• Start Date : 1 May 2009
  • End Date: 31 Dec 2020

Impacts of urbanization on plant diversity of Montreal woodlands – IRBV – Université de Montréal

Urbanization is characterized by loss and fragmentation of ecosystems. This process often leads to a decrease of the number of native plant species and an increase of exotic species. This phenomenon ultimately leads to the homogenization of urban flora, which means that there will be a loss of diversity among communities of different ecosystems.

This broad scale project comprises of multiple objectives. Namely, it aims to quantify woodland flora of Montreal and its adjacent municipalities, to assess the impact of urbanization intensity on this flora in space and time, to identify species that may serve as indicators of ecological integrity of urban woodlands, and to assist in the deployment of management plans adapted to these ecosystems.

To date, this project has demonstrated that Montreal woodlands boast a rich and diversified flora and that native species are still very abundant within them. In fact, several native species never recorded in the Montreal area or in the province were identified while conducting vegetation surveys in the course of this study. Results also showed that local woodland density is an important factor that determines richness, which supports the need to preserve the totality of these woodlands, down to the smallest patch. These woodlands also play a role in the fight against urban heat islands, thus improving the quality of life of citizens.


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