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See detailEffects of Eisenia fetida on metal uptake of heavy metals from polluted soils by Vicia faba and Zea Mays
Lemtiri, Aboulkacem ULg; Liénard, Amandine ULg; Francis, Frédéric ULg et al

Poster (2014, February 26)

Earthworms are known to increase availability of heavy metals in soils and also play an important role in maintaining the structure and quality of soil. The introduction of earthworms into soils ... [more ▼]

Earthworms are known to increase availability of heavy metals in soils and also play an important role in maintaining the structure and quality of soil. The introduction of earthworms into soils contaminated with metals has been suggested as an aid for phytoremediation processes. In Belgium (Wallonia), a century of industrial metallurgic activities produced significant heavy metal soil pollution. A large q u a n t i t y o f s m e l t e r w a s t e c r e a t e d a g r a d i e n t o f zi n c, lead and cadmium c o n c e n t r a t i o n . The objectives of our study were to evaluate : (i) the potential toxicity of heavy metal elements on the epigeic earthworms Eisenia fetida and on two plants Zea mays and Vicia faba and (ii) to determine the effects of the earthworms on the growth and contaminants phytoextraction process. The combination of behavioural factor measurements (survival, growth, reproduction of earthworms), physico-chemical parameters such as metal absorption, bioaccumulation by earthworms, soil physico-chemical changes, and plant responses (root and shoot elongation, dried biomass,…) provided a valuable indication of pollutant bioavailability and ecotoxicity. After 56-days exposure, the results suggest that adult earthworms have a strong tolerance for heavy metals exposure, but the responses depend on metal elements. Earthworms modify the bioavailable heavy metals in root and shoot in the contaminated soils and their activities alter shoot and root biomass of V. faba and Z. mays. The presence of earthworms led to a change in physico-chemical caracteristics in contaminated soils. These results show that the ecological context for phytoremediation should be broadened by considering earthwom – plant – soil interactions as they influence both plant health and absorption of heavy metals. [less ▲]

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See detailOn the use of Belgian Soil Map to predict risk of nitrate and pesticide lixiviation
Bah, Boubacar Billo ULg; Vandenberghe, Christophe ULg; Deneufbourg, Mathieu ULg et al

Poster (2014, February 26)

Pollution by nitrate and pesticides has impacts on drinking water reserves and aquatic systems. Nowadays, this problem is the key point of the European Policy with the implementation of the Water ... [more ▼]

Pollution by nitrate and pesticides has impacts on drinking water reserves and aquatic systems. Nowadays, this problem is the key point of the European Policy with the implementation of the Water Framework Directive (Directive 2000/60/EC). According to these legislations, Member States are supposed to take measures to limit environmental and toxicological effects caused by nitrate and pesticides use. This paper presents three different approaches allowing assessment of diffuse (non-point sources) pollution risks of water resources by nitrate and pesticides. The first approach consists on the interpretation of the geomorphopedological information (geologic substratum type, presence of karst phenomena, soil texture, natural drainage, profile development, type and percent of stoniness, soil thickness, …) provided by the Digital Soil Map of Wallonia. Soil physical characteristics are assessed in terms of soil water percolation/infiltration, runoff, pollutants retention, mineralization, and erosion. Second approach consists on the use of spatially distributed mechanistic models. Nitrate lixiviation from agricultural land to groundwater has been simulated from the SWAT model. Pesticide lixiviation from soil to groundwater has been predicted from the one-dimensional, dynamic, multi-layered model named PEARL (Pesticide Emission Assessment at Regional and Local scales). Model input parameters are mainly extracted from the existing soil physical and physico-chemical, crop and pesticides properties databases. Relevant soil parameters not directly available in existing databases, such as bulk density, hydraulic conductivity, potential evapotranspiration… have been derived from pedotransfers functions. Third approach consists on in situ lixiviation studies by the way of lysimeters. Concentrations measured at the bottom (2 m deep) of lysimeters represent a straight “index of risk” for groundwater and, on the other hand, allow the validation of simulation models used to predict nitrate and pesticides lixiviation risk under different scenarios. The Digital Soil Map of Wallonia, one of the core data source, allows the spatialisation of the predicted lixiviation risk at regional level, providing to the local authorities and the decision makers a tool for the identification of the areas at risk of pollution, where specific monitoring actions and prevention measures for the protection of waters can be implemented. [less ▲]

