Microbial and behavioral ecology

Associate professor
Agriculture Canada


In my lab, we study plant-microbial interactions, and their implications in the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems. We adopt a wide variety of approaches (observational and experimental) and concepts (e.g., network theory, behavioral ecology) to test both fundamental and applied hypotheses in plant and microbial ecology. Part of my research aims more specifically at better understanding how microbial traits can help us to more predictably improve current phytotechnologies (e.g., phytoremediation of polluted soils, green roofs, river banks restoration).

Keywords: Microbial ecology • Mycorrhizal symbioses • Life history strategies • Plant-soil feedbacks • Community assembly • Ecological networks • Behavioral ecology


Ph.D. students
Hiba Benmohamed, co-supervision with Joan Laur
Bastien Boucherat, co-supervision for Liliana Perez
Béatrice Gervais-Bergeron, co-supervision for Michel Labrecque
Charbel Hanna, co-supervision for Stéphanie Pellerin, with Jacques Brisson
Azza Larafa, co-supervision with Mamadou Lamine Fall (Agriculture Canada)
Werbson Lima Barroso, co-supervision for Vincent Poirier (UQAT)
Vlad Parasquive, co-supervision with Jacques Brisson and Etienne Laliberté
Simon Thériault, co-supervision for Mohamed Hijri
Rolando Trejo-Pérez, co-supervision for Jacques Brisson

M.Sc. students
Maude Camiré, co-supervision for Jean-François Lapierre
Merlin Caron, co-supervision with Jacynthe Masse (Agriculture Canada)
Coralie Pare-Ricard, co-supervision with Jacques Brisson


EDD-6050: Gestion de la biodiversité

  • Chagnon, P.-L., C. Brown, G.C. Stotz et J.F. Cahill Jr. 2018. Soil biotic quality lacks spatial structure and is positively associated with fertility in a northern grassland. Journal of Ecology, 106 (1): 195-206.
  • Bainard, L.D., P.-L. Chagnon, B.J. Cade-Menun, E.G. Lamb, K. LaForge, M. Schellenberg et C. Hamel. 2017. Plant communities and soil properties mediate agricultural land use impacts on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in the mixed prairie ecoregion of the north american great plains. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 249: 187-195.
  • Chagnon, P.L. et J. Brisson. 2017. The role of mycorrhizal symbioses in phytotechnology. Botany, 95: 971-982.
  • Urli, M., Brown, C., Narvaes-Perez, R., Chagnon, P.-L., Vellend, M. (2016). Increased seedling establishment via enemy-release at the upper elevational range limit of sugar maple (Acer saccharum), Ecology, 97: 3058-3069.
  • Dalpé, Y., Séguin, S., Chagnon, P.-L. (2016). Glomeromycetes from the Magdalen Islands archipelago: analyzing diversity and meta-community structure in a sand-dune ecosystem, Botany, 94: 1195-1208.
  • Chagnon, P.-L., Bradley, R.L., Klironomos, J.N. Mutualistic network assembly in a community context: the presence of neighbors matters. Soumis à Journal of Ecology.
  • Chagnon, P.-L. (2016). Seeing networks for what they are in mycorrhizal ecology, Fungal Ecology, 24: 148-154.
  • Chagnon, P.-L. Barber’s modularity outperforms boundary clumping to detect compartments in binary matrices, Acta Oecologica, re-soumis.
  • Chagnon, P.-L., Rineau, F., Kaiser, C. (2016). Mycorrhizas across scales: a journey between genomics, global patterns of biodiversity and biogeochemistry, New Phytolologist, 209: 913-916.
  • Chagnon, P.-L., U’ren, J.M., Miadlikowska, J., Lutzoni, F., Arnold, A.E. (2016). Interaction type influences ecological network structure more than local abiotic conditions: evidence from endophytic and endolichenic fungi at a continental scale, Oecologia, 180: 181-191.
  • Chagnon, P.-L., and Bainard, L.D. (2015). Using molecular biology to study mycorrhizal fungal community ecology: limits and perspectives, Plant Signalling and Behaviour, 10: e1046668, DOI:10.1080/15592324.2015.1046668
  • Hart, M.M., Aleklett, K., Chagnon, P.-L., et al. (2015). Navigating the labyrinth: A guide to sequence-based, community ecology of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, New Phytologist, 207: 235-247.
  • Chagnon, P.-L., Bradley, R.L. and Klironomos, J.N., Trait-based partner selection drives the assembly of a mycorrhizal network, Oikos, 124: 1609-1616.
  • Chagnon, P.-L. (2015). Characterizing the topology of ecological networks along gradients: the limits of metrics’ standardization, Ecological Complexity, 22: 36-39.
  • Chagnon, P.-L., and Bradley, R.L. (2015). The relative importance of host vigor and hormonal response to pathogens in controlling the development of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 83: 40-42.
  • Chagnon, P.-L. and Bainard, L.D. (2014) Is root DNA a reliable proxy to assess arbuscular mycorrhizal community structure? Canadian Journal of Microbiology, 60: 619-624.
  • Chagnon, P.-L., Bradley, R.L. and Klironomos, J.N. (2014) Plant-fungal communities as ecological networks: the need to characterize more than interaction patterns, Fungal Ecology, 12: 10-13.
  • Chagnon, P.-L. (2014) Ecological and evolutionary implications of hyphal anastomosis in arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 88: 437-444.
  • Chagnon, P.-L. and Bradley, R.L. (2013) Evidence that soil nutrient stoichiometry controls the competitive abilities of arbuscular mycorrhizal vs. root-borne non-mycorrhizal fungi, Fungal Ecology, 6: 557-560.
  • Chagnon, P.-L., Bradley, R.L., Maherali, H. and Klironomos, J.N. (2013) A trait-based framework to understand life history of mycorrhizal fungi, Trends in Plant Science, 18(9): 484-491.
  • Chagnon, P.-L., Bradley, R.L. and Klironomos, J.N. (2012) Using ecological network theory to evaluate the causes and consequences of arbuscular mycorrhizal community structure, New Phytologist, 194: 307-312.
  • Chagnon, P.-L. and Bradley, R.L. (2011) On the use of sodium hexametaphosphate to extract spores of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi from soil, Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 43: 2273-2274.
  • Bradley, R.L., Whalen, J.K., Chagnon, P.-L., Lanoix, M. and Alves, M.C. (2011) Nitrous oxide production and potential denitrification in soils from riparian buffer strips: Influence of earthworms and plant litter. Applied Soil Ecology, 47(1):6-13.