E-mail : alexis.deshaies.1@ulaval.ca

Determining the appropriate conditions for restoring the disturbed herb layer at Whapmagoostui, Nunavik, Québec.
Supervisor: Stéphane Boudreau

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The Cree village of Whapmagoostui (55º17’N, 77º45’O), in Nunavik (Québec), has suffered a net deterioration in its vegetation cover due to several different anthropogenic disturbance factors. The deltaic sands that underlie the village are an unstable substrate that can be blown by the wind when it is exposed, contributing to dust pollution during the snow free period. The Cree community of Whapmagoostui is conscious of this problem and wish to regulate it with a vegetation restoration program. The project evaluates the effects of all-terrain vehicles on soil composition and the establishment success of herbaceous seedlings. Soil samples were taken in order to analyze mineral element concentration, organic matter content, and the presence of viable seeds. In addition, we analyzed rehabilitation treatments including fertilization, adding organic matter, and facilitating the colonization of herbaceous species by sowing seeds. At the end of the study, recommendations to the Cree community will be made regarding what species and treatments to use. If the results are positive, the methods may be applicable to other sites in the Kuujjuarapik region that posses similar vegetation degradation.

Publication

Deshaies, A., S. Boudreau & K. A. Harper, 2009. Assisted revegetation in a subarctic environment: Effects of fertilization on the performance of three indigenous plant species. Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research, 41: 434-441.