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Sylvie de Blois

Dr Sylvie de Blois, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Plant Science
and the McGill School of Environment
Phone: 514-398-7581
Fax: 514-398-7897
sylvie [dot] deblois [at] mcgill [dot] ca (E-mail)

Research interests

In my research, I aim to define and integrate concepts and theories from landscape ecology and plant biology in order to provide the scientific basis for biodiversity conservation and restoration efforts. This knowledge is especially critical in the context of a worldwide, unprecedented rate of biodiversity decline and the realisation that networks of nature reserves urgently need to be complemented by conservation measures in production landscapes. Landscape ecologists investigate the causes and consequences of the composition and spatial configuration of landscape mosaics. Much of my work has centered on assessing the impact of agricultural land-uses on plant populations and communities in temperate or tropical ecosystems, impacts which are locally and globally highly significant and increasing. I study plant responses to changes in landscape structure particularly in habitats where conflicts arise between conservation and production systems (e.g., agricultural field margins, buffer areas surrounding nature reserves). I am especially interested in linear habitats that can provide structural and functional connectivity at the landscape scale and the mechanisms responsible for plant resilience in these habitats, whether the plants are of conservation interest or invasive. My work has relevance for biodiversity conservation both within and outside nature reserves, corridor function and species migration patterns, the control of invasive plants, and integrated vegetation management.

Selected publications

Maheu-Giroux M. and de Blois S. 2006. Landscape ecology of Phragmites australis invasion in networks of linear wetlands. Landscape Ecology. Available online.

Dalle S. and de Blois S. 2006. Shorter fallow cycles affect the availability of noncrop plant resources in a shifting cultivation system. Ecology and Society 11 (2): 2. [online] URL: http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol11/iss2/art2/

Roy V. and de Blois S. 2006. Using functional traits to assess the role of hedgerow corridors as environmental filters for forest herbs. Biological Conservation 130: 592-603.

Dalle S., de Blois S., Caballero J., and Johns T. 2006. Integrating analyses of local land-use regulations, cultural perceptions and land-use/land cover data for assessing the success of community-based conservation. Forest Ecology and Management 222: 370-383.

Maheu-Giroux M. and de Blois S. 2005. Mapping the invasive species Phragmites australis in linear wetland corridors. Aquatic Botany 83: 310-320.

de Blois S., Brisson J., and Bouchard A. 2004. Herbaceous covers to control tree invasion in rights-of-way: Ecological concepts and applications. Environmental Management 33: 606-619.

Schmucki R., de Blois S., Domon G., and Bouchard A. 2002. Spatial and temporal dynamics of hedgerow networks in three agricultural landscapes of southern Quebec, Canada. Environmental Management 30:651-664.

de Blois S., Domon G., and Bouchard, A. 2002. Factors affecting plant species distribution in hedgerows of southern Quebec. Biological Conservation 105: 355-367.

de Blois, S., Domon, G., and Bouchard, A. 2002. Landscape issues in plant ecology. Ecography 25: 244-256.

de Blois, S., Domon, G., and Bouchard, A. 2001. Environmental, historical and contextual determinants of vegetation cover: a landscape perspective. Landscape Ecology 16: 421-436.