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See detailTowards sustainable food systems: the concept of agroecology and how it questions current research practices. A review
Hatt, Séverin ULg; Artru, Sidonie ULg; Brédart, David ULg et al

in Biotechnologie, Agronomie, Société et Environnement = Biotechnology, Agronomy, Society and Environment (2016), 20(Special issue 1), 215-224

Introduction. Multiple environmental and socio-economic indicators show that our current agriculture and the organization of the food system need to be revised. Agroecology has been proposed as a ... [more ▼]

Introduction. Multiple environmental and socio-economic indicators show that our current agriculture and the organization of the food system need to be revised. Agroecology has been proposed as a promising concept for achieving greater sustainability. This paper offers an overview and discussion of the concept based on existing literature and case studies, and explores the way it questions our current research approaches and education paradigms. Literature. In order to improve the sustainability of agriculture, the use of external and chemical inputs needs to be minimized. Agroecological farming practices seek to optimize ecological processes, thus minimizing the need for external inputs by providing an array of ecosystem services. Implementing such practices challenges the current structure of the food system, which has been criticized for its lack of social relevance and economic viability. An agroecological approach includes all stakeholders, from field to fork, in the discussion, design and development of future food systems. This inclusion of various disciplines and stakeholders raises issues about scientists and their research practices, as well as about the education of the next generation of scientists. Conclusions. Agroecology is based on the concept that agricultural practices and food systems cannot be dissociated because they belong to the same natural and socio-economic context. Clearly, agroecology is not a silver-bullet, but its principles can serve as avenues for rethinking the current approaches towards achieving greater sustainability. Adapting research approaches in line with indicators that promote inter- and transdisciplinary research is essential if progress is to be made. [less ▲]

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See detailPros and cons of flowers strips for farmers. A review
Uyttenbroeck, Roel ULg; Hatt, Séverin ULg; Paul, Aman ULg et al

in Biotechnologie, Agronomie, Société et Environnement = Biotechnology, Agronomy, Society and Environment (2016), 20(s1), 225-235

Description of the subject. To counteract environmental problems due to agricultural intensification, European farmers can apply agri-environmental schemes in their fields. Flower strips are one example ... [more ▼]

Description of the subject. To counteract environmental problems due to agricultural intensification, European farmers can apply agri-environmental schemes in their fields. Flower strips are one example of these schemes, with the aim of supporting biodiversity, leading to an increase in “useful” species groups such as pollinators for crop pollination and natural enemies for pest control. However, to our knowledge, a complete appraisal of the pros and cons of flower strips, from a farmer’s point of view, does not yet exist. It is proposed that better and more complete information could increase the adoption and implementation of such agri-environmental schemes. Objectives. This study aims 1) to assess the pros and cons of flower strips, from a farmer’s point of view, and 2) to highlight the knowledge gaps that exist in the scientific literature, for the different types of pros and cons. Method. We listed the different components of the appraisal of pros and cons and conducted a systematic screening of the scientific literature on flower strips and these components. Results. The largest part of the 31 selected studies was concerning agronomical and ecological processes, such as pollination and animal pest control. Most of them indicated positive effects of flower strips. For many components of the appraisal, mostly economic and social ones, few or no studies were found. Conclusions. While a positive balance of pros and cons, from a farmer’s point of view, came from our literature screening, large research gaps still remain and more research is required, especially in the economic and social components of the evaluation. [less ▲]

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See detailAgricultureIsLife or how to facilitate innovation in agriculture through multi-disciplinary research
Monty, Arnaud ULg; Garré, Sarah ULg; Bindelle, Jérôme ULg et al

in Biotechnologie, Agronomie, Société et Environnement = Biotechnology, Agronomy, Society and Environment (2016)

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See detailDealing with paralogy in RADseq data: in silico detection and single nucleotide polymorphism validation in Robinia pseudoacacia L.
Verdu, C. F.; Guichoux, E.; Quevauvillers, Samuel ULg et al

in Ecology and Evolution (2016)

The RADseq technology allows researchers to efficiently develop thousands of polymorphic loci across multiple individuals with little or no prior information on the genome. However, many questions remain ... [more ▼]

