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See detailChemical soil factors influencing plant assemblages along copper-cobalt gradients: implications for conservation and restoration
Seleck, Maxime ULg; Bizoux, Jean-Philippe ULg; Colinet, Gilles ULg et al

in Plant and Soil (2013), 373

Aims Define the chemical factors structuring plant communities of three copper-cobalt outcrops (Tenke-Fungurume, Katangan Copperbelt, D. R. Congo) presenting extreme gradients. Methods To discriminate ... [more ▼]

Aims Define the chemical factors structuring plant communities of three copper-cobalt outcrops (Tenke-Fungurume, Katangan Copperbelt, D. R. Congo) presenting extreme gradients. Methods To discriminate plant communities, 172 vegetation records of all species percentage cover were classified based on NMDS and the Calinski criterion. Soil samples were analyzed for 13 chemical factors and means compared among communities with ANOVA. Partial canonical correspondence analysis (pCCA) was used to determine amount of variation explained individually by each factor and site effect. Results Seven communities were identified. Six of the studied communities were related to distinct sites. Site effect (6.0 % of global inertia) was identified as the most important factor related to plant communities’ variation followed by Cu (5.5 %), pH (3.6 %) and Co (3.5 %). Unique contribution of site effect (3.8 %) was higher than that of Cu (1.1 %) and Co (1.0 %). Conclusions In restoration, not only Cu and Co contents will be important to maintain vegetation diversity, attention should also be given to co-varying factors potentially limiting toxicity of metals: pH, organic matter, Ca and Mn. Physical parameters were also identified as important in the creation of adequate conditions for diverse communities. Further studies should focus on the effect of physical parameters and geology. [less ▲]

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See detailUn conseil de fumure raisonné: le cas du phosphore
Renneson, Malorie ULg; Genot, Valérie; Goffaux, Marie-Julie et al

Poster (2013, November 20)

A l’heure où les questions agronomiques, environnementales et économiques imposent à l’agriculteur une gestion parcimonieuse de ses intrants agricoles, l’élaboration d’un conseil de fumure au plus près de ... [more ▼]

A l’heure où les questions agronomiques, environnementales et économiques imposent à l’agriculteur une gestion parcimonieuse de ses intrants agricoles, l’élaboration d’un conseil de fumure au plus près de la réalité terrain est primordiale. Dans cette optique, l’ASBL REQUASUD, en collaboration avec les différents laboratoires provinciaux membres de la chaine Minérale-sols de l’ASBL REQUASUD, a élaboré un conseil de fumure personnalisé. Celui-ci intègre les spécificités locales du milieu naturel, notamment pédologiques et climatiques qui coexistent en Wallonie. Les analyses réalisées en laboratoire doivent être interprétées avant d’être délivrées à l’agriculteur. Cette interprétation doit être indépendante du laboratoire et basée sur des règles clairement définies. Ainsi, en vue d’une harmonisation de tous les laboratoires, une révision de la méthodologie permettant d’aboutir au conseil de fumure a été réalisée et a permis, du même coup, de revoir les seuils d’interprétation des résultats, sur base d’études récentes et des résultats de parcelles d’essai de longue durée, et d’intégrer un certain nombre de paramètres influençant le conseil de fumure. Ainsi, les notions de densité apparente, de profondeur d’échantillonnage ou encore de charge caillouteuse ont été introduites dans le calcul des besoins en phosphore du sol. Ces données, rarement mesurées en pratique, peuvent être extraites d’un outil cartographique, REQUACARTO, mis à la disposition des laboratoires par REQUASUD et ayant pour objectif de définir des zones de prélèvement et leurs propriétés. Des moyennes régionales en fonction des principaux types de sol ont été définies grâce aux bases de données disponibles au niveau de la Région wallonne. La question de l’influence du taux d’argile sur l’interprétation des résultats analytiques a également été soulevée, de manière à adapter les seuils de manière adéquate aux conditions locales. Au niveau de l’évaluation des exportations, les notions de classes d’aptitude et de potentiel racinaire ont été introduites. Le premier paramètre permet de prendre en compte l’influence de la qualité du sol sur les rendements observés au sein de la région. Le deuxième paramètre permet d’augmenter ou de diminuer les besoins en fonction de la culture et de la potentialité de cette plante à prélever du phosphore, toutes les plantes n’étant pas équivalentes. Enfin, contrairement à beaucoup de systèmes, les rendements ne correspondent pas à des données issues de la littérature mais aux moyennes régionales issues des statistiques de la région wallonne. Ces rendements sont ensuite multipliés par les valeurs d’exportations par unité de rendement. Les phénomènes de lixiviation ou de rétrogradation ont également pris en compte dans la révision du conseil de fumure. Cette interprétation se fait de manière localisée au sein de chaque zone de prélèvement afin de permettre une fertilisation raisonnée et précise. L’utilisation de zones de prélèvement au sein des parcelles permet de donner des conseils de fumure au sein de zones homogènes. En conclusion, cette démarche présente l’avantage d’être complète et d’intégrer les différents paramètres pédologiques et agronomiques en vue d’un conseil de fumure raisonné. Les outils ont été mis en place afin de disposer facilement des différentes données nécessaires au diagnostic agronomique. Un outil informatique a notamment été élaboré afin de calculer de manière automatique le conseil de fumure approprié, le logiciel étant lié aux bases de données et aux outils cartographiques. Enfin, elle permet de réaliser un conseil de fumure raisonné par zone de prélèvement en prenant en compte les spécificités de chaque zone et non un conseil de fumure unique pour la parcelle. L’ensemble de la réflexion mise en place et présentée ici a également été détaillée dans une brochure disponible sur internet (Genot et al., 2011). [less ▲]

