Historical reconstruction of long-term forest dynamics in southern Quebec to improve sustainable forest management
European colonization and industrial development have profoundly transformed the forested landscapes of north-eastern North America. Consequently, historical forest characteristics, such as forests prior to settlement and industrial exploitation (i.e. the presettlement forests), serve as a model for developing a sustainable forest management. In this project, we aim to reconstruct long-term changes in forest landscapes of southern Quebec. Early land-survey archives are logbooks reporting the original survey of townships mostly surveyed throughout the XIXth century and which contain highly valuable information about forest composition for this period. These data will be used to reconstruct presettlement forest landscapes. Additionally, paleoecological data from lake cores (e.g. pollen records) will be used to assess millennial changes in forest vegetation. This research project will provide key knowledge to improve sustainable management of southern Quebec's forests to the partner organization (TEMBEC inc. forest product company) and to other actors from the private and public sectors.