Center detudes nordiques

Rimouski, Canada

Center detudes nordiques

Rimouski, Canada
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Swanson D.L.,University of South Dakota | McKechnie A.E.,University of Pretoria | Vezina F.,University of Quebec at Rimouski | Vezina F.,Center Detudes Nordiques
Journal of Comparative Physiology B: Biochemical, Systemic, and Environmental Physiology | Year: 2017

Adaptive explanations for both high and low body mass-independent basal metabolic rate (BMR) in endotherms are pervasive in evolutionary physiology, but arguments implying a direct adaptive benefit of high BMR are troublesome from an energetic standpoint. Here, we argue that conclusions about the adaptive benefit of BMR need to be interpreted, first and foremost, in terms of energetics, with particular attention to physiological traits on which natural selection is directly acting. We further argue from an energetic perspective that selection should always act to reduce BMR (i.e., maintenance costs) to the lowest level possible under prevailing environmental or ecological demands, so that high BMR per se is not directly adaptive. We emphasize the argument that high BMR arises as a correlated response to direct selection on other physiological traits associated with high ecological or environmental costs, such as daily energy expenditure (DEE) or capacities for activity or thermogenesis. High BMR thus represents elevated maintenance costs required to support energetically demanding lifestyles, including living in harsh environments. BMR is generally low under conditions of relaxed selection on energy demands for high metabolic capacities (e.g., thermoregulation, activity) or conditions promoting energy conservation. Under these conditions, we argue that selection can act directly to reduce BMR. We contend that, as a general rule, BMR should always be as low as environmental or ecological conditions permit, allowing energy to be allocated for other functions. Studies addressing relative reaction norms and response times to fluctuating environmental or ecological demands for BMR, DEE, and metabolic capacities and the fitness consequences of variation in BMR and other metabolic traits are needed to better delineate organismal metabolic responses to environmental or ecological selective forces. © 2017 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

Drejza S.,University of Quebec at Rimouski | Drejza S.,Research Chair in Coastal Geoscience | Bernatchez P.,University of Quebec at Rimouski | Bernatchez P.,Research Chair in Coastal Geoscience | And 2 more authors.
Ocean and Coastal Management | Year: 2011

Erosion and flooding are geohazards that pose a significant problem in eastern Québec, as they do throughout the world. To manage such risks, zoning to set limits on new construction projects is generally the first adaptation solution introduced in an area. However, very few studies have evaluated the effectiveness of zoning in terms of risk reduction. Offered here is a retrospective approach to evaluate the evolution of settlement in coastal areas before and during the progressive implementation of zoning laws and regulations in the Percé region of eastern Québec, Canada. It was possible to evaluate the evolution of the built environment and coastal hazards by using 6 series of aerial photographs (1934-2001) and archived processed in a GIS. The results show a significant change in coastal land use. At first land use was consistent with a fishery-based economy, and later with an economy based on the tourism industry. Such a transformation in human activity leads to changes in the typology of the built environment, and consequently to an increase in the value of buildings at risk. Due to widespread ignorance respecting the intensity of hazards and the rhythm of coastal evolution, a lack of understanding and acceptance of land management regulations, an excessive level of confidence respecting anti-erosion protective structures and conscious risk taking by property owners seeking to take advantage of the coast's attractiveness among others for tourism purposes, the implementation of land use planning and development laws and regulations in the 1980s was not able to limit the number of buildings at risk in the coastal zone. In fact, a 133% increase in buildings at risk was observed between 1980 and 2001. Only one quarter of this increase can be attributed to the coastline's movement caused by erosion, whereas 74% of the buildings newly at risk were new, built in a zone where building was prohibited. Poorly adapted measures that limited risks over an insufficient period were also observed. Such observations reveal a problem of governance respecting the management and prevention of natural coastal hazards. While it may be useful to redefine measures for the zoning of coastal risks with precision and based on criteria that take into account the dynamics of coastal hazards, zoning on its own is no guarantee of risk reduction. Such zoning measures must be developed and applied along with a strategy for communicating hazards and risk to all actors in the coastal zone. Due to the complexity of the problems involved, reinforcing adaptive capacities of coastal communities with respect to coastal hazards requires a process whose efficiency is ensured by close collaboration among the various actors (scientists, managers, levels of government, the general public). © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Petit M.,University of Quebec at Rimouski | Petit M.,Center Detudes Nordiques | Vezina F.,University of Quebec at Rimouski | Vezina F.,Center Detudes Nordiques
Journal of Experimental Biology | Year: 2014

