Title of Master’s Thesis: The environment of ericaceous shrubs in forest ecosystems of the Quebec North Shore
The objective of this ecological inventory was to characterize the presence of three common ericaceous species: Rhododendron groenlandicum, Vaccinium and Kalmia angustifolia, in Quebec North Shore forests, and to better understand their presence in relation to environmental factors. Ninety-seven sites in undisturbed black spruce-feathermoss (Picea mariana) forests north of Baie-Comeau were selected for the study. Rhododendron was the ericaceous species that recovered the most followed by Vaccinium and Kalmia. Their presence was associated with open black spruce stands on coarse-textured, acidic, infertile soils. Cover decreased with balsam fir dominance (Abies balsamea ). Four principal understory plant associations were identified using multivariate analyses. The results of this study are helpful for the classification of stand vulnerability to ericaceous invasion following harvesting.
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