Canadian Forest Service Publications

Spatial processes structuring riparian plant communities in agroecosystems: implications for restoration. 2016. Bourgeois, B.; Gonzalez, E.; Vanasse, A.; Aubin, I.; Poulin, M. Ecological Applications 26(7): 2103-2115.

Year: 2016

Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 39502

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1890/15-1368.1

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Plain Language Summary

This paper investigates how plant communities situated along or near rivers are impacted by human disturbance and subsequent restoration in agricultural areas. We collected plant data from 51 sites in the Boyer watershed east of Quebec City that were i) situated along river ways bordered by farms and ii) had recently undergone site restoration. We developed three different statistical models associating plant community to variables describing how the river is connected, direction of flow and seed movement. Our results show that seed dispersal in the direction of flow of the river is more important at explaining how plant communities are organized than seed movement over land. Also, these spatial processes were mainly related to seed characteristics rather than their shape. Given these results, we conclude that shifting focus from short sections of river to entire watersheds would inform decision-making processes when planning restoration and conservation activities. This would likely improve results of restoration activities in areas affected by farming.