Virtual Museum of Canada
Jardin botanique de Montral 
Centre for Forest Research

Édith Bégin


My research

I am a historian/detective. I study the effect of wind on Quebec's hardwood forests. A strong wind can uproot or even break mature trees: this is known as a windfall. To find out whether windfalls have often occurred in Quebec's yellow birch maple groves, I consult historical photos of these forests, the oldest of which date back to 1927, as well as Environment Canada's climatic archives.

It is important to clearly understand this phenomenon, since, with climate change, the number of violent winds observed is increasing from year to year. Their impact on our forests could therefore increase. And in Quebec, this type of information is worth its weight in gold: the more our forest industry understands the forest and what affects it, the better it can manage it.