References of "Doucet, Jean-Louis"
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See detailStand structure and species co-occurence in mixed and monodominant Central African tropical forests
Djuikouo, Marie Noël K.; Peh, Kelvin S.H.; Nguembou et al

in Journal of Tropical Ecology (2014), 30(5), 447-455

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See detailSeed dispersal by western lowland gorillas: what about gut passage effect?
Haurez, Barbara ULg; Petre, Charles-Albert ULg; Doucet, Jean-Louis ULg

Conference (2014, July 21)

Animal-mediated seed dispersal is an essential ecological process in the tropics. Among African primates, the critically endangered western lowland gorilla (WLG) seems to fulfill many characteristics of ... [more ▼]

Animal-mediated seed dispersal is an essential ecological process in the tropics. Among African primates, the critically endangered western lowland gorilla (WLG) seems to fulfill many characteristics of an effective seed disperser. WLG preferentially disperses species of various seed-size into open canopy habitats suitable for seedling growth. However, few studies have addressed the effects of the passage through the digestive tract on germination. Thus, the effectiveness of WLG in ecological processes governing forest dynamics and regeneration is still poorly known. Seed dispersal by WLG was studied in Central Gabon and Southeast Cameroon. Dispersed seed were identified from fresh fecal samples. Comparative germination trials based on 5 treatments (seeds from fresh fruits, seeds from fresh fruits surrounded by pulp, seeds from fresh fruits with fecal matrix, seeds from feces and seeds from feces with fecal matrix) were realized for 13 species. We recorded germination success for all species and germination delay for 6 species. Our results suggest a neutral gut passage effect for 54% and positive effect for 40% of tested species. Germination success enhancement was linked to another factor than pulp suppression. For two species, pulp suppression enhanced germination success, but not gut passage. The presence of pulp or fecal matrix surrounding the seed seemed to longer germination delay, while gut passage would not fasten germination. Globally, we conclude that WLG dispersed seeds are not damaged by gut passage. Consequently, WLG is thought to provide effective ecological services that could be essential to the maintenance and the recovery of forest ecosystems. [less ▲]

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See detailWestern lowland gorilla in a logging concession: comparison of density and nesting behavior before and after logging
Haurez, Barbara ULg; Petre, Charles-Albert ULg; Doucet, Jean-Louis ULg

Conference (2014, May 22)

Timber exploitation is rapidly expanding throughout the Congo Basin. In Gabon, timber industry is currently the second working sector and logging concessions cover 45% of the country forest area, largely ... [more ▼]

Timber exploitation is rapidly expanding throughout the Congo Basin. In Gabon, timber industry is currently the second working sector and logging concessions cover 45% of the country forest area, largely overlapping with the range of western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla WLG). Logging may negatively impact gorilla because of an increase in hunting pressure linked to human concentration and easier access to forest. On the other hand, WLG might benefit from forest opening and the associated growth in Terrestrial Herbaceous Vegetation, following timber felling and roads/trails implementation. In the present study, gorilla density and nesting behavior were studied in a 617,000-ha logging concession located in Central Gabon. A Standing Crop Nest Count census was realized 25 years after the first timber harvesting cycle, consisting in the assessment of the potentiality of logged forest to hold viable WLG populations. A second census was undertaken four to six months after the second logging wave. Comparing nesting behavior and estimated gorilla density between the two census allows to highlight the short-term effects of logging on gorilla populations. A relatively high WLG density was observed during the first census (2.1 weaned gorillas/km²). This figure dropped down to 1.0 weaned gorillas/km² after the second felling cycle. Both density values fall within the range of documented WLG densities documented at other sites. Gorillas consistently nested preferentially in open terra firme forest and built the majority of their nests using herbs of the Marantaceae and Zingiberaceae families. Both these observations underline the importance of Terrestrial Herbaceous Vegetation for nesting. The results of this study suggest that timber exploitation and WLG conservation are not mutually exclusive. The initial high density might traduce an effective anti-poaching strategy for now. The decline in gorilla density observed directly in the second census is probably linked with the avoidance of the disturbance of logging operations. Monitoring the evolution of WLG density would be important in order to control if the figure will rise over time to reach its initial value, but also to assess if a positive effect of Terrestrial Herbaceous Vegetation growth will be observed. [less ▲]

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See detailDynamique d’une espèce ligneuse héliophile longévive dans un monde changeant le cas de Pericopsis elata (Harms) Meeuwen (Fabaceae) au sud-est du Cameroun
Bourland, Nils ULg; Doucet, Jean-Louis ULg

Scientific conference (2014, May 13)

Exposé sur l'origine et la dynamique des peuplements formés par Pericopsis elata au Sud-Est du Cameroon.

