Anthropogenic transformations of landscapes impact biodiversity in complex ways. How species respond to these transformations varies with dispersal traits, ecological interactions, and degree of habitat specialization. As such, understanding the relationship between biodiversity patterns, at different spatial and temporal scales, and the processes of habitat modification constitutes an important challenge for preserving the functioning and structure of ecosystems. Many forest ecosystems around the world are being transformed by increased human pressure, making forests interesting model systems to study the relationship between biodiversity and landscape changes. In agricultural and urbanized regions, forests have become gradually more fragmented and as a result, forest-use intensity has further degraded remaining fragments. In vast forested landscapes, management has homogenized the composition and age-structure of forests over large areas, and logging has repeatedly fragmented the territory.

My research program will determine how human modifications of forest landscapes interact with ecological processes at different spatial, temporal and organization scales to influence their biodiversity. In particular, the proposed program will untangle the consequences on biodiversity arising from different landscape transformations: habitat loss, habitat fragmentation, and change in forest cover composition. Moreover, it will explore how the induced changes in biodiversity in turn affect the spatial structure of landscapes. This research will develop process-based models to simulate forest dynamics and quantitative analysis tools to quantify spatial and temporal biodiversity patterns, combining approaches from metacommunity theory, landscape ecology and network theory.

This program will also help bridge the gap between advances in theoretical ecology and pressing challenges in forest management. Knowledge and methods developed will make concrete contributions to facilitate the integration of a multi-scale perspective in forest management. Students trained in this research program will also possess strong quantitative and modeling skills and gain a fresh perspective on management-environment interactions so as to become the next generation of forest ecologists.

Chercheur principal

Élise Filotas

Organisme subventionnaire

CRSNG (Conseil de recherches en sciences naturelles et en génie du Canada)

Programme

Découverte individuelle

Secteur de recherche

Environnement

Années

2016 - 2018

Montant accordé

20 000,00 $