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Membres: SupunMadhumadhawaPawuluwage

Supun Madhumadhawa Pawuluwage

Below-ground facilitation between tree species in the revegetalization of a degraded site
Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue

Directeur: Philippe Marchand Codirecteur: Nicole Fenton 

I am Supun Madhumadhawa Pawuluwage from Sri Lanka. I am an enthusiastic postgraduate student, specialized in the field of Plant Science, who wishes to pursue a career as a researcher.I aspire to engage myself in a research that involves Plant Systematics., Ecology and Taxonomy with special emphasis on conservation of biodiversity

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' Below-ground facilitation between tree species in the revegetalization of a degraded site '

Sampling site on the tailings of the former Beattie gold mine

Mycorrhizal symbiosis plays a key role in ecological processes like plant succession through the redistribution of resources among host plants with different needs. Mycorrhizal mycelia produce common mycorrhizal networks (CMNs) by colonizing roots of neighbouring trees, and these CMNs facilitate the uptake and transportation of nutrients among plants.

In this study, we aim to determine how seedling growth and survival is affected by below-ground facilitation via mycorrhizal networks. Specifically, we will i) determine which intraspecific and interspecific interactions affect seedling growth at an early successional stage on a former mining site, ii) identify existing mycorrhizae species and types using molecular analysis and iii) if evidence of facilitation is found in i), determine whether this facilitation is due to mycorrhizal networks or due to other factors.

Betula papyrifera , Populus balsamifera , Picea glauca and Thuja occidentalis were be used as focal species and the effect of neighbouring plants was identified. Content (mg) and concentration (mg/g) of C, N, P, K, Ca, Mg and Mn in soil and leaf samples will be analyzed using CNS analyzer, colorimeter and atomic absorption methods. Communities of mycorrhizal fungi was sequenced and analyzed to detect possible species sharing using genetic analysis. Structural equation models was used to separate effects of tree age, soil nutrients and contaminants, CMNs and other possible factors on seedling growth. Findings coming out from this study will help to develop appropriate strategies for reforestation of boreal forests in mining sites.

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