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See detailRecords of human activity during the late-Holocene in the soils of the African dense humid forest
Morin-Rivat, Julie ULg; Biwolé, Achille; Bourland, Nils ULg et al

Conference (2014, April 30)

Recently, several authors gathered data about the presence of past human populations in tropical regions covered by dense forest nowadays. In central Africa, there is a growing body of evidence for past ... [more ▼]

Recently, several authors gathered data about the presence of past human populations in tropical regions covered by dense forest nowadays. In central Africa, there is a growing body of evidence for past human settlements along the Atlantic coast, but very little information is available further inland. In this perspective, soil records seem to be the most appropriated so as to appraise the spatial and temporal extent of human activity in the African dense humid forest. In this paper, we thus aimed to present a synthesis of the archaeological and archaeobotanical data obtained during several fieldwork campaigns in an archaeologically unexplored area of 200,000 km² located in southern Cameroon and the northern Republic of Congo. A total of 275 test pits, among them 30 pedological pits up to 150 cm deep, were excavated in the study area. So as to get a long temporal scale as well as a fine resolution spatial scale, we quantified wood charcoal and charred endocarps in soil samples by layers of 10 cm taken for 100 pits located along transects of systematic sampling. Spatial projections were performed using statistics together with multivariate analyses. AMS radiocarbon dating allowed interpreting the temporal framework. Evidence of past human activities through either artifacts or charred botanical remains was observed in all pits, in particular with the ubiquitous presence of charcoal at each site. Main charcoal peaks were interpreted as fields (slash-and-burn agriculture) in the vicinity of ancient villages, the later marked by the presence of both potsherds and oil palm endocarps. The dichotomy of these kinds of activities may have impacted differentially the environment during the past. The set of 73 radiocarbon dates extending from 15,000 BP to the present time provided more dates in the late-Holocene showing a bimodal distribution which was interpreted as two phases of human expansion with an intermediate phase of population crash. The 2300–1300 BP phase is correlated with the migrations of supposed farming populations from northwestern Cameroon. Between 1300 and 670 BP, less material could be dated. Following that population collapse, the 670–20 BP phase corresponds to a new period of human expansion known as the Late Iron Age. The dates obtained support the established chronology reported for whole central Africa. This study underlines the necessity of fieldwork efforts and of the usefulness of archives sealed in soil records so as to bring new, extensive and precise evidence of human activities in the Congo Basin. [less ▲]

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See detailQuaternary rainforests of the Northern Congo Basin: contribution of charcoal analysis
Morin-Rivat, Julie ULg; Bremond, Laurent; Gillet, Jean-François ULg et al

Conference (2014, March 27)

In comparison with the wood charcoals uncovered in the soils of the temperate regions, charcoals from the tropical regions remain little studied yet, in particular those from the dense humid forests of ... [more ▼]

In comparison with the wood charcoals uncovered in the soils of the temperate regions, charcoals from the tropical regions remain little studied yet, in particular those from the dense humid forests of Central Africa. Here we aim at showing the interest of the analysis of soil charcoals so as to understand the current environments through some examples of taxonomical identifications conducted on charcoals sampled in several soil pits in Cameroon and in the Republic of the Congo. These charcoals were hand-split then observed under an incident light microscope. The anatomical features that are hold in the charcoals and described according to a standard method were compared to wood samples from the reference collection of the RMCA. Results demonstrated that the identified species are still present in the vegetal environment today and that only limited changes occurred over the past two millennia. Charcoal analysis can thus allow a better understanding of the past history of the forests in relationship with the ancient disturbances. The temporal and spatial framework of human settlements as well as the impact of the colonial period on the evolution of the forest is also discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailIdentification des charbons de bois pour connaître l'histoire passée des forêts tropicales africaines
Morin-Rivat, Julie ULg; De Weerdt, Joëlle; Hubau, Wannes et al

