Manon Boche

Conservation, management and ecophysiology of the oldest trees in Quebec: the white cedars of Lake Duparquet

Institut de recherche sur les forêts (IRF)
Groupe de recherche en écologie de la MRC Abitibi (GREMA)
Chaire de Recherche du Canada en dendroécologie et dendroclimatologie
UQAT - Campus d'Amos

Director: Fabio Gennaretti
Co-director: Yves Bergeron


After having spent my childhood and my adolescence in Montpellier in the south of France, I did a civic service (volunteer work) in Bad Kreuznach in Germany during 1 year. I then had the chance to travel in Europe for several months. These experiences before my studies allowed me to choose my studies, my vocation, in a thoughtful way. After a bachelor's degree in France, I started my master's degree in research at UQAT on the Amos campus with Fabio Gennaretti in January 2022. My research project is entitled: Link between ecophysiological traits and longevity of white cedars of Lake Duparquet. I am doing an internship with the Conseil régional en environnement d'Abitibi-Témiscamingue (CREAT).


  • September 2021 - Now
    Master's degree in ecology at UQAT
    Bidiplomation with the University of Montpellier in Master in Ecology and Management of Natural Areas (EGEN)
  • September 2018 - June 2021
    License in Life Sciences, Ecology - Biology of organisms at the University of Montpellier

Research Project

The white cedars (Thuja occidentalis) of Lake Duparquet are the oldest trees in the North East North America with some individuals over 1000 years old. The oldest trees seem to be located on rocky outcrops, on nutrient and water poor "xeric substrates". This same phenomenon is observed on a global scale: the oldest trees are mostly on xeric sites. The processes leading to mortality in the absence of major disturbances are still poorly understood. Two processes seem to come into play: xylem cavitation and carbon deficiency. The longest-lived trees located on xeric sites would therefore have developed mechanisms that allow them to resist or avoid these processes. My objective is to study phenotypic plasticity in order to understand the mechanisms that allow the longevity of these cedars in the absence of disturbance. My study hypotheses are: the oldest cedars have developed resistance traits to low water availability, i.e. to the risk of embolism and that they have developed a conservative carbon allocation strategy in order to avoid carbon deficiency. This study will allow us to position ourselves on the scientific debate of the links between longevity and functional traits. To know the phenotypic and anatomical traits improving the water stress resistance could allow us to better modelise the response of the forest to climate change. The white cedar is emblematic of old-growth forests in boreal forest ecosystems and their protection is particularly important for an ecosystem-based management of the forest.

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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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