Steve Vissault

Université du Québec à Rimouski
M.Sc. candidate

Supervisor: Dominique Gravel
Start: 2013-09-01
End: 2016-05-01
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Role of alternative stable states in the sugar maple range shift in reaction to climate change
The microclimatic conditions found in boreal forests are different from those in temperate forest. Indeed, during the spring, the temperature is colder because of shading and thus the snow melts later, the soil is wetter and the litter is more acidic and fibrous. Therefore, even if the regional climate conditions is favorable, the special conditions found in the boreal forest could affect the establishment of sugar maple. In this case, sugar maple could be unable to migrate in boreal forests as a result of climate change, which would affect the northward migration of other species from temperate areas. This hypothesis proposes alternative stable states in the transition zone between the temperate and boreal forest. The main objective of this project is to understand the role of alternative stable states in the sugar maple range shift due to climate change. This project will focus on four objectives : (1) develop a theoretical model to simulate the competition between sugar maple and balsam fir, (2) determine the predominant environmental factors determining which stable state occurs, (3) set and validate the theoretical model with empirical data from monitoring of permanent and temporary plots (USA, Quebec, Ontario). (4) Analyse the migration of sugar maple and study the interaction with forest management.


climate change, Sugar Maple


1- Does probability of occurrence relate to population dynamics?
Thuiller, Wilfried, Tamara Münkemüller, Katja H. Schiffers, Damien Georges, Stefan Dullinger, Vincent M. Eckhart, Thomas C. Edwards, Dominique Gravel, Georges Kunstler, Cory Merow, Kara Moore, Christian Piedallu, Steve Vissault, Niklaus E. Zimmermann, Damaris Zurell, Frank M. Schurr
2014 Ecography