In small resident bird species living at northern latitudes, winter cold acclimatization is associated with an increase in pectoral muscle size and haematocrit level, and this is thought to drive the seasonal increase in summit metabolic rate (Msum, a measure of maximal shivering thermogenic capacity). However, evidence suggesting that pectoral muscle size influences Msum is correlational and the link between haematrocrit level and Msum remains to be demonstrated. We experimentally tested the relationship between pectoral muscle size and Msum by manipulating muscle size using a feather clipping protocol in free-living wintering black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus). This also allowed us to investigate the link between haematocrit and thermogenic capacity. After a first series of measures on all birds, we cut half of the flight feathers of experimental individuals (N=14) and compared their fat and pectoral muscle scores, Msum and haematocrit level at recapture with their previous measures and with those of control birds (N=17) that were captured and recaptured at comparable times. Results showed that: (1) experimental birds developed larger pectoral muscles than control individuals and (2) mass-independent Msum was up to 16% higher in birds expressing large pectoral muscles. Msum was also positively correlated with haematocrit, which was not affected by the experimental manipulation. These findings demonstrate that, for a given body mass, large pectoral muscles are associated with a higher Msum in black-capped chickadees and that oxygen carrying capacity likely supports thermogenesis in this species. © 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

Petit M.,University of Quebec at Rimouski | Petit M.,Center dEtudes Nordiques | Lewden A.,University of Quebec at Rimouski | Vezina F.,University of Quebec at Rimouski | Vezina F.,Center dEtudes Nordiques
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Stochastic winter weather events are predicted to increase in occurrence and amplitude at northern latitudes and organisms are expected to cope through phenotypic flexibility. Small avian species wintering in these environments show acclimatization where basal metabolic rate (BMR) and maximal thermogenic capacity (MSUM) are typically elevated. However, little is known on intra-seasonal variation in metabolic performance and on how population trends truly reflect individual flexibility. Here we report intra-seasonal variation in metabolic parameters measured at the population and individual levels in black-capped chickadees (species atricapillus). Results confirmed that population patterns indeed reflect flexibility at the individual level. They showed the expected increase in BMR (6%) and MSUM (34%) in winter relative to summer but also, and most importantly, that these parameters changed differently through time. BMR began its seasonal increase in November, while MSUM had already achieved more than 20% of its inter-seasonal increase by October, and declined to its starting level by March, while MSUM remained high. Although both parameters co-vary on a yearly scale, this mismatch in the timing of variation in winter BMR and MSUM likely reflects different constraints acting on different physiological components and therefore suggests a lack of functional link between these parameters. © 2013 Petit et al.

Petit M.,University of Quebec at Rimouski | Petit M.,Center dEtudes Nordiques | Vezina F.,University of Quebec at Rimouski | Vezina F.,Center dEtudes Nordiques
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Reaction norms reflect an organisms' capacity to adjust its phenotype to the environment and allows for identifying trait values associated with physiological limits. However, reaction norms of physiological parameters are mostly unknown for endotherms living in natural conditions. Black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus) increase their metabolic performance during winter acclimatization and are thus good model to measure reaction norms in the wild. We repeatedly measured basal (BMR) and summit (Msum) metabolism in chickadees to characterize, for the first time in a free-living endotherm, reaction norms of these parameters across the natural range of weather variation. BMR varied between individuals and was weakly and negatively related to minimal temperature. Msum varied with minimal temperature following a Z-shape curve, increasing linearly between 24?C and 210 ?C, and changed with absolute humidity following a U-shape relationship. These results suggest that thermal exchanges with the environment have minimal effects on maintenance costs, which may be individual-dependent, while thermogenic capacity is responding to body heat loss. Our results suggest also that BMR and Msum respond to different and likely independent constraints. © 2014 Petit Vézina.