Scientific conference (2014, March 26)

Nous présentons ici différents aspects de l’étude des charbons de bois à travers l’exemple de l’Afrique tropicale

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See detailHistoire humaine des forêts tropicales du nord du Bassin du Congo durant les deux derniers millénaires
Morin-Rivat, Julie ULg; Biwolé, Achille; Bourland, Nils ULg et al

Scientific conference (2014, March 26)

Identifier les indices d’activités humaines anciennes et les mettre en relation avec la composition floristique actuelle grâce à une approche multidisciplinaire.

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See detailRapport final du projet FRFC n° 2.4577.10. Dynamique des populations d’arbres et d’herbacées héliophiles en relation avec les anciennes perturbations anthropiques et climatiques
Doucet, Jean-Louis ULg; Hardy, Olivier

Report (2014)

L’objectif principal de ce projet était d’étudier dans quelle mesure l’organisation de la biodiversité végétale des forêts d’Afrique centrale a été influencée par les activités anthropiques et les ... [more ▼]

L’objectif principal de ce projet était d’étudier dans quelle mesure l’organisation de la biodiversité végétale des forêts d’Afrique centrale a été influencée par les activités anthropiques et les changements climatiques qui se sont déroulés au cours des quelques derniers millénaires. A cette fin, cinq disciplines ont été utilisées : (1) l'archéologie afin de dater et de quantifier l’intensité de l’occupation humaine ; (2) l'anthracologie pour reconstituer la végétation présente lors du passage des feux ; (3) la dendrochronologie en vue d’établir des corrélations entre les événements passés et l'âge des arbres ; (4) l'écologie des communautés pour permettre de tester l’existence d’une corrélation entre l’abondance d’espèces héliophiles et les indices d’occupation humaine ; (5) la génétique des populations afin d'identifier des signatures génétiques d’anciens évènements de fragmentation et de changement démographique. [less ▲]

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See detailThe end of roaming in the forest causes a loss of timber resources: the paradox of slash-and-burn agriculture
Morin-Rivat, Julie ULg; Fayolle, Adeline ULg; Favier, Charly et al

Conference (2014, February 27)

Tropical forests are not believed as pristine anymore. Their structure and specific composition are induced by past climatic and human disturbances over years. In the African moist forests, the emergent ... [more ▼]

Tropical forests are not believed as pristine anymore. Their structure and specific composition are induced by past climatic and human disturbances over years. In the African moist forests, the emergent trees are mainly light-demanding. These trees are considered to derive from the recent disturbances of the last centuries. Most of them are exploited for their timber. However, several of these tree species are currently suffering from a lack of regeneration that threatens the specific diversity of the forests and the sustainability of timber exploitation. Through dendrometric and radiocarbon analyses we found that the majority of the trees of the Congo Basin are not older than 160 years. This corresponds to about the year 1850 when the Europeans colonized the inner regions of Central Africa. By reassembling people along the road axes, the colonial administration reduced the forest roaming. Former activities such as slash and burn agriculture created large openings in the canopy that allowed light-demanding tree species to establish. Currently we observed that timber logging does not provide openings large enough for the recruitment of these species. We thus anticipate that adjustments in forest management strategies shall be made to preserve the forest resources, for instance by recreating the conditions of slash and burn agriculture. [less ▲]

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See detailSpeciation slowing down in widespread and long-living tree taxa : insights from the tropical timber tree genus Milicia (Moraceae)
Daïnou, Kasso ULg; Mahy, Grégory ULg; Duminil, Jérôme et al

in Heredity (2014)

The long generation time and large effective size of widespread forest tree species can result in slow evolutionary rate and incomplete lineage sorting, complicating species delimitation. We addressed ... [more ▼]