The RADseq technology allows researchers to efficiently develop thousands of polymorphic loci across multiple individuals with little or no prior information on the genome. However, many questions remain about the biases inherent to this technology. Notably, sequence misalignments arising from paralogy may affect the development of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers and the estimation of genetic diversity. We evaluated the impact of putative paralog loci on genetic diversity estimation during the development of SNPs from a RADseq dataset for the nonmodel tree species Robinia pseudoacacia L. We sequenced nine genotypes and analyzed the frequency of putative paralogous RAD loci as a function of both the depth of coverage and the mismatch threshold allowed between loci. Putative paralogy was detected in a very variable number of loci, from 1% to more than 20%, with the depth of coverage having a major influence on the result. Putative paralogy artificially increased the observed degree of polymorphism and resulting estimates of diversity. The choice of the depth of coverage also affected diversity estimation and SNP validation: A low threshold decreased the chances of detecting minor alleles while a high threshold increased allelic dropout. SNP validation was better for the low threshold (4×) than for the high threshold (18×) we tested. Using the strategy developed here, we were able to validate more than 80% of the SNPs tested by means of individual genotyping, resulting in a readily usable set of 330 SNPs, suitable for use in population genetics applications. [less ▲]

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See detailFunctional traits are more variable at the intra- than inter-population level: a study of four calcareous dry-grassland plant species
Harzé, Mélanie ULg; Mahy, Grégory ULg; Monty, Arnaud ULg

in Tuexenia (2016), 36

The majority of studies investigating plant functional traits have used species average trait values, and assumed that average values were sufficiently representative of each species considered. Although ... [more ▼]

The majority of studies investigating plant functional traits have used species average trait values, and assumed that average values were sufficiently representative of each species considered. Although this approach has proven valuable in community ecology studies, plant functional traits can significant-ly vary at different scales, i.e. between but also within populations. The study of species functional trait variability can facilitate increasingly accurate studies in community ecology. Nevertheless, the current extent of within-site plant trait variability has been poorly addressed in the literature. Calcareous grass-lands are ecosystems well-suited to study plant trait variation at small spatial scales. Many species are present on heterogeneous calcareous sites, with significant differences in hydric status due to variations in soil depth, soil moisture, aspect, and slope. This study assesses the extent of intra-population func-tional trait variability and tests the hypothesis that this variability can be explained by within-site envi-ronmental heterogeneity. Three functional traits (SLA-specific leaf area, LDMC-leaf dry matter con-tent, and plant vegetative height) were assessed in three populations of four calcareous grassland spe-cies totalling 950 individuals. The heterogeneity in soil depth and potential direct incident radiation was also quantified and related to plant functional trait variability. The intra-population functional trait variability was compared to the inter-population variability of collected data and global inter-population variability data obtained from the worldwide TRY functional traits database. The results showed that SLA, LDMC, and plant height are characterized by considerable intra-population variation (SLA: 72–95%, LDMC: 78–100% and vegetative height: 70–94% of trait variability). The results also indicate higher plant height and larger SLA for individuals located in plots with deeper soils or lower potential direct incident radiation, on gentle slopes or north-facing slopes. Our findings additionally support the concept that higher plant height, higher SLA, and lower LDMC are related to higher availability of soil water. Individuals on shallow soils or in more exposed areas are better equipped to cope with environ-mental stress. Our results indicate plasticity or local adaptation in individuals to environmental hetero-geneity. This study suggests that detailed analyses involving plant functional traits require measure-ments in situ from a large number of individuals, as the degree of individual response strongly depends on an individual’s location and its micro-environmental conditions. Neglecting intra-population trait variability may be critical, as intraspecific variation can be very high at the population scale, and is likely to be driven by local environmental heterogeneity.javascript:$('next-but').click(); [less ▲]

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See detailEdaphic niches of metallophytes from southeastern Democratic Republic of Congo: implications for post-mining restoration
Boisson, Sylvain ULg; Monty, Arnaud ULg; Lebrun, Julie et al

in Journal for Nature Conservation (2016)

