Public trees of Montreal

An interactive platform



This interactive visualisation of the public trees of Montreal can be used to easily identify trees on the streets of the city. The tree inventory, which currently contains more than 350,000 trees is performed by municipal employees and the data is made available by the city on their open data portal. Development of this tool was started at an open data hackathon, and was continued by Guillaume Larocque, QCBS research professional. Click here for more info.


Added by: Guillaume Larocque 2019-02-20


Economic valuation of ecological services for businesses in Quebec

Preliminary studies to improve our knowledge


Photo credits - Photo by daniel baylis on Unsplash
In 1992, Canada signed the Convention on Biological Diversity that was then endorsed the same year by the Quebec government. Article 7 of the Convention requires that signing parties identify and monitor components of biodiversity that are important for conservation and sustainable development. However, intensification of land development and climate change is impacting biodiversity in many ways. The Quebec government hopes to be proactive and to forecast effects of natural disasters and human-driven disturbances on biodiversity and to react accordingly by protecting habitats, or by managing populations in a more sustainable way. In light of this, the government has decided to ask the QCBS to improve knowledge on the economic value of ecosystem services for Quebec's business sector.

Funding source: Ministère de l'économie de la science et de l'innovation


Jérôme Dupras, Andrew Gonzalez, Monique Poulin

Added by: Guillaume 2018-11-01


The Canadian Airborne Biodiversity Observatory


Photo credits - Étienne Laliberté
The Canadian Airborne Biodiversity Observatory is a collaboration between five Canadian researchers in biodiversity and remote sensing science. Its main objective will be to study and understand the changes in plant biodiversity at a Canada wide scale using the emerging spectranomics approach. CABO will use high precision spectranomics to measure the spectral signatures of Canadian plants at several spatial scale and coming from different ecosystems, while using standardized protocols. This way, CABO will build a large spectral database of Canadian plants and thus revolutionize the way biodiversity data are acquired in Canada and throughout the world. CABO will reinforce other international initiatives in spectranomics and will position Canada as the world leader in biodiversity science and conservation. The funding for CABO is NSERC’s fourth Discovery Frontiers award, valued at $4 million over 4 years.

Funding source: NSERC Discovery Frontiers award


Anne Bruneau, Etienne Laliberté, Mark Vellend

Added by: Sébastien Renaut 2018-07-20


Québec Ecosystem Observatory

Towards an automated, open and transparent tracking system



Actual ecological knowledge on ecosystems are scarce, particularly for northern ecosystems, and this lack of knowledge limits the anticipation of global change consequences. It is to remedy this alarming problem that the Québec Ecosystem Observatory is being set up. In concrete terms, this observatory will enhance the ecological data already available, building on already existing initiatives such as Canadensys, and harmonize the collecting of those to come. The Observatory intends to set up an open informatics structure composed of an integrated suite of tools for the synthesis and communication of the state of our ecosystems in Québec. This suite will allow, for example, a compilation of real-time data for the automated production of a biodiversity atlas of Québec or the automation of environmental impact assessment pre-projects. The Observatory is also mandated to contribute to the formation and developments of new expertise in biodiversity science. Québec Ecosystem Observatory currently federates actors of various circles (academic, governmental, industrial, non-governmental) and can count on the implication of 4 FRQNT strategic clusters (CSBQ, CEN, Québec-Ocean, GRIL) to achieve its goals.

Funding source: NSERC, QCBS


Dominique Gravel, Timothée Poisot, Steve Vissault

Added by: Audrey Bourret 2018-06-04


Quebec's launch of the Demain la forêt program



Presented by the Foundation Cowboys Fringants, the new Demain la forêt Program, which will be expanded across Quebec, was officially launched this April in the presence of its three long-standing partners, le Jour de la Terre, the David Suzuki Foundation and La Tribu. This major program will have the main objectives of planting resilient forests, educating and mobilizing the general public, supporting research and identifying innovative practices in terms of reforestation, conferring the efforts of all stakeholders and to make these actions shine through the arts.

