Lichen woodlands in Québec: microbiomes, soil and fire

Photo by Benjamin Villeneuve

Our lab is continuing research in the Parc National des Grands Jardins to unravel the genomic diversity of reindeer lichens (especially Cladonia stellaris), their microbiome and the complex interactions between soil chemistry and microbial diversity.  This week, Benjamin Villeneuve, Rafael Forteza and Jérémi Larue-Grondin were collecting C. stellaris and soil as part of the project. Following the work spearheaded by our former post-doctoral researcher, Marta Alonso García (now working as CEF coordinator), we are exploring the interaction between lichens, fires and soil in Eastern Canada.

In the PNGJ, we have the only lichen woodland south of their natural distribution. It’s the ideal setting to study the impact of fire on lichen regeneration, the implication of the fire regimes on soil physicochemical properties and microbial contribution to the local carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous budget.

Photo by Benjamin Villeneuve

In addition, our lab is joining a national effort to obtain chromosome level sequencing of the most important Canadian lichens.

Stay tuned !