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Blanchard, Florence [1], Laliberté, Etienne [2], Bruneau, Anne [3].

Phylogenetic structure of tree foliar spectra in southern Quebec.

The world’s biodiversity is under great stress, from changing climate, higher frequencies of devastating natural disasters, as well as from the threat of alien species invasion. Effects of these changes results, as it has now been observed, in local extinctions and range shifts. New methods of assessing biodiversity at a large scale in a fast, accurate, and reproducible way are thus highly promising to keep track of ecosystem health and composition. One of these methods is the use of spectral data derived from airborne and satellite imagery through hyper spectral sensors. When interacting with light, foliage reflects, absorbs and transmits light in certain proportions relative to leaf structure and chemical constituents. Canopy reflectance can be remotely sensed from across the electromagnetic spectrum ranging from 350-2500 nm. Since chemical constituents, such as pigments, cellulose, water, and others, each possess specific absorption features, species are distinguishable via this synthetic measure of foliar traits. Reflectance spectra have been shown to be conserved over evolutionary time, as revealed by significant phylogenetic signal. We collected foliar spectra from 50 tree and large shrub species, both angiosperms and conifers, in southern Quebec and explored the significance and distribution of this phylogenetic signal across the spectrum. Our sampling includes 72% of the indigenous tree diversity in Quebec and (53% including introduced species) and 52% in Canada. We then attempted to relate phylogenetic proximity to species discrimination success and mistakes, looking into the influence of evolutionary conservatism or convergence to biodiversity assessment accuracy. Using Blomberg’s K, we find varying levels of phylogenetic signal across clades and families. Despite the presence of closely related species in our analysis, such as 5 species of Acer, we report high rates of species discrimination. We consider this promising for the use of spectroscopy for biodiversity assessments in the realm of monitoring and conservation science.

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1 - Université de Montréal-IRBV, Département des sciences Biologiques, 4101 Sherbrooke est, Montréal, QC, H1X 2B2, Canada
2 - Université de Montréal-IRBV, Département de sciences biologiques, 4101 Sherbrooke est, Montréal, QC, H1X 2B2, Canada
3 - Insti De Recherche Bio Vegetal, 4101 Rue Sherbrooke Est, Montreal, H1X 2B2, Canada

reflectance spectroscopy
functional traits
Plant diversity.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: ECO1, Ecology: Phylogeny, Disturbance, and Tree Architecture Over Large Spatial Scales
Location: /
Date: Tuesday, July 20th, 2021
Time: 10:30 AM(EDT)
Number: ECO1003
Abstract ID:383
Candidate for Awards:None

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