The long generation time and large effective size of widespread forest tree species can result in slow evolutionary rate and incomplete lineage sorting, complicating species delimitation. We addressed this issue with the African timber tree genus Milicia that comprises two morphologically similar and often confounded species: M. excelsa, widespread from West to East Africa, and M. regia, endemic to West Africa. We combined information from nuclear microsatellites (nSSRs), nuclear and plastid DNA sequences, and morphological systematics to identify significant evolutionary units and infer their evolutionary and biogeographical history. We detected five geographically coherent genetic clusters using nSSRs and three levels of genetic differentiation. First, one West African cluster matched perfectly with the morphospecies M. regia that formed a monophyletic clade at both DNA sequences. Second, a West African M. excelsa cluster formed a monophyletic group at plastid DNA and was more related to M. regia than to Central African M. excelsa, but shared many haplotypes with the latter at nuclear DNA. Third, three Central African clusters appeared little differentiated and shared most of their haplotypes. Although gene tree paraphyly could suggest a single species in Milicia following the phylogenetic species concept, the existence of mutual haplotypic exclusivity and nonadmixed genetic clusters in the contact area of the two taxa indicate strong reproductive isolation and, thus, two species following the biological species concept. Molecular dating of the first divergence events showed that speciation in Milicia is ancient (Tertiary), indicating that long-living tree taxa exhibiting genetic speciation may remain similar morphologically. [less ▲]

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See detailWood charcoal analysis: a relatively new tool for palaeoecology in tropical Africa
Morin-Rivat, Julie ULg; Biwole, Achille ULg; Bourland, Nils ULg et al

Scientific conference (2014, February 14)

This is an introduction about wood charcoal properties, collection and taxonomical identification in the framework of palaeoecological studies in Central Africa through examples of possible applications.

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See detailA short insight into the ecology of Pericopsis elata (Harms) Meeuwen (Fabaceae) in southeastern Cameroon
Bourland, Nils ULg; Doucet, Jean-Louis ULg

Scientific conference (2014, February 14)

Some key points of the autecology of Pericopsis elata in Southeastern Cameroon. Implications are given for the sustainable forest management of the species in the context of selective logging.

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See detailFrom wood charcoals to trees: pitfalls and successes of the taxonomic identification in tropical contexts
Morin-Rivat, Julie ULg; De Weerdt, Joëlle; Hubau, Wannes et al

Poster (2014, February 07)

So as to document the past history of tropical forests, several palaeoenvironmental proxies have been used. For instance, charcoals from soil deposits provide a local signal of the evolution of the ... [more ▼]

So as to document the past history of tropical forests, several palaeoenvironmental proxies have been used. For instance, charcoals from soil deposits provide a local signal of the evolution of the vegetation together with snapshots of human interactions with the environment. As charcoal analyses are rare in tropical contexts, here we aim at presenting the different aspects of charcoal studies through their pitfalls and successes as well as the needs for further research. Charcoal analysis (anthracology) is a discipline initially from archaeobotany that consists in the analysis of pieces of charred wood primarily found in archaeological contexts but also in natural soil layers. Its goal is to identified the species that burnt during the past through the observation of the charred wood structure. Indeed carbonization, as the incomplete combustion of the ligneous material, preserves the wood structure. The identifications obtained through microscopic observations allow assessing past uses of wood and human impacts on the forest landscape. However, issues typically tropical exist: difficulties related to fieldwork accessibility, to sampling, to soil processing so as to collect the charcoals, difficulties related to the taxonomic identification because of the huge number of species and of the limited number of anatomical descriptions. New developments are nonetheless emerging for Central Africa with original anatomical descriptions, identification protocols and visual keys. [less ▲]

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See detailIdentification des zones d'intérêt écologique dans les concessions d'exploitation forestière. Concilier les objectifs de production de bois d'oeuvre avec la conservation de la biodiversité.
Sépulchre, Frédéric; Federspiel, Michèle; Doucet, Jean-Louis ULg

in Bühler, Arthur; Demenois, Julien; Doucet, Jean-Louis (Eds.) et al Etudes sur le plan pratique de l'aménagement des forêts naturelles de production tropicales africaines. Volet 4: Gestion durable et préconisations en vue de la certification. (2014)

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