Deanna Holt-Schmitt

From lake-effect to logs: the drivers of bryophyte diversity in the forests of Lake Superior

Forest Research Institute (IRF)
Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue
Rouyn-Noranda campus

Directeur: Nicole Fenton
Codirecteur: Yves Bergeron , Jennifer Doubt 


  • 2021 to present – Master of Ecology
    • University of Quebec in Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT)
    • Recipient of the Friends of Lake Superior bursary
  • 2017-2021 Honours Bachelors of Arts and Science in Environmental Sustainability with a specialization in ecosystem management
    • Lakehead University (Ontario, Canada)
    • Graduation project: Determining if the resource heterogeneity hypothesis drives bryophyte species richness in the mixed-wood forest of Six Mile Lake Provincial Park, Director: Gerardo Reyes
  • 2017-2021 Environmental Technician diploma
    • Georgian College (Ontario, Canada)

Project Abstract

Bryophytes, having a water-dependent metabolism and ability to colonize any substrate, need both humidity and variety in their habitats to form diverse communities. With its extensive lake-effect on surrounding forests and rugged shore, Lake Superior provides the perfect opportunity species diversity. Our objective is to use lake-effect humidity, stand characteristics, and substrate variables to determine the primary influences of bryophyte diversity. As the humidity and habitat heterogeneity occurs by the shore, we expect to observe a decreasing bryophyte diversity gradient with increased distance from the lake. Sampling yielded a total of 145 species of bryophytes, with 22 species listed as rare or endangered in Ontario. Initial results show species decrease non-linearly with distance from shore, suggesting the influences of other variables. Mosses responded to distance from the lake more than liverworts. Understanding specific drivers of bryophyte diversity can identify and protect unique habitats contributing to the overall biodiversity of these forests.

Research Interests

bryophytes, ecophysiology, bryophyte response to environmental stressors, forest ecology, science popularization


Poster presentations

From lake-effect to logs: the diversity of bryophytes around Lake Superior Poster 

  • Annual conference of the Canadian Botanical Association (CBA), Rouyn-Noranda, June 2022.

From lake-effect to logs: the diversity of bryophytes around Lake Superior Poster 

  • 24th annual conference of the AFD Chair, Rouyn-Noranda, November 2022

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16e Colloque du CEF

Le 8 mai 2023
à l'Université de Montréal

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25e édition du cours d'été d'Aménagement des écosystèmes forestiers 
Cours intensif à la Forêt d’enseignement et de recherche du Lac Duparquet, Abitibi, du 14 au 25 août 2023.

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