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See detailÉlaboration du référentiel de compétences du master bioingénieur en Sciences et Technologies de l'Environnement
Colaux-Castillo-Bocanegra, Catherine ULg; Colinet, Gilles ULg; Debouche, Charles ULg et al

in Poulin, Richard (Ed.) Séminaire CITEF 2013 La liaison formation-emploi : l'approche compétences et la formation tout au long de la vie (2013, October 18)

Le département des Sciences et Technologies de l’Environnement (STE) de Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech faculté de l’Université de Liège a profité d’un changement d’intitulé de son diplôme de bioingénieur pour ... [more ▼]

Le département des Sciences et Technologies de l’Environnement (STE) de Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech faculté de l’Université de Liège a profité d’un changement d’intitulé de son diplôme de bioingénieur pour réviser son programme des études. Pour ce faire, il a adopté l’approche compétence. Afin de préparer au mieux ses futurs diplômés aux attentes du monde professionnel actuel et à venir, des anciens diplômés et des employeurs potentiels ont participé à la validation du référentiel de compétences associé à cette formation. Cette publication reprend les étapes clés de la création du référentiel de compétences et son exploitation dans la conception d’un programme des études cohérent. [less ▲]

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See detailSuitability of the soil map and legacy data in Wallonia (Belgium) to support the GlobalSoilMap initiative
Legrain, Xavier ULg; Bock, Laurent ULg; Colinet, Gilles ULg

in Arrouays, Dominique; McKenzie, Neil; Hempel, Jon (Eds.) et al GlobalSoilMap - Basis of the global spatial soil information system (2013, October 07)

Belgium is covered with large-scale soil map and high density of historical profiles, now available in a numerical format. This papier first gives an overview of the soil properties which can be predicted ... [more ▼]

Belgium is covered with large-scale soil map and high density of historical profiles, now available in a numerical format. This papier first gives an overview of the soil properties which can be predicted from these documents, in combination with the legacy data, and of the uncertainty we can expect for now. The great potential of the soil map is highlighted, as well as its complexity. Example of the soil depth to rock points out the need of a thorough understanding of the soil map in order (i) to interpret correctly the information hidden behind each symbols or emerging from their combination and (ii) to take into account the sub-regional features. Expert knowledge seems essential, associated with historical and new hard data, in order to build a rich and confident map which respects the recommendations of the GlobalSoilMap.net project. [less ▲]