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See detailPlants & metals in soil : the concept of phytoremediation
Evlard, Aricia ULg; Colinet, Gilles ULg; Druart, Philippe

Conference (2014, February 26)

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See detailIncrease in Soil Macroporosity managed with Winter Ploughing - a preliminary results
Parvin, Nargish ULg; Chelin, Marie ULg; Hiel, Marie-Pierre ULg et al

Poster (2014, February 07)

Measurement of soil water retention capacity by the conventional pressure plate technique always gives a substantial view of soil porosity distribution. The structural orientation is observed in the ... [more ▼]

Measurement of soil water retention capacity by the conventional pressure plate technique always gives a substantial view of soil porosity distribution. The structural orientation is observed in the beginning (higher water retention at 9.8 to 98 hPa water head pressure indicates greater proportion of macroporosity) of the soil moisture characteristic curve obtained from the water retention measurement. Since, tillage practices generally increase soil porosity, the correlation between soil hydraulics and porosity distribution would expect to be different for different tillage systems. In general, macroporosity increase with the adoption of conservative tillage or no tillage system but the changes can be varied with the seasonal variation. In our study, winter ploughing retains more water at the range of 9.8 to 98 hPa than Strip tillage, No-till residues in and No-till residues out. So, we can conclude that there is certainly increase in macroporosity in ploughing than other conservation practices of reduced tillage and no tillage. [less ▲]

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See detailSpeciation of Heavy metals by modified BCR sequential extraction in soils contaminated by phosphogypsum in Sfax, Tunisia
Wali, Ahmed; Colinet, Gilles ULg; Ksibi, Mohamed

in Environmental Research, Engineering & Management (2014), 4(70), 14-26

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See detailDistribution des propriétés morphologiques et chimiques d’un sol le long d’un versant forestier
Deraedt, Deborah ULg; Degré, Aurore ULg; Colinet, Gilles ULg

in Revue Forestière Française (2014), 2014(4),

Plant productivity is partly dependent on soil fertility, which is why it is important to know the distribution of the chemical and morphological properties of the soil. The study was conducted at an ... [more ▼]

Plant productivity is partly dependent on soil fertility, which is why it is important to know the distribution of the chemical and morphological properties of the soil. The study was conducted at an experimental site located on a steep forested slope planted with conifers. Consequently, prior to the study of variations in soil and vegetation characteristics over time, we analysed the chemical and morphological properties along the slope. Eight pits were dug and sampled by horizon. Root density, bulk density and stone content measurements were performed as well as the analysis of the soil chemical properties (pH, K, Mg, Na, Ca and P content). The results confirm the significance of vertical differentiation as one moves along the profile. [less ▲]

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See detailDegree of phosphorus saturation in agricultural loamy soils with a near-neutral pH
Renneson, Malorie ULg; Vandenberghe, Christophe ULg; Dufey, Joseph et al

in European Journal of Soil Science (2014)

The degree of phosphorus saturation (DPS) represents the ratio of sorbed phosphorus (P) to the P sorption capacity (PSC) of soils. In some countries, DPS is used to evaluate the risk of P loss and surface ... [more ▼]

The degree of phosphorus saturation (DPS) represents the ratio of sorbed phosphorus (P) to the P sorption capacity (PSC) of soils. In some countries, DPS is used to evaluate the risk of P loss and surface water eutrophication. This study investigated DPS measurement and prediction in neutral loamy soils fromWallonia, Belgium. A total of 57 agricultural topsoil samples subject to diverse P management were evaluated. No satisfactory relationship could be found between PSC determined by a one-point short-term isotherm in the laboratory and the sum of aluminium and iron extracted by oxalate (Alox +Feox). The equation PSC=a Alox +b pHw appeared to be more appropriate for estimating PSC in the soils studied. These soils had a near-neutral pH, and P fixation processes linked to the presence of calcium ions or carbonates were important. Comparisons of DPS with soil-test P and water-extracted P suggested that DPS could be a useful agronomic and/or environmental indicator. Our results also showed that DPS values between 20 and 30% corresponded to the agronomic optimum of soil P content. Consequently, DPS may be used as an indicator of P status in neutral soils, provided that the PSC assessment is adapted to the local soil characteristics. [less ▲]