In southeastern D. R. Congo, about 550 metallophytes grow on soils with high copper and cobalt concentrations, 57 of which are endemics to these metalliferous environments. About 70% of those endemics are ... [more ▼]

In southeastern D. R. Congo, about 550 metallophytes grow on soils with high copper and cobalt concentrations, 57 of which are endemics to these metalliferous environments. About 70% of those endemics are considered threatened by destruction of habitats through mining activities. To provide guidelines for future restoration programs, the edaphic ecological niches of eight copper endemics were studied using a pragmatic sampling method adapted for urgent conservation needs. Niches were modelled using violin plot along Cu, Co and C:N gradients representing the two main independent edaphic gradients among nine edaphic variables (C, N, C:N, K, P, pH, Co, Cu, and Mn). Copper endemics presented distinct edaphic niches along the copper and cobalt gradients, but differentiation was lower along the C:N gradient. In addition, edaphic elements presented covariations among them and metalliferous soils had higher nutrient and element content compared to the non-metalliferous soils of the region dominated by the Miombo woodland. The complexity of the soil composition and the edaphic niches of copper endemics revealed an important challenge in the implementation of the species conservation and the habitat restoration strategies of post-mining sites. [less ▲]

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See detailWildflowers sown at field margins have positive and negative effects on pests and parasitoids
Hatt, Séverin ULg; Uyttenbroeck, Roel ULg; Chevalier Mendes Lopes, Thomas ULg et al

Conference (2015, September 03)

Wildflower strips are sown at field margins throughout Europe to support insect conservation in agricultural areas. Among other insects, parasitoids may favor a biological regulation of pests. On an ... [more ▼]

Wildflower strips are sown at field margins throughout Europe to support insect conservation in agricultural areas. Among other insects, parasitoids may favor a biological regulation of pests. On an experimental field of the research platform AgricultureIsLife in Gembloux (University of Liège, Belgium), three replications of five wildflower seed mixtures were sown in strips adjacent to crops in spring 2013. Insect pests and their parasitoids were pan-trapped in spring 2014 in both wildflower strips and oilseed rape crops and identified at the species level. Flower species and cover were monitored in the strips using 1 m² quadrats, before mowing. Meligethes spp. were found abundantly in crops when oilseed rape was blooming. Meligethes’ parasitoids occurred later and their abundance was positively correlated with that of Meligethes in the flower strips. At the crop ripening stage, weevils Ceutorhynchus spp. occurred and were followed by an increase in abundance of their parasitoids in both crops and flowers. Positive as well as negative correlations were found between the abundance of these pests, their parasitoids and different flower species blooming at this time. The link between these results with flower species’ functional traits will be discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailDes bandes fleuries pour la lutte biologique : état des lieux, limites et perspectives en Wallonie – Une synthèse bibliographique.
Hatt, Séverin ULg; Uyttenbroeck, Roel ULg; Bodson, Bernard ULg et al

in Entomologie Faunistique = Faunistic Entomology (2015), 68

Managing field margins takes part of the Agri-Environmental Measures supported by the European Union in Wallonia. Among possible infrastructures, wildflower strips are known to conserve a wide diversity ... [more ▼]

Managing field margins takes part of the Agri-Environmental Measures supported by the European Union in Wallonia. Among possible infrastructures, wildflower strips are known to conserve a wide diversity of insects, including natural enemies that can be mobilized to biologically control pests. However, the efficiency of pest control is not guaranteed. It depends mainly on the ability of flowers to attract natural enemies at the right time and to keep them in this environment while favoring their migration into adjacent crops. A reflection on the composition of the floral mixtures may optimize their capacity in biological control. In this context, this review paper put forward the interest of considering functional traits of flowers and presents the concept of functional diversity. Furthermore, the sown perennial wildflower strips should be maintained by regular mowing. However, mowing affects both insect and plant populations due to momentary destruction of the habitat. An appropriate management of field margins is therefore needed to optimize the pest control service provided. [less ▲]

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See detailFood Compounds from Meadow Grasshoppers
Paul, Aman ULg; Frederich, Michel ULg; Uyttenbroeck, Roel ULg et al

Poster (2015, March 15)