Shown in photo: Mme Suzanne Verreault, élue responsable de l'environnement, Ville de Québec M. Jérôme Dupras, Professeur UQO, Président de la Fondation Cowboys Fringants M. Karel Mayrand, directeur, Fondation David Suzuki M. Michel St-Germain, Viridis Environnement Mme Marie-Annick Lépine, membre des Cowboys Fringants M. Jean-François Pauzé, membre des Cowboys Fringants M. Martin Bureau, Artiste peintre M. Karl Tremblay, membre des Cowboys Fringants Mme Sophie Lavallée, Professeure Université Laval Mme Julie Lafortune, directrice exécutive, Jour de la Terre M. Renaud Lapierre, Viridis Environnement M. Régis Labaume, Maire, Ville de Québec Click here for more info.

Added by: Elizabeth 2018-05-17


The second QCBS R symposium



On May 10th and 11th, the second QCBS R symposium was held at the Biological Station of the Laurentians. These two days were an opportunity for the 33 students to share their knowledge of biodiversity analysis in R, through 5 different workshops. This conference was a success and we are already looking forward to organizing next year! All workshop materials are available on the symposium wiki page. Click here for more info.

Added by: Elizabeth 2018-05-17


Indirect effects of hunting regulation on female brown bear behaviour

Incredible media attention worldwide


Photo credits - Ilpo Kojola
A new paper from Fanie Pelletier laboratory, published at the end of March in Nature Communication, has received an incredible media attention. Only a week after its release, it shows an Altmetric Attention Score of more than 1250 points, reaching the top 5% of scores obtained to date and the 99e percentile for papers of the same age. These works have received to date a media coverage more than 150 times worldwide, and this number is still increasing. The article, Hunting regulation favors slow life histories in a large carnivore, reports the works of the doctorate student Joanie Van de Walle, and shows the indirect effects of hunting on selection and demographic processes. These works were done on a brow bear population in Sweden, where the regulation protects females with cubs from hunting. Females can keep their young for 1.5 or 2.5 years, thus favoring the survival of females that keep their young for longer periods, and their young too. The loss of reproductive opportunity for females that keep their cubs for longer periods is compensated by a gain in survival, particularly when hunting pressure is high. Click here for more info.

Funding source: FRQNT, NSERC, Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, Norwegian Directorate for Nature Management, Austrian Science Fund, Swedish Association for Hunting and Wildlife Management.


Fanie Pelletier, Joanie Van de Walle

Added by: Audrey Bourret 2018-04-04


A long research tradition at the Montreal Botanical Garden


Photo credits - Sébastien Renaut
During the opening of the new multifunctional room of the Institut de Recherche en Biologie Végétale (IRBV), Professor Luc Brouillet presented the long history of this collaboration between the city of Montreal and the Université de Montréal. In 1920, Brother Marie-Victorin created the Institut Botanique of the Université de Montréal, rebranded IRBV during its move to the Montreal Botanical Garden in 1939. The institute currently hosts more than 200 researchers, students and support staff, including 11 members of the QCBS. Inaugurated in 2011, the Biodiversity Centre houses the major Quebec collections of plants, insects and fungi, in addition to developing innovative research and raising public awareness of biodiversity conservation. Click here for more info.

Added by: Sébastien Renaut 2018-03-07


Our house is burning!

Traditional media still blind to biodiversity loss?


Photo credits - Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution
The loss of biodiversity (animals and plants species) will continue unabated with increasing risk of dramatic shifts in ecosystems functioning and human well-being. This environmental issue is of special concern and should therefore reach the public. We wanted to compare media coverage of biodiversity with climate change, another major environmental issue. Our study, jointly conducted by researchers from Université du Québec à Rimouski, Laval University and Sherbrooke University in press in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution compared scientific literature and press articles addressing climate change and biodiversity between 1991 and 2016. Time series analyses revealed that media coverage of climate change was up to eight times higher compared to biodiversity. Such discrepancy could not be explained by different scientific productivity or research funding between the two issues. The study finally discussed several initiatives that scientists could undertake to better communicate major discoveries to the public and policy makers. A greater public awareness regarding this issue would help implementing new policies to mitigate the impacts of biodiversity loss. Click here for more info.

Added by: Guillaume 2018-02-05