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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 (2013, September)

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See detailPhosphorus availability in agricultural soils of Wallonia (Belgium) - A modeling approach
Cobert, Florian ULg; Pourret, Olivier; Renneson, Malorie ULg et al

Poster (2013, August)

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See detailDescription of a new procedure to estimate the carbon stocks of all forest pools and impact assessment of methodological choices on the estimates
Latte, Nicolas ULg; Colinet, Gilles ULg; Fayolle, Adeline ULg et al

in European Journal of Forest Research (2013), 132

Forest ecosystems play a major role in atmospheric carbon sequestration and emission. Comparable organic carbon stock estimates at temporal and spatial scales for all forest pools are needed for ... [more ▼]

Forest ecosystems play a major role in atmospheric carbon sequestration and emission. Comparable organic carbon stock estimates at temporal and spatial scales for all forest pools are needed for scientific investigations and political purposes. Therefore, we developed a new carbon stock (CS) estimation procedure that combines forest inventory and soil and litter geodatabases at a regional scale (southern Belgium). This procedure can be implemented in other regions and countries on condition that available external carbon soil and litter data can be linked to forest inventory plots. The presented procedure includes a specific CS estimation method for each of the following forest pools and subpools (in brackets): living biomass (aboveground and belowground), deadwood (dead trees and snags, coarse woody debris and stumps), litter, and soil. The total CS of the forest was estimated at 86 Tg (185 Mg ha-1). Soil up to 0.2 m depth, living biomass, litter, and deadwood CSs account, respectively, for 48, 47, 4, and 1 % of the total CS. The analysis of the CS variation within the pools across ecoregions and forest types revealed in particular that: (1) the living biomass CS of broadleaved forests exceeds that of coniferous forests, (2) the soil and litter CSs of coniferous forest exceed those of broadleaved forests, and (3) beech stands come at the top in carbon stocking capacity. Because our estimates differ sometimes significantly from the previous studies, we compared different methods and their impacts on the estimates. We demonstrated that estimates may vary highly, from -16 to ?12 %, depending on the selected methods. Methodological choices are thus essential especially for estimating CO2 fluxes by the stock change approach. The sources of error and the accuracy of the estimates were discussed extensively. [less ▲]

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See detailEstablishing Reference Systems on Soil Quality: Example of the “ReQuaSud” Laboratory Network in Wallonia – Belgium
Colinet, Gilles ULg; Renneson, Malorie ULg; Genot, Valérie ULg et al

Conference (2013, May 24)

Soil quality is a central concern regarding sustainable multifunctionnality of cultivated and natural territories : food and non-food biomass production, environmental and ecosystemic services… Quality ... [more ▼]

Soil quality is a central concern regarding sustainable multifunctionnality of cultivated and natural territories : food and non-food biomass production, environmental and ecosystemic services… Quality indicators and reference levels are needed in order to evaluate the state of the soil resources from a given land, for land-use planning or and to detect any temporal evolution. Our department has been involved for years in the implementation of substantial databases about soil quality in the Walloon region. The communication aims at sharing our experience in the establishment of soil evaluation references and tools, geographic databases, time monitoring, analysis networking, applied to the questions of soil fertility and soil contaminations. The Requasud network is a regional initiative aiming at harmonizing the methods for soil sampling, analysis, and interpretation. We will present how 20 years of applied research led to the sound implementation of a dataset of more than 200,000 samples in cultivated fields all across Wallonia, and where are the remaining questions and needs for future research. Discussions should then focus to comparisons with the situations encountered by the participants to the Workshop. [less ▲]

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See detailA comparison of soil properties under four vegetation units from six metalliferous hills in Katanga
Kaya Muyumba, Donato ULg; Mahy, Grégory ULg; Ngongo Luhembwe, Michel et al

Conference (2013, April 12)

In Katanga (Democratic Republic of Congo), numerous metalliferous hills are distributed along what is called the copperhill belt from Kolwezi to Lubumbashi. Very specific vegetation developed on these ... [more ▼]

