Analyse spatiale, sélection des paysages et stratégies de conservation en présence de régimes multiples de perturbation : le cas du caribou forestier en forêt boréale aménagée

Authors: Beguin, Julien
Advisor: Raulier, FrédéricMcIntire, Eliot
Abstract: Linking spatial patterns of species distribution and population dynamics with biotic and abiotic processes is central to inform effective conservation planning for endangered species. This thesis investigated how linking spatial patterns of boreal woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou), hereafter boreal caribou, to processes can 1) improve our understanding of landscape selection of this ecotype and 2) inform the efficiency of current land use policies in practice. I first present a new powerful numerical method that allows integrating properly spatial information present in species distribution data to make accurate statistical inference. This method uses integrated nested Laplace approximations (INLA) as an alternative to Markov chain Monte Carlo simulations. I show that, in addition of being accurate and rapid, the use of INLA with Bayesian hierarchical spatial models efficiently accounted for spatial autocorrelation in the residuals and fairly evaluated uncertainty in parameter estimates and predictions. I then used INLA to test which ecological processes, among climate and the distance to roads, drove the existence of geographical patterns in boreal caribou landscape selection. Data supported road-driven selection over a climate influence. Moreover, I show that boreal caribou avoidance of logged areas was two-fold stronger than burned areas. Together these results indicated that limiting the spread of road networks and accounting for the uneven impact of logging compared to wildfire should be integral parts of any habitat management plan and conservation measures within the range of this ecotype. Finally, I use a spatially explicit landscape simulation model to explore how spatial interactions among protected area networks, industrial forestry and fire regimes impacted the population dynamics of boreal caribou and the economic costs related to forest management. I show that the current policy of conservation planning and forest management in the Côte-Nord region in Québec is unlikely to be sustainable for either boreal caribou conservation or timber supply mainly because of current overestimated planned harvest levels. Fire increased antagonisms between current practices of forest management and habitat conservation, irrespective of the presence of salvage logging. This study illustrates that efficient conservation planning requires a better understanding of spatial interactions among population dynamics, protected area networks, forest management, and fire regimes.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2013
Open Access Date: 19 April 2018
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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