Anthropogenic and environmental transformations of landscapes impact biodiversity in complex ways. How species respond to these transformations varies with life-history and dispersal traits, ecological interactions, and degree of habitat specialization. As ample studies are demonstrating the positive effect of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning, understanding the relationship between biodiversity patterns at different scales and the processes of landscape change constitutes a fundamental challenge for preserving the functioning of ecosystems. Many forest ecosystems around the world are being transformed by changing climate and 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 transformations of forest landscapes interact with ecological processes at different spatial, temporal and organization scales to influence their biodiversity and functions. In particular, the proposed program will untangle the consequences on forest biodiversity arising from different landscape transformations: habitat loss, habitat fragmentation, and variation in forest cover composition. It will also assess how changes in biodiversity induced by forest management in turn affect the ecosystem services produced by forests. Moreover, it will generate new knowledge on the relationships between landscape heterogeneity and the trophic structure of local and regional forest communities, and on the importance of biotic interactions in shaping species distributions and dynamics in modified habitats. This research will develop process-based models to simulate forest dynamics and landscape changes, and analysis tools to quantify spatial and temporal biodiversity patterns by combining approaches from recent advances in metacommunity and landscape ecology.

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 acquire 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)

Programme

Subventions à la découverte - individuelle

Secteur de recherche

Environnement

Années

2018 - 2023

Montant accordé

120 000,00 $