In Katanga (Democratic Republic of Congo), numerous metalliferous hills are distributed along what is called the copperhill belt from Kolwezi to Lubumbashi. Very specific vegetation developed on these hills within the miombo forest in response to very specific soil conditions, among which the copper content. Previous studies have already shown the existence of gradients of copper from the mineralized rocks outcropping at the top of the hills to the foot slopes on colluviums. After a characterization of the vertical variability of soil properties in pits distributed along the main slopes, we investigated the soil-vegetation relationships in six hills located between the towns of Tenke and Fungurume. Observation 1-square meter plots were installed in four vegetation units and sixty of them were selected according to their relative importance on the six hills. The soil from the top 10cm was sampled and analyzed for pH, Total Organic Carbon, available P, K, Mg, Ca, Cu, Co and Mn and soluble Cu and Co. Analysis of variance was performed in order to assess whether the effects of the “Hill” and of the “Vegetation Unit” were significant to explain soil chemical variability. Additionally, short transects were sampled at the boundaries from adjacent vegetation units in order to evaluate the gradual or rough nature of change in soil properties under these units. [less ▲]

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See detailChanges of soil structure and earthworm community under different agricultural management
Lemtiri, Aboulkacem ULg; Alabi, Taofic; Francis, Frédéric ULg et al

Conference (2013, April 11)

The living soil is represented by soil biota that interacts with aboveground biota and with the abiotic constructs of soil, represented as soil structure, organic matter, and nutrients. Maintenance of ... [more ▼]

The living soil is represented by soil biota that interacts with aboveground biota and with the abiotic constructs of soil, represented as soil structure, organic matter, and nutrients. Maintenance of soil organic matter through integrated soil fertility management is necessary for soil quality and agricultural productivity. Earthworms are key actors in soil structure formation through the formation of casts and the incorporation of soil organic matter in the soil. Little is known about the interactive effects of various tillage and crop residue management practices on earthworm populations and physical properties of soil. <br />To investigate the impacts of two tillage management systems and two cropping systems on earthworms populations and soil stucture dynamics, we carried out a three years study of the earthworm communities in experimental site having for experimental treatments : two tillage management systems and two cropping systems. In consequence, the aims of this experimentation were to determine the effects of the tillage systems on the abundance, biomass and diversity of earthworms and examine temporal variation of soil structure and dynamics of nutrient elements. <br />The first results reveal that tillage management had a significant affect on earthworm abundance and biomass. However, crop residue management did not affect abundance, biomass and diversity of earthworms. The analyze of nutrient element dynamics showed that some nutrient elements (phosphore,…) decrease with tillage practice. This study has shown that soil structure was variable within the fields and between them, although the successive cultivation operations and the equipement used for wheat cropping were identical in the study site. [less ▲]

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See detail2ème Atelier Nitrate - Eau. Evaluation du Programme de Gestion Durable de l'Azote
Vandenberghe, Christophe ULg; Colinet, Gilles ULg; Destain, Jean-Pierre ULg et al

Book published by Presses Agronomiques de Gembloux (2013)

Under the four-year review of the program of action for the implementation of the Nitrates Directive in the Walloon region, a workshop was held a couple of scientists to assess the current program and to ... [more ▼]

Under the four-year review of the program of action for the implementation of the Nitrates Directive in the Walloon region, a workshop was held a couple of scientists to assess the current program and to propose ways of improvement [less ▲]

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See detailMise en oeuvre de la révision du Programme d'action lié à la Directive Nitrates
Vandenberghe, Christophe ULg; Colinet, Gilles ULg; Destain, Jean-Pierre ULg et al

in Vandenberghe, Christophe; Colinet, Gilles; Destain, Jean-Pierre (Eds.) et al 2ème Atelier Nitrate - Eau Evaluation du Programme de Gestion Durable de l'Azote (2013)

