Peatland Ecology Research Group (PERG)
Université Laval
Arctic wetlands 1993


The team of Line Rochefort participates in various projects at Bylot Island, Nunavut.


Spatial and temporal dynamics of Arctic ecosystems and sustainable use of renewable resources.


This project led to the late 1990s aimed to study the patterns of development of typical polygons of peat in arctic wetlands from palaeoecological data. It allowed to verify the sensitivity of this type of ecosystem to climate change, especially during the period of the Holocene.


Peat polygons at Bylot Island, Nunavut (Photo: R. Pouliot).

The results of this study are published in the scientific articles of Christopher Ellis (see publications for this project below).



Trophic interactions and population dynamics of Greater Snow Geese in the Arctic and the effects of resource exploitation and climate change on community structure in a fragile Arctic ecosystem.


Under this project, the long-term effect of fertilization on nutrient cycling and primary productivity of wetlands is assessed. In the Arctic, trophic interactions between plants and herbivores are generally dominant and herbivores can affect the production, structure and composition of plant communities. On Bylot Island (73° N, 80° W), Greater Snow Geese (Chen caerulescens
) dominates in wetlands that are characterized by peat polygons.

Geese prefer to feed on graminoid plants whose growth is limited by the low availability of nitrogen. We know that the current population of geese on Bylot Island has a moderate grazing. Nevertheless, the productivity of grass does not appear to be stimulated by their presence. Fertilization experiments have shown that the thick carpet of brown mosses at this site could act as a filter by absorbing nutrients from the feces of geese, to the detriment of the grass plants.

Experimental unit used in the fertilization experiment, at Bylot Island, Nunavut (Photo: R. Pouliot).

The results obtained so far in this study are in the master thesis of Rémy Pouliot (see publications for this project below) and of Mylène Marchand-Roy (see the M.Sc. thesis).


For more information on studies on Bylot Island, please visit the website of Ecological studies and environmental monitoring at Bylot Island, Sirmilik NationalPark.
Project's publication(s) & communication(s)


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