Integrative Ecology research lab (IELab)
Départment of Biology
Université de Sherbrooke
Supervised by Dominique Gravel
Estimating the evolution of conifer summits in the Appalachian Mountains in the context of climate change
The response of forest trees to climate change is limited because of slow demography, competition and dispersal limitations. Mobile animals such as birds are however more reactive and can track suitable environmental conditions, resulting in a spatial mismatch with their essential habitat. I will study co-distribution of forest trees and passerine birds with parameterized dynamic range models. The project will build on two open databases: forest inventory plots and eBird occurrences. I expect latitudinal shifts to be slower than altitudinal shifts because of dispersal limitations, resulting in range contraction of temperate birds. My work should help the NGO Corridor Appalachien to document the future of the coniferous mountain tops found in their protected land in the Eastern Townships.