Eating insects as food, particularly grasshopper is practiced in many cultures throughout the world. Meadow grasshopper (Chorthippus parallelus) is commonly found in Europe and some part of Asia. It is ... [more ▼]

Eating insects as food, particularly grasshopper is practiced in many cultures throughout the world. Meadow grasshopper (Chorthippus parallelus) is commonly found in Europe and some part of Asia. It is already known that grasshoppers of Chorthippus species are consumed as food in countries such as Thailand. With the aim of evaluating the nutritional potential of this insect species the proximate nutritional composition of grasshoppers caught from the local fields was realized. Besides this, the fatty acid profile of extracted lipids, amino acid profile and mineral composition of the insect was also revealed. Results suggest that meadow grasshopper is an excellent source of protein and essential amino acids. Lipids extracted from the grasshopper have an interesting fatty acid composition. Also the grasshopper contains some minerals that are important for body. With such protein content, amino acid profile, fatty acid profile of the lipids and mineral content this grasshopper species could present an interesting alternate to conventional protein sources. [less ▲]

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See detailEtude de la flore spontanée de la carrière de Loën (Belgique) pour de futures restaurations
Pitz, Carline ULg; Monty, Arnaud ULg; Piqueray, Julien et al

Conference (2015, March 04)

Afin de maximiser le potentiel de biodiversité d’une carrière en fin d’exploitation deux options s’offrent au gestionnaire : (1) laisser les espèces recoloniser spontanément le site, (2) mettre en œuvre ... [more ▼]

Afin de maximiser le potentiel de biodiversité d’une carrière en fin d’exploitation deux options s’offrent au gestionnaire : (1) laisser les espèces recoloniser spontanément le site, (2) mettre en œuvre des appuis techniques à la restauration d’écosystèmes. Une méthode hybride associant une recolonisation naturelle et une assistance technique peut également être une opportunité pour le gestionnaire. La recolonisation spontanée des carrières peut, dans certains cas, créer une mosaïque d’habitats diversifiés pour des coûts faibles par rapport à des projets de réhabilitation ou de restauration couteux. Toutefois, l’intérêt biologique des habitats issus de successions spontanées peut fortement varier d’un site à l’autre en fonction de l’historique de gestion, des conditions climatiques et édaphiques locales, de l’isolement du site dans le paysage et du pool régional d’espèces présentes. Afin d’évaluer la nécessité ou non de mise en œuvre d’une restauration active d’habitats en carrière, il est nécessaire de caractériser les habitats issus de la succession spontanée ainsi que leur valeur biologique. L’évaluation de l’intérêt biologique d’un habitat prend en compte à la fois la diversité biologique locale (diversité alpha) et l’originalité des communautés présentes par rapport à un référentiel paysager (diversité béta). Ce projet a pour objectif de caractériser la flore recolonisant spontanément les zones xériques non exploitées dans une carrière située en Belgique (Loën, en région wallonne), du point de vue de la diversité spécifique et de la fonctionnalité écologique. Les communautés végétales ont été caractérisées au sein du site de Loën (diversité alpha) et d’un ensemble d’autres carrières représentatives de la diversité des contextes géographiques des carrières calcaires en Région wallonne (diversité béta). [less ▲]

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See detailWildflower strips for crop protection: What do we know ? What should we know ?
Hatt, Séverin ULg; Uyttenbroeck, Roel ULg; Bodson, Bernard ULg et al

Poster (2015, January 30)

Wildflower strips (WFS) are known to support the conservation of a large diversity of insects and thus natural enemies (i.e. predators and parasitoids) that can control pests. However, the conclusions of ... [more ▼]

Wildflower strips (WFS) are known to support the conservation of a large diversity of insects and thus natural enemies (i.e. predators and parasitoids) that can control pests. However, the conclusions of studies looking at the efficiency of WFS to control pests are not unanimous. Indeed, the enhancement of pest control seems to depend on (1) the ability of flowers to attract the natural enemies at the right moment and (2) the capacity of natural enemies to migrate into the adjacent crops to attack pests. Therefore, constituting appropriate flower mixes may be an essential lever to enhance the efficiency of pest control. In this context, using functional diversity is promising. To our knowledge, few studies have tested the impact of the functional diversity of a flower mix on insect abundance and diversity and the control of pests. Through this contribution, the insect diversity and abundance found to be associated with the different kinds of WFS and management applied will be discussed, as well as the further research needed. [less ▲]