Duguay Y.,Environment Canada | Duguay Y.,Center dEtudes Nordiques | Bernier M.,Environment Canada | Bernier M.,Center dEtudes Nordiques
International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS) | Year: 2012

This paper investigates the potential for the combination of RADARSAT-2 and TerraSAR-X data to evaluate snow characteristics in subarctic regions. The study area situated around the Umiujaq community (56.55° N, 76.55° W) in northern Quebec, Canada. RADARSAT-2 and TerraSAR-X data were acquired between March 2010 and April 2012 during the fall and winter seasons. Snow measurements were made in coordination with satellite acquisitions and vegetation was sampled in the summer of 2009. A temporal analysis is first performed on the fall data to determine when ground freeze-up occurs. The fall image which corresponds to frozen conditions is then compared to winter images using temporal backscattering ratios. This method shows a good sensitivity to varying snow conditions and the different frequencies provide complementary information. However, there is still some ambiguity on the exact influence that shrub vegetation has on the SAR signal. © 2012 IEEE.

Papasodoro C.,Université de Sherbrooke | Papasodoro C.,Center dEtudes Nordiques | Royer A.,Université de Sherbrooke | Royer A.,Center dEtudes Nordiques | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Glaciology | Year: 2016

The study of glaciers and ice caps in remote and cloudy regions remains difficult using current remote sensing tools. Here the potential of stereo radargrammetry (SRG) with RADARSAT-2 Wide Ultra-Fine images is explored for DEM extraction, elevation changes and mass-balance calculations on Barnes Ice Cap (Nunavut, Canada). Over low-relief terrain surrounding Barnes, a vertical precision of ∼7 m (1σ confidence level) is measured, as well as an average vertical bias of ∼4 m. Moreover, we show that the C-band penetration depth over the ice cap is insignificant at this time of the year (i.e. late ablation season). This is likely due to a wet surface and the presence of superimposed ice that leads to a surface radar response. Comparing the SRG DEMs with other datasets, an historical glacier-wide mass balance of -0.52 ± 0.19 m w.e. a-1 is estimated for 1960-2013, whereas it decreases to -1.06 ± 0.84 m w.e. a-1 between 2005 and 2013. This clear acceleration of mass loss is in agreement with other recent studies. Given its all-weather functionality and its possible use without ground control points, the RADARSAT-2 SRG technology represents an appropriate alternative for glacier monitoring in cloudy and remote regions. © The Author(s) 2016.

Laurion I.,Center dEtudes Nordiques | Laurion I.,INRS - Institute National de la Recherche Scientifique | Mladenov N.,Kansas State University
Environmental Research Letters | Year: 2013

