E-mail : sebastien.cyr.1@ulaval.ca

Origin and dynamics of wooded palsas in the Boniface River region, northern Québec
Supervisor : Serge Payette 


The factors that favor palsa formation are low air temperatures, low precipitation, and a thin snow cover during the winter period. There are two main types of palsas, lichen palsas and wooded palsas. Wooded palsas are permafrost peat mounds with a black spruce (Picea mariana) cover >10%. The black spruce which colonize the palsas influence the nival, hydric, and thermal conditions of the soils. The aim of this study is to determine the origin of the wooded palsas in the Boniface River region. This will be achieved by analyzing the age and height structures of the black spruce populations covering several wooded palsas. A stratigraphic analysis of the peat will also be conducted and will include 14C dating in order to determine the time period in which the wooded palsas formed.


Cyr, S. & S. Payette, 2010. Origin and structure of wooded permafrost mounds at the arctic tree line in eastern Canada. Plant Ecology and Diversity,3: 35-46.