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See detailLinking bees and flowers: mutualistic interaction networks to study ecosystem functioning
Uyttenbroeck, Roel ULg; Monty, Arnaud ULg

Poster (2015, January 30)

In recent years, much attention is going to pollinators, as they are important for the increasing food production while being threatened by agricultural intensification and other environmental drivers ... [more ▼]

In recent years, much attention is going to pollinators, as they are important for the increasing food production while being threatened by agricultural intensification and other environmental drivers. While honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) are generalist according to their flower preferences, wild pollinators’ flower preferences can go from generalist to very specialist. The same goes for plant species, which can be generalist or specialist in the pollinator species they need to get pollinated. The combination of a set of generalist and specialist plant species with a pollinator community consisting of generalists and specialists in a certain habitat, results in an interaction network between pollinators and the visited plant flowers. Studying this mutualistic interaction network is a time-consuming method, but can provide valuable data to calculate indicators of ecosystem functioning. One of the important conclusions that came already out of studies applying this method is that pollination systems are often more generalized than thought based on pollination syndromes. This poster will explore the method of studying mutualistic interaction networks with a focus on the sampling protocol, the indicators that can be derived from the data and their meaning. [less ▲]

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See detailDo wildflower strips favor insect pest populations at field margins ?
Hatt, Séverin ULg; Uyttenbroeck, Roel ULg; Chevalier Mendes Lopes, Thomas ULg et al

in Agriculture and Agricultural Science Procedia (2015)

Reducing pesticide use is one the major issues of today’s agriculture. Among other possibilities, attracting and conserving pest natural enemies in agricultural landscapes by providing them habitats is ... [more ▼]

Reducing pesticide use is one the major issues of today’s agriculture. Among other possibilities, attracting and conserving pest natural enemies in agricultural landscapes by providing them habitats is promising. Wildflower strips (WFS) sown at field margins are one of these potential habitats. They are known to attract and conserve a large diversity of insects, as they provide them food resources such as pollen and nectar, as well as shelter and overwintering sites. However, the risk of attracting insect pests at field margins may represent an obstacle to their adoption by farmers. Conversely, it would be interesting if such WFS could play the role of pest trap crops. In an experimental field sown with WFS intercropped with oilseed rape (OSR) (Brassica napus L.), its coleopteran pests were trapped in both WFS and OSR using yellow pan traps between April and June 2014. More than 130 000 Meligethes spp., Ceutorhynchus spp. and Psylliodes chrysocephalla (L.) adults were trapped. Meligethes spp., Ceutorhynchus spp. were significantly more abundant in the OSR compared with WFS when adults emerged and populations reached their abundance peak. Before and between these periods, the few adults trapped were significantly more abundant in the WFS compared with the OSR. Concerning P. chrysocephala, too few individuals were caught for analysis. Results showed that OSR was more attractive than WFS when coleopteran pests were abundant. In this study, WFS sown for insect conservation may neither favour insect pest conservation at field margin, nor be considered as trap crops. [less ▲]

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See detailPROXIMATE ANALYSIS OF SEEDS FROM SOME FIELD BORDER FLOWERING STRIPS
Paul, Aman ULg; Frederich, Michel ULg; Uyttenbroeck, Roel ULg et al

in Scientific Bulletin. Series F. Biotechnologies (2015), XIX

Field border flowering strips are commonly grown throughout the world mainly to enhance biodiversity. However besides their basic function they can also yield numerous compounds which could be interesting ... [more ▼]

Field border flowering strips are commonly grown throughout the world mainly to enhance biodiversity. However besides their basic function they can also yield numerous compounds which could be interesting for wide range of industries such as food, pharmaceutical, etc. With the aim of valorization, proximate compositional analysis of seeds from some commonly grown flowering strips: Galium verum, Hypericum perforatum, Leontodon hispidus, Lotus corniculatus, Lythrum salicaria, Origanum vulgare and Trifolium pratense was realized. The protein content of residue left after the lipid extraction was also determined for exploring possibilities of its utilization as a protein source. Results suggest that seeds from some of these plants can be a potential source to render food compounds. [less ▲]

