Isabelle Laforest-Lapointe

Université du Québec à Montréal
Ph.D. candidate

Supervisor: Steven Kembel
Christian Messier, Université du Québec à Montréal
Start: 2012-09-01
End: 2017-01-14
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Phyllosphere Bacterial Communities of Quebec Natural and Urban Temperate Forest
Bacteria and fungi colonize almost all plant surfaces and tissues, from the roots (rhizosphere) to the leaves (phyllosphere). The diversity of these communities regulates several ecosystem functions, principally through its implication in enzymatic processes (nutritional, defensive and biochemical). Microorganisms are characterized by a high surface/volume, rapid growth and short generation time, allowing microbes to respond quickly to any environmental modifications. Every change in microbial biomass, metabolic activity or community structure could be considered the beginning of a global ecosystem change. Since 2000, a major revolution has affected microbial studies as the development of high-throughput sequencing methods has freed researchers from culture-dependent methods that limited census sampling depth and quality. Whereas various studies have quantified the soil microbial community's key role in regulating plant community formation and dynamics, an insufficient number of studies have looked at phyllosphere microbial communities and the role they play in forest ecosystem dynamics. Some recent results suggest a very high complexity of phyllosphere microbial community dynamics, but the key determinants of the structure and variation of the leaf-habitat communities still need to be identified. Recent innovation in sequencing techniques has allowed the first complete, affordable and rapid microbial censuses. The aim of this project is to establish essential knowledge of the processes driving phyllosphere microbial community dynamics in the temperate forests of Quebec. This project has three objectives: (1) to identify macroscopic determinants of phyllosphere microbial community composition in natural temperate forests; (2) to determine microscale determinants of phyllosphere microbial dynamics of temperate trees; and (3) to test and observe the effects of urban stress on phyllosphere microbial community of urban trees in Montreal.


Écologie des communautés, Biodiversité, bactéries


1- Intraspecific variability in functional traits matters: case study of Scots pine
Laforest-Lapointe, Isabelle, Jordi Martínez-Vilalta, Javier Retana
2014 Oecologia

2- Present forest management structures and policies in temperate forests of Mexico: Challenges and prospects for unique tree species assemblages
Wallace, Jessica, Núria Aquilué, Chelsea Archambault, Sophie Carpentier, Xavier Francoeur, Marie-Hélène Greffard, Isabelle Laforest, Leopoldo Galicia, Christian Messier
2015 The Forestry Chronicle