The abundant thaw lakes and ponds in the circumarctic receive a new pool of organic carbon as permafrost peat soils degrade, which can be exposed to significant irradiance that potentially increases as climate warms and ice cover shortens. Exposure to sunlight is known to accelerate the transformation of dissolved organic matter (DOM) into molecules that can be more readily used by microbes. We sampled the water from two common classes of ponds found in the ice-wedge system of continuous permafrost regions of Canada, polygonal and runnel ponds, and followed the transformation of DOM over 12 days by looking at dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentration and DOM absorption and fluorescence properties. The results indicate a relatively fast decay of color (3.4 and 1.6% loss d-1 of absorption at 320 nm for the polygonal and runnel pond, respectively) and fluorescence (6.1 and 8.3% loss d-1 of total fluorescent components, respectively) at the pond surface, faster in the case of humic-like components, but insignificant losses of DOC over the observed period. This result indicates that direct DOM mineralization (photochemical production of CO2) is apparently minor in thaw ponds compared to the photochemical transformation of DOM into less chromophoric and likely more labile molecules with a greater potential for microbial mineralization. Therefore, DOM photolysis in arctic thaw ponds can be considered as a catalytic mechanism, accelerating the microbial turnover of mobilized organic matter from thawing permafrost and the production of greenhouse gases, especially in the most shallow ponds. Under a warming climate, this mechanism will intensify as summers lengthen. © 2013 IOP Publishing Ltd.

Charvet S.,Laval University | Vincent W.F.,Laval University | Vincent W.F.,Center dEtudes Nordiques | Comeau A.,Laval University | Lovejoy C.,Laval University
Frontiers in Microbiology | Year: 2012

High Arctic meromictic lakes are extreme environments characterized by cold temperatures, low nutrient inputs from their polar desert catchments and prolonged periods of low irradiance and darkness. These lakes are permanently stratified with an oxygenated freshwater layer (mixolimnion) overlying a saline, anoxic water column (monimolimnion). The physical and chemical properties of the deepest known lake of this type in the circum-polar Arctic, Lake A, on the far northern coast of Ellesmere Island, Canada, have been studied over the last 15 years, but little is known about the lake's biological communities. We applied high-throughput sequencing of the V4 region of the 18S ribosomal RNA gene to investigate the protist communities down the water column at three sampling times: under the ice at the end of winter in 2008, during an unusual period of warming and ice-out the same year, and again under the ice in mid-summer 2009. Sequences of many protist taxa occurred throughout the water column at all sampling times, including in the deep anoxic layer where growth is highly unlikely. Furthermore, there were sequences for tax-onomic groups including diatoms and marine taxa, which have never been observed in Lake A by microscopic analysis. However, the sequences of other taxa such as ciliates, chrysophytes, Cercozoa, and Telonema varied with depth, between years and during the transition to ice-free conditions. These seasonally active taxa in the surface waters of the lake are thus sensitive to depth and change with time. DNA from these taxa is superimposed upon background DNA from multiple internal and external sources that is preserved in the deep, cold, largely anoxic water column. © 2012 Charvet, Vincent, Comeau and Lovejoy.

Charvet S.,Laval University | Charvet S.,Quebec Ocean And Institute Of Biologie Integrative Et Des Systemes | Charvet S.,Center detudes nordiques | Vincent W.F.,Laval University | And 3 more authors.
FEMS Microbiology Ecology | Year: 2014

Protists in high-latitude lakes are constrained by cold temperatures, low inorganic nutrient supply and low light availability for much of the year due to ice cover and polar darkness. The lengthening ice-free periods in these freshwater ecosystems due to a warming climate results in increased light availability, but the overall impacts on phytoplankton and other protists are unknown. We experimentally investigated protist community responses to changes in light and prey availability in a dilution series in Ward Hunt Lake (latitude 83°05′N), in the Canadian High Arctic. The communities at the end of the experiment were characterized using high-throughput pyrosequencing of the V4 region of the 18S rRNA gene as a measure of taxonomic presence, and of 18S rRNA (from RNA converted to cDNA) as a taxon-specific indicator of community response. At the end of the experiment under low irradiance, cDNA reads were dominated by photosynthetic dinoflagellate genera, except at the greatest dilution where Cercozoa were most abundant. In contrast, the cDNA reads in the high light treatments were dominated by chrysophytes. Given the known trophic differences among dinoflagellates, cercozoans and chrysophytes, this apparent environmental selection implies that the rise in underwater irradiance associated with increasing ice-free conditions may affect microbial food web structure and function in polar lakes. © 2014 Federation of European Microbiological Societies.

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