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See detailCREATING PERENNIAL FLOWER STRIPS: THINK FUNCTIONAL!
Uyttenbroeck, Roel ULg; Hatt, Séverin ULg; Piqueray, Julien et al

in Agriculture and Agricultural Science Procedia (2015), 6

In last decades, farmland biodiversity came under large threat. To counteract farmland biodiversity loss and other environmental impacts of intensive agriculture, European farmers can apply Agri ... [more ▼]

In last decades, farmland biodiversity came under large threat. To counteract farmland biodiversity loss and other environmental impacts of intensive agriculture, European farmers can apply Agri-environmental schemes. One of these is the creation of flower strips, a part of the cropping field where flowers are sown or naturally settled. Flower strips are known to increase biodiversity in the agricultural landscape, notably attracting specific insects groups, such as pollinators and natural enemies that can provide valuable pollination and biocontrol services to the crop. However, the plant species composition and management of the strips can have a large influence on the identity and amount of useful insects present in the strips, suggesting the need to develop tailored flower strips to maximize the services delivered. Functional diversity (FD) is sometimes proposed as a promising approach, focusing on plant functional traits rather than plant species itself. Yet, it is not certain that sowing a set of plant species results in the desired vegetation with the desired functional trait composition. Species from soil seed bank or dispersing from neighboring vegetation can settle in the strip, while sown species might not always be equally adapted to local conditions. To test this, we developed seed mixtures with four different levels of FD, based on flower traits, and sew them as flower strips in a conventional arable field. We monitored the vegetation to calculate the FD of the realized vegetation. While the absolute FD values of the realized vegetation were lower than the expected FD values, the realized vegetation showed the same FD gradient as expected from the sown mixtures, indicating that it is possible to manipulate FD in flower strips. [less ▲]

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See detailDo large scale restoration projects reduce within-species traits variability? - Présentées à 2 congrès
Harzé, Mélanie ULg; Monty, Arnaud ULg; Mahy, Grégory ULg

Conference (2015)

Dry calcareous grasslands represent local biodiversity hotspots of European temperate regions. They have suffered intensive fragmentations due to due to the abandonment of traditional agropastoral systems ... [more ▼]

Dry calcareous grasslands represent local biodiversity hotspots of European temperate regions. They have suffered intensive fragmentations due to due to the abandonment of traditional agropastoral systems and the resulting encroachment, reforestation, urbanization or transformation into arable lands. In order to preserve and enhance their ecological value, a series of ecological restoration projects have been implemented throughout Europe (LIFE+). As habitats restoration costs can be prohibitive, actions should demonstrate their success. In the face of environmental changes, restored populations should possess attributes necessary for adaptive evolutionary changes allowing them to persist over the long term. Intra-population functional variability expresses the range of possible trait values of a species living in a heterogeneous environment. It results notably from genetic diversity and phenotypic plasticity and enables species survival, growth and reproduction under various environmental conditions. In Belgium, three European LIFE projects have taken place between 2000 and 2009, restoring more than 400 hectares of calcareous grasslands. Restorations have mainly been evaluated in terms of plant species diversity and community composition. Though it is expected to be of crucial importance for species evolutionary potential, the restoration of the entire range of environmental heterogeneity and the resulting intra-population functional variability of restored population have so far not been assessed. We compared the intra-population variability of functional traits (specific leaf area (SLA) and maximum vegetative height) of 10 restored and 10 reference populations of Potentilla neumanniana (30 individuals per populations). We characterized abiotic and biotic conditions by measuring soil depth, sun exposure, bare ground cover and mean vegetation height around each sampled individual. Our main results showed that the range of within-species functional variability was restored in our study area. We will conclude with implications for the evolutionary potential of restored populations and for future ecological restoration projects. [less ▲]

