Réponse de la végétation riveraine et littorale aux variations forcées de niveaux d’eau lacustres dans les Laurentides méridionales

Authors: Chabot, Rahim
Advisor: Jutras, SylvainDarveau, Marcel
Abstract: Riparian and littoral vegetation of eastern Canada lakes has been severely affected by log drive and today, several dams still remain. However, their present effects on the vegetation and those that could be caused by their removal are poorly documented. This study aimed to: i) measure changes in the structure and composition of the riparian and littoral vegetation related to the elevation to the water level, ii) evaluate the time needed for the vegetation to return to a natural reference state following the removal of dams and iii) determine the factors governing vegetation responses to changes in water levels. The vegetation structure and composition following the restoration of a dam was compared on two lakes, an unregulated control lake and a dammed lake composed of four gradually affected basins. Following a dam removal, the vegetation was examined on four lakes, including a control. The major factors that influenced riparian and littoral vegetation in the presence of a dam were the current elevation to the water level of the lake and the extent of the dam influence. Following dam removal, the main influencing factors were the elevation from shore and the number of years since the dam removal. In the presence of a dam, riparian vegetation was characterized by the transformation of the upland riparian rainforest in a humid forest which shared characteristics with the control. From 1 m of elevation, vegetation was characterized by a dry forest. In the first years following dam removal, littoral vegetation was composed of mixed submerged vegetation with low density and high species diversity near the shore. The vegetation structure and composition were similar to the control after 16 years. There was no evidence that the plant communities diverged from their natural successional trajectory under the influence of new environmental conditions.
Document Type: Mémoire de maîtrise
Issue Date: 2016
Open Access Date: 24 April 2018
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/26801
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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