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See detailSoil contamination near a former Zn-Pb ore-treatment plant: Evaluation of deterministic factors and spatial structures at the landscape scale
Liénard, Amandine ULg; Brostaux, Yves ULg; Colinet, Gilles ULg

in Journal of Geochemical Exploration (2014), 147

Historical soil contamination within a 3 km radius of a former ore treatment plant was evaluated. A total of 247 topsoil samples were collected in a stratified random sampling design taking into account ... [more ▼]

Historical soil contamination within a 3 km radius of a former ore treatment plant was evaluated. A total of 247 topsoil samples were collected in a stratified random sampling design taking into account three factors: land use (LU), soil type (ST) and wind direction (WD). Concentrations of trace elements (Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn) and major elements (Ca, Mg, K, Fe, Al, Mn) as well as various soil properties (pHwater, pHKCl, TOC and N) were measured. Total Cd, Pb and Zn concentrations were higher than typical background values. Enrichment factors for these three metals were, respectively, 260, 77.4 and 35.5. Principal components analysis (PCA) and factor analysis segregated anthropogenic contamination as a premier factor in influencing concentrations, followed by a second lithogenic factor. The anthropogenic origin of substantial contamination was confirmed though mapping of sample locations relative to contaminant sources. Factor 1 (26.5% of the variance) impacts a large area around the contaminated site and is also indicative of WD influence. Factor 2 (23.9% of the variance) is naturally linked to the local lithology and geology. LU and soil fertility are, respectively, represented by factor 3 (16.5% of the variance), which is linked to pH, and factor 4 (9.3% of the variance), related to organic content. The significance of landscape factors in the spatial distribution of metallic trace elements (MTE) was assessed with an ANCOVA using “distance to the source” as a covariate. Results of the analysis support the hypothesis that Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn concentrations are mainly driven by anthropogenic factors, specifically historical industrial activity at the former ore treatment plant. The ANCOVA also provides a means to quantify the impact of LU and ST as well, particularly on MTE availability in soils. The presence of MTE in soil poses known, and potentially significant, risks to both human health and the environment. [less ▲]

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See detailEffets d’amendements carbonatés et organiques sur la culture de deux légumes sur sol contaminé à Lubumbashi (RD Congo)
Mpundu Mubemba, Michel; Useni, Yannick; Nyembo, Lucien et al

in Biotechnologie, Agronomie, Société et Environnement = Biotechnology, Agronomy, Society and Environment [=BASE] (2014), 18(3), 367-375

Given the risks of contamination of the vegetables grown in gardens in the city of Lubumbashi due to soil pollution, agronomic solutions to reduce these risks have been experimented. The choice of ... [more ▼]

Given the risks of contamination of the vegetables grown in gardens in the city of Lubumbashi due to soil pollution, agronomic solutions to reduce these risks have been experimented. The choice of appropriate amendments (type and quantity) and the selection of plant varieties able to restrict transfers of trace metals (TM) from the soil to plant edible organs are part of the most conventional remediation techniques. Amaranth and spinach beet have been cultivated in pot trials according to randomized complete blocks with four replications on a contaminated soil that received different doses of liming and/or organic products and slightly contaminated soil. Along with an effect on soil chemistry, the amendments have been effective in reducing the transfer of trace metals from soil to plant. The lime-based treatments were more effective than compost. TM levels in plants however remained high whatever the application of amendments and the question of food chain contamination remains posed. [less ▲]

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See detailL’intérêt de la spectroscopie proche infrarouge en analyse de terre (synthèse bibliographique)
Genot, Valérie ULg; Bock, Laurent ULg; Dardenne, Pierre et al

in Biotechnologie, Agronomie, Société et Environnement = Biotechnology, Agronomy, Society and Environment [=BASE] (2014), 18(2),

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See detailHow can long-term experimental plots can help us to understand the sustainability of different phosphorus inputs ?
Renneson, Malorie ULg; dufey, Joseph; Roisin, Christian et al

Poster (2014)

During the last twenty years, we observed a constant reduction of mineral fertilizer use, due to prices increase and environmental awareness, and an increase of crop removal, leading to a phosphorus (P ... [more ▼]

