ecosphere (Date Added: 2017-02-10)

    29- An Objective Approach to Select Climate Scenarios when Projecting Species Distribution under Climate Change
    Casajus, N, Perie, C, Logan, T, Lambert, M-C, de Blois, S, Berteaux, D
    2016 PloS one (Date Added: 2016-04-29)

    28- Interactions between abiotic constraint, propagule pressure, and biotic resistance regulate plant invasion
    Byun, C, de Blois, S, Brisson, J
    2015 Oecologia (Date Added: 2015-09-03)

    27-Changements climatiques et biodiversité du Québec : vers un nouveau patrimoine naturel.
    Berteaux D, CN
    2014 Presses de l’université du Québec ( Date Added: 2016-07-11)

    26- Shifting with climate? Evidence for recent changes in tree species distribution at high latitudes
    Boisvert-Marsh, L, Périé, C, de Blois, S
    2014 Ecosphere (Date Added: 2014-07-28)

    24- Challenges in modelling the abundance of 105 tree species in eastern North America using climate, edaphic, and topographic variables
    Chambers, D, Périé, C, Casajus, N, de Blois, S
    2013 Forest Ecology and Management (Date Added: 2013-01-11)

    23- Moving from a regional to a continental perspective of Phragmites australis invasion in North America
    Kettenring, KM, de Blois, S, Hauber, DP
    2012 AoB PLANTS (Date Added: 2016-07-11)

    22- Plant functional group identity and diversity determine biotic resistance to invasion by an exotic grass
    Byun, C, de Blois, S, Brisson, J
    2012 Journal of Ecology (Date Added: 2012-12-03)

    21- Coexistence of Introduced and Native Common Reed (Phragmites australis) in Freshwater Wetlands
    Taddeo, S, de Blois, S
    2012 Ecoscience (Date Added: 2012-09-18)

    20- Balancing shifting cultivation and forest conservation: lessons from a “sustainable landscape” in southeastern Mexico
    Dalle, SP, Pulido, MT, Blois, Sd
    2011 Ecological Applications (Date Added: 2011-08-08)

    19- The CC-Bio Project: Studying the Effects of Climate Change on Quebec Biodiversity
    Berteaux, D, Blois, Sd, Angers, J-F, Bonin, J, Casajus, N, Darveau, M, Fournier, F, Humphries, MM, McGill, B, Larivée, J, Logan, T, Nantel, P, Périé, C, Poisson, F, Rodrigue, D, Rouleau, S, Siron, R, Thuiller, W, Vescovi, L
    2010 Diversity (Date Added: 2012-09-14)

    18- The invasion of a large lake by the Eurasian genotype of common reed: The influence of roads and residential construction
    LeBlanc, M-C, de Blois, S, Lavoie, C
    2010 Journal of Great Lakes Research (Date Added: 2011-04-20)

    17- Roadside as invasion pathway for common reed (Phragmites australis)
    Brisson, J, De Blois, S, Lavoie, C
    2010 Invasive Plant Science and Management (Date Added: 2011-04-20)

    16- Population structures and individual performances of Trillium grandiflorum in hedgerow and forest habitats
    Schmucki, R, De Blois, S
    2009 Plant Ecology (Date Added: 2011-04-20)

    14- Evaluating hedgerow corridors for the conservation of native forest herb diversity
    Roy, V, de Blois, S
    2008 Biological Conservation (Date Added: 2011-04-20)

    13- Sphagnum establishment and expansion in black spruce (Picea mariana) boreal forests
    Fenton, NJ, Béland, C, De Blois, S, Bergeron, Y
    2007 Canadian Journal of Botany (Date Added: 2011-04-20)

    12- Landscape ecology of Phragmites australis invasion in networks of linear wetlands
    Maheu-Giroux, M, De Blois, S
    2007 Landscape Ecology (Date Added: 2011-04-20)

    11- Lac Croche understory vegetation data set (1998-2006): Ecological Archives E088-197
    Paquette, A, Laliberté, E, Bouchard, A, De Blois, S, Legendre, P, Brisson, J
    2007 Ecology (Date Added: 2011-04-20)

    9- Integrating analyses of local land-use regulations, cultural perceptions and land-use/land cover data for assessing the success of community-based conservation
    Dalle, SP, De Blois, S, Caballero, J, Johns, T
    2006 Forest Ecology and Management (Date Added: 2011-04-20)

    8- Mapping the invasive species Phragmites australis in linear wetland corridors
    Maheu-Giroux, M, De Blois, S
    2005 Aquatic Botany (Date Added: 2011-04-20)

    7- Herbaceous covers to control tree invasion in rights-of-way: Ecological concepts and applications
    De Blois, S, Brisson, J, Bouchard, A
    2004 Environmental Management (Date Added: 2011-04-20)

    6- Spatial and temporal dynamics of hedgerows in three agricultural landscapes of Southern Quebec, Canada
    Schmucki, R, De Blois, S, Bouchard, A, Domon, G
    2002 Environmental Management (Date Added: 2011-04-20)

    5- Landscape issues in plant ecology
    De Blois, S, Domon, G, Bouchard, A
    2002 Ecography (Date Added: 2011-04-20)

    4- Factors affecting plant species distribution in hedgerows of southern Quebec
    De Blois, S, Domon, G, Bouchard, A
    2002 Biological Conservation (Date Added: 2011-04-20)

    3- Environmental, historical, and contextual determinants of vegetation cover: A landscape perspective
    De Blois, S, Domon, G, Bouchard, A
    2001 Landscape Ecology (Date Added: 2011-04-20)

    1- Dynamics of Thuja occidentalis in an agricultural landscape of southern Quebec
    De Blois, S, Bouchard, A
    1995 Journal of Vegetation Science (Date Added: 2011-04-20)