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See detailRelationships between the P status of surface and deep horizons of agricultural soils under various cropping systems and for different soil types: a case study in Belgium
Renneson, Malorie ULg; Dufey, J.; Legrain, Xavier ULg et al

in Soil Use and Management (2013), 29(S1), 103--113

Application of phosphorus (P) fertilizers to agricultural soils should be based on sound knowledge about soil P reserves, availability and lability to optimize conditions for plant uptake while limiting P ... [more ▼]

Application of phosphorus (P) fertilizers to agricultural soils should be based on sound knowledge about soil P reserves, availability and lability to optimize conditions for plant uptake while limiting P transport to surface waters. This study investigated relationships between parent material (PM), land use and P fractions in agricultural soils at a regional scale. Surface and deep (100–120 cm) soil samples were collected from 120 agricultural sites (240 total samples) and analysed for three P forms (inorganic, organic and available) as well as for additional key properties. Land uses within the study area were continuous cropland, permanent pasture and temporary grassland. The area covered the 12 most common parent types in Wallonia. Mean total P contents were 904 and 401 mg/kg in surface and deep samples, respectively, with a 33% coefficient of variation for both horizons. The organic P fraction represented, on average, 30% of total P, while available P corresponded to 9% of total P. The influence of PM was apparent in both the surface and deep soil samples, while land use influenced only surface properties. The pattern in total P content relative to land use was pasture ≥ cropland ≥ temporary grassland. Correlation analyses highlighted significant relationships between edaphic parameters viz Alox, Feox, CEC, TOC, pH and P content, the main soil parameter being Alox which determines P sorption capacity. An enrichment factor was used to distinguish between geogenic sources and human activities in terms of topsoil P content. [less ▲]

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See detail2. Implantation des cultures
Eylenbosch, Damien ULg; Pierreux, Jérome ULg; Dufranne, Delphine et al

in Bodson, Bernard; Destain, Jean-Pierre (Eds.) Livre Blanc - Céréales (2013, February 27)

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See detailSmall-scale diversity of plant communities and distribution of species niches on a copper rock outcrop in Upper Katanga, D.R.Congo
Ilunga wa Ilunga, Edouard; Seleck, Maxime ULg; Colinet, Gilles ULg et al

in Plant Ecology and Evolution (2013), 146(2), 173-182

Background and aims – In Katanga (D. R. Congo), outcrops of bedrocks naturally enriched in Cu and Co ("copper hills"), host unique plant communities. The spatial variation of vegetation has long been ... [more ▼]

Background and aims – In Katanga (D. R. Congo), outcrops of bedrocks naturally enriched in Cu and Co ("copper hills"), host unique plant communities. The spatial variation of vegetation has long been attributed almost exclusively to variation in Cu concentration in the soil, but this assumption has not been experimentally tested. We analysed the variation in plant communities and the niches of selected species in relation to edaphic factors within a copper hill. Methods – Forty-eight 1 m2 plots were sampled for plant community and soil mineral element composition, and classified with Unweighted Pair Group Method with Arithmetic mean (UPGMA) using the Bray-Curtis distance. Plant-edaphic relationships were examined using a Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA). Species niches were modelled with Generalized Additive Model (GAM). Mean edaphic factors between the soil of plant communities were compared with one-way Kruskal-Wallis non-parametric ANOVA. Key results – The diversity of communities at the site scale was higher than observed in previous studies at a larger scale. Cu was the most discriminating edaphic factor of plant communities. However, detailed comparisons of mean edaphic factors among communities revealed individual combinations of edaphic parameters for each community, as well as differences in soil Cu content. High covariation appears to be an essential trait of the edaphic factor variation of Katangan Cu-rich soils. This makes it difficult to examine separately the effect of these factors on plant community structures. A bimodal pattern of niche distribution was found for Cu and pH. For physical parameters, niche optima were normally distributed. Conclusions – Global variation in edaphic factors associated with variation in combinations of edaphic parameters generates a highly heterogeneous environment favourable to a high diversity of plant communities over limited areas. Conservation strategies or restoration actions to limit the impact of mining activities on Cu-enriched ecosystems should pay special attention to recreate heterogeneity, taking into account the covariation of edaphic factors. [less ▲]

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