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See detailSpecialist plant species harbour higher reproductive performances in recently restored calcareous grasslands than in reference habitats
Harzé, Mélanie ULg; Mahy, Grégory ULg; Bizoux, Jean-Philippe ULg et al

in Plant Ecology and Evolution (2015), 148(2),

Background and aims_Calcareous grasslands are local biodiversity hotspots in temperate regions that suffered intensive fragmentation. Ecological restoration projects took place all over Europe. Their ... [more ▼]

Background and aims_Calcareous grasslands are local biodiversity hotspots in temperate regions that suffered intensive fragmentation. Ecological restoration projects took place all over Europe. Their success has traditionally been assessed using a plant community approach. However, population ecology can also be useful to assess restoration success and to understand underlying mechanisms. Methods_We took advantage of three calcareous grassland sites in Southern Belgium, where reference parcels coexist with parcels restored in the late twentieth century and with more recently restored parcels. We evaluated the colonization stage of three specialist species (Sanguisorba minor, Potentilla neumanniana and Hippocrepis comosa) using occurrence data. We also measured the reproductive traits of 120 individuals per species and compared components of fitness between recent restorations, old restorations and reference habitats. Key results_We found that the occurrence of H. comosa was similar in the different restoration classes, whereas both P. neumanniana and S. minor occurrences decreased from reference grasslands to recent restorations. In contrast, these two latter species exhibited a much higher reproductive output in recent restorations, thanks to an increased production of flowers and seeds. Conclusions_Our results suggest that, during colonization of recently restored calcareous grasslands, favourable environmental conditions, low competition and sufficient genetic mixing may lead to an increased fitness of individuals and a faster population growth than in the reference habitat. These results demonstrate how population processes can increase ecological resilience and highlight the interest of a population-based approach to assess the success of ecological restoration. [less ▲]

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See detailUn partenariat pour promouvoir la biodiversité dans les carrières belges
Harzé, Mélanie ULg; Lussis, Benoît; Boisson, Sylvain ULg et al

Conference (2015)

Plus que toute autre industrie, les carrières entretiennent un lien étroit avec les écosystèmes. L’exploitation d’une carrière crée des conditions abiotiques propices au développement d’une mosaïque ... [more ▼]

Plus que toute autre industrie, les carrières entretiennent un lien étroit avec les écosystèmes. L’exploitation d’une carrière crée des conditions abiotiques propices au développement d’une mosaïque d’habitats comme les falaises et arènes rocheuses, les plans d’eau temporaires ou les pelouses pionnières, favorables à certaines espèces protégées en Europe comme le hibou grand-duc et le crapaud calamite. Nombre d’entre eux sont d’intérêt communautaire et sont devenus rares dans le Nord de l’Europe. Ces habitats temporaires s’installent souvent spontanément pendant l’exploitation d’une carrière mais une action conservatoire peut s’avérer nécessaire pour leur conservation sur le long terme. En fin de vie de la carrière une restauration écologique adéquate pourra favoriser l’installation de milieux plus permanents d’intérêt. Afin de promouvoir le développement de cette biodiversité, une planification réfléchie des plans d’exploitation et de réhabilitation est nécessaire. La fédération des industries extractives belge FEDIEX s’est engagée en 2012 avec la Région wallonne dans une charte sectorielle « carrières et biodiversité », définissant un plan d’action basé sur trois axes principaux : (1) la sensibilisation des membres ; (2) la diffusion de recommandations pratiques pour intégrer la protection et la gestion de la biodiversité dans les plans l’exploitation ; (3) la formation du personnel des carrières. Dans ce cadre, l’unité Biodiversité et paysage de la Faculté de Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech (Université de Liège) collabore depuis 2012 avec la FEDIEX. Notre présentation portera sur les réalisations de cette collaboration ; notamment les formations « Carrières et Biodiversité » organisées à l’attention du secteur carrier, les résultats des actions concrètes mise en place en carrière, les documents de vulgarisation réalisés afin de donner aux gestionnaires les clés pour gérer et restaurer différents habitats et espèces protégées et notre collaboration à la rédaction d’un projet LIFE Biodiversity «LIFE in quarries » qui a été présenté à l’union européenne. [less ▲]

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