Nour Srour’s thesis defense – Wednesday, April 17, 8:30 a.m

17 April 2024

You are cordially invited to attend the thesis defense of Nour Srour, a doctoral student in forestry, which will take place in person on Wednesday, April 17, 2024 at 8:30 a.m. (Quebec City time).

When and where?

April 17, 2024 at 8:30 a.m.

Gene-H.-Kruger Pavilion

Room 2320-2330

Laval University, Quebec City

Login link for those wishing to attend online:

Welcome to all!

The members of the jury are:

André Desrochers, President
Faculty of Forestry, Geography and Geomatics – Université Laval
Evelyne Thiffault, Research Director
Faculty of Forestry, Geography and Geomatics – Université Laval
Jean-François Boucher, Research Co-Director
Université du Québec à Chicoutimi
Monique Poulin, Examiner
Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, Université Laval
Rock Ouimet, external examiner
Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
Luc Vescovi, External Examiner
Ministry of Transport and Sustainable Mobility

Thesis title: Carbon sequestration and storage in road contexts: a potential for combating climate change

Abstract : The transportation sector is considered the primary source of GHG emissions in Quebec. Afforestation and management of existing road ecosystems play an important role in carbon sequestration and mitigation of climate change. This thesis aimed to evaluate the afforestation potential of road ecosystems for carbon sequestration and mitigation of climate change. The analyses were carried out on ecosystems located near the road network in Quebec and distributed in the two bioclimatic domains: the sugar maple-basswood and the sugar maple-bitternut hickory. The results showed that roadsides dominated by trees and shrubs represent an important reservoir of carbon; in addition, the presence of vegetation with high functional dispersion (FDIS) can enhance carbon storage in both the ecosystem and the biomass. Protecting these sites can preserve their carbon stocks, while planting trees to accompany existing vegetation would increase the functional diversity of these sites and, therefore, their carbon sequestration potential. Furthermore, the simulation results suggested that the afforestation of anthropized or artificialized sites can create a new forest cover and increase carbon sequestration on these sites. However, the afforesting of abandoned agricultural land may not provide significant benefits, as natural succession can take place and sequester carbon without human intervention. While the field inventory of road sites showed that the soils of roadsides represent a significant reservoir of carbon, these soils are different from those found in the forest environment and are exposed to contamination from heavy metals and de-icing salts. That said, this state of road soils does not affect the stability of carbon in the soil; it is even possible that organic matter in the soil immobilizes these metals and inhibits their leaching. Finally, the lack of documentation on the evolution of the natural vegetation of roadsides makes it necessary to remeasure control sites over time; monitoring and documentation can help establish reference scenarios and estimate better the effect of roadsides afforestation in terms of carbon sequestration and mitigation of climate change.