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See detailEffects of tillage practices and crop residue exportation on earthworm communities and soil physico-­chemical properties in silt loam arable soil (Belgium)
Lemtiri, Aboulkacem ULg; Colinet, Gilles ULg; Alabi, Taofic ULg et al

Poster (2014, June 08)

Earthworms are known to play integral roles in soils, and are often referred to as vital soil and ecosystem engineers due to their capacity to influence a wide range of chemical, physical, and biological ... [more ▼]

Earthworms are known to play integral roles in soils, and are often referred to as vital soil and ecosystem engineers due to their capacity to influence a wide range of chemical, physical, and biological properties of soil environments. Therefore, it is important to understand how earthworm communities are impacted by tillage systems and crop management practices. In the present study, earthworm and soil samples were collected from wheat cultivated fields in Gembloux, Belgium under the following four experimental treatments: (1) conventional tillage with crop residues left in the soil (CT/IN); (2) conventional tillage with crop residues removed from the field (CT/OUT); (3) reduced tillage with crop residues left in the soil (RT/IN); and (4) reduced tillage with crop residues removed from the field (RT/OUT). The different tillage systems were applied for four consecutive years prior to the initiation of the current study. Results indicated soil compaction was significantly higher in RT compared with CT up to a depth of 6–49 cm. Significant differences were not detected between residue incorporation depth systems, where results showed mean earthworm abundance was respectively 182.25 and 180 individuals.m-2 in CT and RT. Mean earthworm biomass was similarly not significantly different between CT and RT, where results were respectively 48.52 and 57.27 g.m-2. However, a significant difference was observed between IN and OUT treatments, suggesting the exportation of wheat residues will limit earthworm abundance and biomass in CT and RT plots. Data showed high representation of the endogeic earthworm ecological category, notably N. c. caliginosus regardless of treatment. Despite tillage system and exportation of crop residues, N. c. caliginosus, L. terrestris, and A. r. rosea exhibited high abundance, indicating tolerance to soil environmental conditions. For each depth, measures of soil physico-chemical properties showed significant differences among treatments. Furthermore, soil chemical property attributes were significantly higher in the first soil centimetres compared to lower soil layers. These results were attributable to earthworm activity and wheat residues, suggesting earthworms contributed to nutrient dynamics, particularly at increased soil depths. Overall, the results emphasise the influence of exportation of crop residues on earthworm community and also, the important influence of earthworm activity on soil physico-chemical properties change, processes which are closely linked. [less ▲]

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See detailWildflower strips: a help for crop protection ?
Hatt, Séverin ULg; Uyttenbroeck, Roel ULg; Bodson, Bernard ULg et al

Poster (2014, March 05)

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See detailWildflower strips: a help for crop protection ?
Hatt, Séverin ULg; Uyttenbroeck, Roel ULg; Bodson, Bernard ULg et al

Conference (2014, March 05)

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See detailLivre Blanc céréales
Destain, Jean-Pierre ULg; Bodson, Bernard ULg

Book published by Université de Liège (2014)

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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 detail4. La fumure azotée
Meza Morales, Walter ULg; Monfort, Bruno; Dumont, Benjamin ULg et al

in Bodson, Bernard; Destain, Jean-Pierre (Eds.) Livre Blanc céréales (2014, February 26)

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See detail10. Perspectives - 2. Perspectives offertes par la culture en association de froment et de pois protéagineux d'hiver
Pierreux, Jérome ULg; Delaplace, Pierre ULg; Roisin, Christian et al

in Bodson, Bernard; Destain, Jean-Pierre (Eds.) Livre Blanc céréales (2014, February 26)

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See detail6. Lutte intégrée contre les maladies
Duvivier, Maxime; Bataille, Charlotte; Mahieu, Olivier et al

in Bodson, Bernard; Destain, Jean-Pierre (Eds.) Livre blanc céréales (2014, February 26)

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See detail5. Régulateurs de croissande
Meza Morales, Walter ULg; Monfort, Bruno; Mahieu, Olivier et al

in Bodson, Bernard; Destain, Jean-Pierre (Eds.) Livre Blanc Céréales (2014, February 26)

