Our research in plant functional ecology is primarily field-based. Our current research uses the following field sites:
Most of our field research in Australia uses a unique >2-million year dune chronosequence in Jurien Bay (Western Australia; 225 km north of Perth). We also study other recently-characterized dune chronosequences along the south-western Australian coastline that form a regional climate gradient.
The Jurien Bay dune chronosequence provides an exceptionnaly strong and well-defined soil nutrient availability gradient that can be used to test various ecological theories. The dune sequence covers both the progressive and retrogressive phases of ecosystem development.
It is is described in detail in this paper.
At the Station de biologie des Laurentides of Université de Montréal, we have characterised a number of 20 m x 20 m permanent forest plots that are either dominated by arbuscular mycorrhizal trees (e.g. Acer saccharum) or ectomycorrhizaltrees (e.g. Fagus grandifolia), or an equal mix of the two strategies. We use these plots to understand how nutrient-acquisition acquisition strategies modulates the coexistence of these tree species, and how mycorrhizal types controls organic matter decomposition.
We study an elevation gradient in Parc National du Mont Mégantic representing changes from temperate forest at low elevation to boreal forest at high elevation. We use this study system to understand edaphic constraints (both abiotic and biotic) to the establishment of temperate plant species into boreal forests.