ProjectImpact of human activities the aquatic ecosystems of the St.Lawrence and on ecosystem services
The coastal regions of the St. Lawrence River are the site of many anthropogenic terrestrial and aquatic activities such as agriculture, shipping and aquaculture. These different activities cause several environmental stressors that affect the structure and functioning of benthic communities. These disturbances can act individually, but also in synergy and cause disturbances that are difficult to predict. These combinations of stressors influence biodiversity and the structure of ecosystems and will alter ecosystem functions, which can therefore cause significant socio-economic impacts. The objective of this project is to understand the effect of human activities and the multiple disturbances that result from it on the benthic communities of the St. Lawrence River. More specifically, this project is divided into three main objectives. First, we seek to determine the effect of multiple stressors on different biological responses of benthic communities (mortality, growth, shell mineralization, energy in tissues) in order to understand their interaction scenarios (synergistic relationships, antagonists, etc.). Second, we seek to understand how the assemblages of species and their associated functions can react to different intensities of stressors in the context of multiple stressors and global changes. Finally, we seek to characterize the current and future effect of certain human activities on benthic communities and on ecosystem functioning. This project will allow us to expand our knowledge of the consequences of multiple stressors resulting from human activities in freshwater and marine ecosystems. It will also allow us to generate new information that could improve the systematic management of the resources of the St. Lawrence River.