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See detail3. Lutte contre les mauvaises herbes
Henriet, François; Jaunard, Delphine; Gilleman, Alice ULg et al

in Bodson, Bernard; Destain, Jean-Pierre (Eds.) Livre Blanc céréales (2014, February 26)

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See detail9. Nutrition azotée de l'épeautre en Ardenne et en région limoneuse
Escarnot, Emmanuelle ULg; Meza Morales, Walter ULg; De Toffoli, Marc et al

in Bodson, Bernard; Destain, Jean-Pierre (Eds.) Livre blanc céréales (2014, February 26)

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See detail2. Implantation des cultures
Eylenbosch, Damien ULg; Hiel, Marie-Pierre ULg; Meza Morales, Walter ULg et al

in Bodson, Bernard; Destain, Jean-Pierre (Eds.) Livre Blanc Céréales (2014, February 26)

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See detailUse of Near Infrared Hyperspectral Imaging (NIR-HSI) and chemometric tools to dicriminate wheat roots and straws in soil
Eylenbosch, Damien ULg; Fernandez Pierna, Juan Antonio; Baeten, Vincent et al

Poster (2014, February 07)

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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 detailThree aspects, One concept: Agroecology. Agroecological practices and human interactions for a new approach for science. An example at the Univeristy of Liege.
Hatt, Séverin ULg; Artru, Sidonie ULg; Boeraeve, Fanny et al

Poster (2014, February 07)

Critics are raising about conventional farming and its consequences on biodiversity, human health and society. As alternatives, novel models for agriculture are proposed, and among them Agroecology. Quite ... [more ▼]

Critics are raising about conventional farming and its consequences on biodiversity, human health and society. As alternatives, novel models for agriculture are proposed, and among them Agroecology. Quite often, Agroecology is seen as the application of ecological knowledge to the agricultural production. Indeed, this helps to develop more ecological farming practices favoring biodiversity to provide ecosystem services at multiple scales. Agroecology goes further in considering that the agricultural production is integrated in a food system guided by human interactions. This latter one takes into account socio-economic and political dimensions to develop new production systems. Doing so, it assures food security worldwide while preserving resources for future generations. Facing these ambitious objectives, academics are invited to elaborate a new approach for science in developing participatory and action-oriented approaches as well as multidisciplinarity. AgricultureIsLife is a research platform built up at the University of Liège (ULg). In 2013, 40 researchers (including 18 young researchers) from 16 research units of ULg were working in a multidisciplinary approach. About twenty research topics have been divided in four research axes of which objectives are to develop a more sustainable agriculture. The platform has the ambition to discuss its results to a large comity gathering the actors of the agricultural development. The aim of our work is firstly to present Agrocology as a concept made of three interrelated aspects. To illustrate it, the organization and objectives of the research platform AgricultureIsLife will be discussed in a second part. [less ▲]

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See detailBiodiversity and ecosystem services: think functional!
Uyttenbroeck, Roel ULg; Hatt, Séverin ULg; Paul, Aman ULg et al

Poster (2014, February 07)

During the last years, several studies and reviews have considered the relation between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning or the provision of ecosystem services. Many studies found that plant ... [more ▼]

During the last years, several studies and reviews have considered the relation between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning or the provision of ecosystem services. Many studies found that plant functional traits and plant functional diversity (FD) are key drivers in this relation in terrestrial ecosystems. Researchers used different methods to obtain a gradient in plant FD to examine the effect on ecosystem services, going from observational studies of natural communities to synthetic assemblages. Furthermore, different methods exist to quantify plant FD going from simple functional trait richness to indices, distance-based frameworks and the division into FD components. In the AgricultureIsLife project, we set up a field experiment aiming to examine the biodiversity – ecosystem service relation in agricultural context. The experiment consists of perennial wildflower strips with different plant functional diversities in an arable field with conventional crop production. The wildflower strips were sown as synthetic assemblages but are subject to natural succession during the following years. We monitor the evolution of FD from the sowing to the establishment of a typical wildflower strip using Rhao’s quadratic entropy index to quantify FD. In addition, the flower strips will be monitored for four ecosystem services they are expected to provide: pollination, pest control, biodiversity support and provision of valuable compounds. [less ▲]

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