During the last twenty years, we observed a constant reduction of mineral fertilizer use, due to prices increase and environmental awareness, and an increase of crop removal, leading to a phosphorus (P) budget decrease. These changes are feared for a decrease of soil P content, which is already observed in some regions in Wallonia. However, P being an essential element for plant growth, is a such management compatible with yield maintaining? Are the current cropping systems sustainable? To answer to the questions, different studies are made. However, long-term data are rarely available to understand the influence of cropping systems on the soil behavior, leaching risks or to choose adequate indicators of P. To answer to these questions in our soils, 2 experimental plots of the Walloon Agricultural Research Center. These experimental plots were established in 1967 and 1959 in order to evaluate the effect of, respectively, 3 P and K input levels and different organic inputs on the production. Soils samples were taken in plots and analyzed in laboratory. So, different P indicators and edaphic parameters were determined. This study showed that all indicators are coherent with P levels and correlated with yields but no many differences can be shown between fertilizer types. Meanly, zero P-input engenders a decrease of yield of 7%, while a double input increases yield of 2% in comparison to plots with an input corresponding to crop export. So, financially, the zero P-input option is rarely profitable in the long-term and double input of P removed is never financially sustainable. Leaching into deeper soils levels was studied with analysis of deeper horizons which indicated any leaching , even in plots with double inputs. Indeed, soil P contents in depth were similar in these plots than those with no P-inputs or soils under forest cover. So, to conclude, these plots help to study the sustainability of cropping systems in real situations and to determine appropriate management of P. [less ▲]

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See detailReprésentation du couvert forestier dans la modélisation hydrologique : Comparaison de dix modèles
Deraedt, Deborah ULg; Colinet, Gilles ULg; Claessens, Hugues ULg et al

in Biotechnologie, Agronomie, Société et Environnement = Biotechnology, Agronomy, Society and Environment [=BASE] (2014), 18(1), 83-96

There are many hydrological models, some of which can be used for forested environments. This review aims to compare ten of them (BILJOU, EPIC, BROOK90, SWAT, RHESSys, MIKE SHE, SHETRAN, WaSiM ETH, DHSVM ... [more ▼]

There are many hydrological models, some of which can be used for forested environments. This review aims to compare ten of them (BILJOU, EPIC, BROOK90, SWAT, RHESSys, MIKE SHE, SHETRAN, WaSiM ETH, DHSVM et Hydrus) to guide the choice. The compared fluxes are the interception, the transpiration and the root water uptake, the root distribution, the undercover effect, the tree growth and the model validation. The review underlines that each model deals with the forest fluxes in different ways. Most of the time, interception is similarly dealt by the models and the root distribution is used in the process of root water uptake. Understory and growth are seldom considered. [less ▲]

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See detailAssessing the influence of crop management strategies on the distribution of soil water content by ERT
Chelin, Marie ULg; Parvin, Nargish ULg; Hiel, Marie-Pierre ULg et al

Poster (2013, December 20)

Amongst other functions, cover crops are known to increase the stability of the soil structure. Commonly, their suppression is realized by using conventional tillage, but that it has been demonstrated to ... [more ▼]

Amongst other functions, cover crops are known to increase the stability of the soil structure. Commonly, their suppression is realized by using conventional tillage, but that it has been demonstrated to damage the soil structure, which directly impacts the soil water content. The proposed alternatives vary in terms of date, depth and type of tillage. As the soil water content is a major factor in agriculture, it is essential to better understand the influence of the cover crop management on its spatio-temporal distribution. Recent studies demonstrated the relevancy of the electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) to estimate the three-dimensional soil water content distribution. However, only a few of them were performed under field conditions. This study aims at (i) validating the use of the ERT method to estimate the soil water content distribution under field conditions (ii) quantifying the influence of cover crop management on the dynamic of soil water content along the growing season of a maize crop and on Belgian soil types. Three types of cover crop management content will be daily monitored: strip tillage, spring tillage and winter tillage. In order to assess the impact of plants on the soil water distribution, an additional plot will be burned after winter tillage. ERT will be used on a surface of 2 m² for each cover crop management. The validation of the average soil water content will be attended by using Time Domain Reflectrometers (TDR) and suction cups. The water stock obtained by ERT will be validated by using data from a weather station for the estimation of the evapotranspiration and rainfall and minirhizotrons for the assessment of the root water uptake. [less ▲]

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See detailSoil infrastructure evolution and its effect on water transfer processes under contrasted tillage systems with preliminary results of soil moisture sensor calibration
Parvin, Nargish ULg; Degré, Aurore ULg; Garré, Sarah ULg et al

