Pierre-Luc Chagnon

Image Pierre-Luc Chagnon
Research Scientist in soil science
  • Better understand the response of soil living communities ( with particular emphasis on mycorrhizal fungi) to agroecosystem management practices
  • Evaluate the link between microbial traits and soil organic matter stabilization
  • Develop new tools, based on soil spectroscopy, to track changes in microbial communities, nutrient fluxes and carbon stocks and pools

Current research and/or projects

  • Using soil spectroscopy to track soil biodiversity and biogeochemistry
  • Evaluating how biodigested biochar-based amendments influence soil living communiteis and organic carbon priming
  • Linking tree roots, microbial traits and soil organic carbon sequestration in agroforestry system

Research and/or project statements

  • To better manage soil biodiversity in agroecosystems, we must first understand how such biodiversity responds to environmental filters, including our management practices. With our projects, we can better understand microbial life-history strategies, and how different microbial groups may be promoted by different managements practices, with the ultimate goal to develop a predictive framework linking agroecosystem management practices to (1) soil microbial communities and (2) their downstream impact on cultivated plants (nutrient delivery, disease, phytoprotection) and soil properties (structure and carbon pool formation/dynamics).
  • Precision agriculture and efficient tracking of soil nutrient stocks and carbon pools require high-throughput technologies. We develop projects to optimize such technologies with the overarching goal of allowing precise and high-resolution mapping of biogeochemical processes in agroecosystems, which will help promoting climate change mitigation and reduce our reliance on external inputs.

Professional activities / interests

  • Mycorrhizal symbioses
  • Microbial ecology and ecophysiology
  • Soil carbon stabilization
  • Soil spectroscopy
  • Bioinformatics and advanced statistics

Education and awards

BSc Université de Sherbrooke

PhD Université de Sherbrooke

Post-doc University of Alberta

Key publications

  1. Masse, J., Caron, M., Chagnon, P.-L., Thivierge, M.-N., Bélec C. and Stefani, F. 2023. Optimisation des cultures intercalaires pour la préservation des communautés de champignons mycorhiziens arbusculaires dans les champs de Brassicacées. 37th Annual Meeting of the Association québécoise des spécialistes en sciences du sol (AQSSS), Québec, Canada, May 23–25, 2023. Oral presentation.

    2024 - View publication details

  2. Bainard, L.D., Chagnon, P.L., Cade-Menun, B.J., Lamb, E.G., LaForge, K., Schellenberg, M., Hamel, C. (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 and Environment, [online] 249 187-195. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2017.08.010

    2017 - View publication details

  3. Chagnon, P.L., Bainard, L.D. (2014). Is root DNA a reliable proxy to assess arbuscular mycorrhizal community structure?. Canadian Journal of Microbiology, [online] 60(9), 619-624. http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjm-2014-0235

    2014 - View publication details