Research on biodiversity

Scientific research is conducted at the Green Mountains Nature Reserve (GMNR). Since its opening in 2009, the GMNR site has been used to research eastern chipmunk and changes in forest ecosystems caused by climate change. Below is a summary of two ongoing research projects in the nature reserve.

Eastern chipmunk project

Ongoing since: summer 2004

Research team: Denis Réale (Université du Québec à Montréal), Fanie Pelletier and Dany Garant (Université de Sherbrooke) and Murray Humphries (Université McGill)

Objective: Understand the capacities of a population of eastern chipmunk to respond to certain changes in their environment, by comprehensive monitoring from birth to death.

Under study:

  • variations of individual personalities within this population
  • hormonal and genetic differences between individuals
  • metabolic variations

Some discoveries: The population of chipmunks essentially depends on the fluctuation of mast (fruit) production of American beech.

Project on climate change impact on forests

Ongoing since: 2009

Research team: Dominique Gravel (Université de Sherbrooke) and Christian Messier (Centre d’étude sur la forêt, Université du Québec en Outaouais and Université du Québec à Montréal).

Objective: Monitor changes within forest ecosystems to better understand the effect of climate change on our forests.

Under study:

  • Fluctuations in soil water content, soil temperature and humidity, seed production and insect collection at 25 environmental monitoring stations at altitudes

Some discoveries: Forest resilience (in French) Natural catastrophes and climate change can be mitigated by tree species that are adapted to future conditions and by tree species diversity.