Articles

Functional traits

Plant functional traits are morphological, chemical, physiological or phenological characteristics that determine how plants respond to their environment. In this article, we were particularly interested in root phosphatase activities of tropical tree roots in both phosphorus-rich and phosphorus-poor soils, since the availability of this nutrient and its acquisition controls the distribution of many tree species in tropical forests.

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Communities

Climate change is altering the distribution and abundance of plant species worldwide. However, non-climatic factors might constrain species responses to climate change. In this study, we sought to determine the biotic and abiotic soil factors that limit the establishment of sugar maple in the boreal forest in order to better predict its distribution in the future.

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Spectranomics

Spectranomics is a new approach at the nexus of biodiversity science and remote sensing. In this study, we were particularly interested in the potential of spectranomics to distinguish plant species and especially dominant species in peatlands using their leaf spectral signatures. We are also seeking to better understand the impacts of atmospheric nitrogen deposition on these vulnerable ecosystems.

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Imaging spectroscopy is the best approach to map foliar functional traits of the forest canopy. This approach is based on measurements of traits on fully sunlit leaves located at the top of the canopy, but these are often difficult to sample. We therefore sought to find out whether the more easily collected leaves at the periphery of the crown have characteristics similar to those at the top of the crown.

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Biodiversity mapping

Given the major environmental changes that are currently taking place, it is becoming essential to monitor biodiversity quickly and effectively. We are therefore seeking to develop new approaches based, for example, on imaging spectroscopy in order to estimate biodiversity at the local and regional level. This makes it possible, for example, to define local hotspots of biodiversity, which are potentially priority areas for conservation.

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