Éliane Duchesne
MSc Candidate

Laboratoire de recherche de Joël Bêty 
Université du Québec à Rimouski
Département de biologie, chimie et géographie

Supervised by Joël Bety

Avian biodiversity in the arctic tundra: what is the role of predation risk?

For my master’s degree, I am investigating the role of species interactions in the Arctic tundra. Specifically, I am interested in predator-prey interactions, the indirect interactions that result from them, and their impact on the abundance and distribution of several avian species. My research project aims to understand how various prey species are affected by temporally and spatially variable predation risk. On Bylot Island, nest predation risk is primarily driven by the Arctic fox, a generalist and opportunistic predator. The resulting predation risk landscape is modulated by the distribution and abundance of certain prey species, but also by physical features of the land. Because the many bird species that nest on the island during the summer have different nest defense behaviors, diets, and nesting habitats, I seek to understand how they are affected by this predation risk landscape.