E-mail : ngirard@krg.ca

Dwarf birch (Betula glandulosa) growth along a subarctic toposequence
Supervisor : Serge Payette 


Dwarf birch is the principal shrub species in subarctic ecosystems and occupies most mesic and humid sites. The goal of this project was to study the relationship between dwarf birch age and length of their branches along an exposed northern slope. The analysis of birch branches allowed three patterns of growth to be differentiated according to the position of the birch shrubs along the slope’s exposure gradient. In addition, the age structure of the birch branches also allowed three groups to be differentiated based upon their slope position. Thus, branch growth (elongation) and longevity varied according to slope position, which determines the level of snow protection and the availability of water and nutrients.