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Analyse de la prise en compte des hydrosystèmes de la forêt boréale par la Stratégie québécoise sur les aires protégées.

Publication Type: Technical Report

Author: Lemelin, L.V et M. Darveau

Date: 2005

Aquatic ecosystems, wetlands and riparian habitats cover a considerable proportion of the boreal forest. These ecosystems are among the richest of the boreal biome. Because they mainly depend on hydrological dynamics and local geomorphology, the maintenance of the biodiversity that they support requires the conservation of the natural flow regime. The Quebec Strategy on Protected Areas (QSPA) aims at preserving 8% of its territory through the selection of ecologically representative reserves. However, the ecological integrity of freshwater ecosystems and their watersheds is not directly considered in the selection of the areas of interest. Thus, we conducted a gap analysis on two of the four main natural provinces of the boreal forest (Abitibi and James Bay Lowlands and Mistassini Highlands) to verify if the hydrosystems were adequately taken into account by the QSPA. This analysis was based on provincial scale hydrosystems characteristics as well as on a set of indicators of ecological alteration specifically chosen for freshwater ecosystems and their catchment areas. Our study revealed that the QSPA could be improved by: 1) adjusting reserve boundaries to fit in with watershed boundaries; 2) increasing the representativeness of freshwater ecosystems in the conservation network; 3) selecting watersheds and aquatic networks where ecological integrity has been least damaged by prior management and; 4) implementing multiple-use management strategies in complement to protected areas.

Lemelin, L.V et M. Darveau. 2005. Analyse de la prise en compte des hydrosystèmes de la forêt boréale par la Stratégie québécoise sur les aires protégées. Rapport technique No Q2005-4, Canards Illimités – Québec, Québec, 71 p.

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