Poster (2013, December 05)

The heterogeneity of soil structure and porosity are highly influenced by external factors like tillage systems and other land management approaches. The aim of this project is to investigate the effect ... [more ▼]

The heterogeneity of soil structure and porosity are highly influenced by external factors like tillage systems and other land management approaches. The aim of this project is to investigate the effect of soil tillage along with residue management on the changing pattern of soil structure. This investigation will help to emphasize the different water flow dynamics especially the preferential flow processes through the soil that are influenced by the changes in structural distribution in the soil profile. Mostly the preferential flow of water is addressed by the apparent velocity through the soil but this study will focus on soil structure along with soil moisture dynamics at aggregate scale or more specifically at pedon scale. The experimentation has been started from June 2013 in the research field known as Solcouvert (objects: strip-till (ST) versus winter ploughing (WP)) and Solresidus (objects: no-till with organic matter restitution (NI) versus no-till without organic matter restitution (NO)). Soil profile description has been carried out in the four objects of land management. Soil sampling has been done in different depths of soil according to the soil profile description. Soil samples will be used for the measurement of water retention capacity, hydraulic conductivity and x-ray microtomography. In addition, there will be soil moisture sensors (Decagon 10HS, 5TM and ML3 Thetaprobe) in the field under four different trials. The soils from the different trials and also from different depths (0-15, 25-30 and 50-60 cm) were calibrated with the sensors. The calibration results were significantly (p<0.05) different between Solcouvert and Solresidus and there was also significant (p<0.05) difference among depths of same field especially between 0-15 and 50-60 cm. Soil bulk density and textural differences are the main reason for the differences of moisture content of different sites and depths measured by the moisture probes. In addition, the results were inconsistent along with overestimation of moisture content if the manufacturer based equation is used for the calibration. In our study, to capture the total soil moisture networks, the moisture sensors will be in the field in winter to spring and summer to autumn. All the experiments will be repeated twice a year. For the specific spatio-temporal comparison, the monitoring results from electrical resistance tomography will be available from the collaborated project of the same faculty. [less ▲]

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See detailSoil infrastructure evolution and its effect on water transfer processes under contrasted tillage systems
Parvin, Nargish; Degré, Aurore ULg; Garré, Sarah ULg et al

Poster (2013, December 05)

The heterogeneity of soil structure and porosity are highly influenced by external factors like tillage systems and other land management approaches. The aim of this project is to investigate the effect ... [more ▼]

The heterogeneity of soil structure and porosity are highly influenced by external factors like tillage systems and other land management approaches. The aim of this project is to investigate the effect of soil tillage along with residue management on the changing pattern of soil structure. This investigation will help to emphasize the different water flow dynamics especially the preferential flow processes through the soil that are influenced by the changes in structural distribution in the soil profile. Mostly the preferential flow of water is addressed by the apparent velocity through the soil but this study will focus on soil structure along with soil moisture dynamics at aggregate scale or more specifically at pedon scale. The experimentation has been started from June 2013 in the research field known as Solcouvert (objects: strip-till versus winter ploughing) and Solresidus (objects: no-till with organic matter restitution versus no-till without organic matter restitution). Soil profile description has been carried out in the four objects of land management. Soil sampling has been done in different depths of soil according to the soil profile description. Soil samples will be used for the measurement of water retention capacity, hydraulic conductivity and x-ray microtomography. In addition there will be soil moisture sensors (Decagon 10HS, 5TM and ML3 Thetaprobe) in the field under four different trials. The soils from the different trials and also from different depths (0-15, 25-30 and 50-60 cm) were calibrated with the sensors. The calibration results were significantly (p<0.05) different between Solcouvert and Solresidus and there was also significant (p<0.05) difference among depths of same field especially between 0-15 and 50-60 cm. Soil bulk density and textural differences are the main reason for the differences of moisture content of different sites and depths measured by the moisture probes. In addition, the results were inconsistent along with overestimation of moisture content if the manufacturer based equation is used for the calibration. We conclude that, site and depth wise calibration of low cost sensors is very essential for the interpretation of results. In our study, to capture the total soil moisture networks, the moisture sensors will be in the field during the crop season. All the experiments will be repeated twice a year. For the specific spatio-temporal comparison, the monitoring results from electrical resistance tomography will be available from the collaborated project of the same faculty. [less ▲]

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