Joanie Tremblay
Ph.D. student
Department of Phytology
Laval University

Supervised by:

Line Rochefort (Regular member)

Research project description

Ecological restoration of disturbed mineral sites in the boreal forest

Introduction: In Quebec, the MERN requires the restoration of mine tailings, to re-establish viable plant communities, in harmony with the environment, accessible for future uses, and that does not require any further maintenance. The traditional methods of restoration include: the addition of topsoil in massive quantities, hydroseeding of plants typically use in agronomy and planting as a monoculture fast-growing shrub species. They result in the introduction of an herbaceous cover (grassland) that is unsatisfactory from an ecosystem perspective because they are not indigenous to the boreal forest. They are an artificial environment, not well diversified and out of balance with bioclimatic conditions (successional dead-end) and this situation requires periodic actions to control the unsustainable vegetation which increases costs in the long time. Objectives: Develop an alternative method of ecological restoration of mine tailing sites that is more ecological. This objective is based on the diversification of the environment of the sites to be restored, which should make it possible to meet the objectives of ecosystem restoration, encouraged by the more current currents of thought of ecological societies, international programs and the government. Study sites: The fieldwork study is the Molybdenite mine site and six borrow pits located in the Grands-Jardins national park. The mine site is located west of avenue du Lac (route 395) about 6 km south of the municipality of Preissac, and a little less than 15 km north of route 117, a road that relieves Val-d'Or in Rouyn-Noranda. The Parc national des Grands-Jardins is located in the eastern section of the Laurentian Mountains, approximately 100 km northeast of Quebec City. Material and methods: The rough and loose method is a planning approach that is intended to create a greater diversity of habitats in sites disturbed by mineral substrate, either through the creation of an uneven topography (i.e., dips and bumps) or through the addition of large organic or inorganic debris on the site. This method was successfully applied to large Tailing sites in Western Canada, by David Polster, but has never been tested at mine tailing site in Eastern Canada, where conditions are colder and drier. Expected results: With this project it will be possible to demonstrate the effectiveness of the R&L method for disturbed mineral sites located in the boreal climate in order to achieve the MERN's objectives for the revegetation of degraded sites and to ensure the return of ecosystemic functions.

Research Site Coordinates

Scientific Communications

Couillard, P.-L., Tremblay, J., Lavoie, M., Payette, S., 2019. Comparative methods for reconstructing fire histories at the stand scale using charcoal records in peat and mineral soils. <strong>Forest Ecology and Management</strong>, 433: 376-385. DOI: <a href="" target="_blank">10.1016/j.foreco.2018.11.015</a>.

Tremblay, J., Lavoie, M., Payette, S., 2015. Dynamique &agrave; long terme d&rsquo;une sapini&egrave;re &agrave; bouleau blanc au sein de la Pessi&egrave;re &agrave; mousses de l&rsquo;Ouest par l&rsquo;analyse pollinique et anthracologique. Colloque du CEN 2015. Québec, Québec, Canada.

Tremblay, J., Lavoie, M., 2014. Historique &agrave; long terme des feux de for&ecirc;t de la sapini&egrave;re de l&#39;&icirc;le Bonaventure. Rapport préparé pour la Société québécoise des établissements de plein air du Québec (Sépaq). 25 pages.

Tremblay, J., Lavoie, M., Frégeau, M., 2014. Historique &agrave; long terme des feux de for&ecirc;t de la sapini&egrave;re de l&#39;&icirc;le Bonaventure en Gasp&eacute;sie. <strong>Le Naturaliste Canadien</strong>, 138(2): 26-31. DOI: <a href="" target="_blank">10.7202/1025066ar</a>.

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