References of "Boisson, Sylvain"
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See detailRestoration of threatened metallophyte populations in Katanga (D.R. Congo): lessons learnt.
Le Stradic, Soizig ULg; Seleck, Maxime ULg; Le Brun, Julie et al

Conference (2014, August 05)

One of the current major challenges consists in integrating economic activities with environmental integrity and social concerns. One of the world’s largest concentrations of copper and cobalt deposits is ... [more ▼]

One of the current major challenges consists in integrating economic activities with environmental integrity and social concerns. One of the world’s largest concentrations of copper and cobalt deposits is located in Katanga (Democratic Republic of Congo) and represents an important source of income for the country. Unique communities and several endemic species are hosted on copper outcrops and are threatened by the extension of mining activities in the area. In theory, translocation or transplantation of structuring and/or endemic species is a suitable substitute to spontaneous succession and a good mean to rescue and conserve the more threatened species. Here we present briefly the global framework developed with a mining company in order to conserve and restore the biodiversity of Cu-Co communities, including, among others, translocation and transplantation of highly threatened species. We recorded low survival of translocated individuals. An alternative was then to produce seedlings of endemic and/or structuring species under nursery conditions for their later transplantation in degraded areas or for conservation purposes. However, the diversity of plant forms and life-forms found in such tropical area limited the production of many species. We highlighted that poor understanding of many of these tropical plants often hampered their regeneration and their use in restoration program. As already noticed, transplantation results are not always reported, especially in case of failure, while such results appear as even more important than successes and have to be presented. [less ▲]

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See detailIntraspecific variation of copper tolerance of four endemic plant species from the katangan Copperbelt (D. R. Congo)
Boisson, Sylvain ULg; garin, olivier; Seleck, Maxime ULg et al

Conference (2014, August 04)

Harsh ecosystems are at the origin of speciation processes in plant communities. In metalliferous areas, plants develop physiological adaptations to tolerate metal excesses which lead to high species and ... [more ▼]

Harsh ecosystems are at the origin of speciation processes in plant communities. In metalliferous areas, plants develop physiological adaptations to tolerate metal excesses which lead to high species and population diversity. South of the Katanga province (D.R. Congo), plant communities occur on soils with one of the world’s largest concentrations of copper and cobalt. More than 600 species including 54 endemics are distributed along a copper gradient (up to 10 000 mg kg-1 available Cu) and the populations are isolated on more than 100 copper hills scattered in miombo forest. In order to improve restoration strategies of threatened species, we aimed to identify intraspecific copper tolerance of 4 endemic plant species from katangan copper outcrops: Crotalaria cobalticola, Diplolophium marthozianum, Gladiolus ledoctei and Triumfetta welwitschii. Seeds were collected in 3 different populations in the katangan Copperbelt and sown according three soil contamination modalities: control (no addition of Cu), 100 mg kg-1 and 1000 mg kg-1 of Cu concentration using hydrated copper (II) sulfate. For each combination (species x populations x soils), we had 10 repetitions. For each population, sample of 5 seeds was weighed before seedling in pot in November 2013. One individual by pot was kept for measures. Height (cm), number of leaves, number of flowers and number of fruits were measured once a week during one rainy season. For all species, no significant difference of copper tolerance appeared between populations. In contrast, populations had distinct germination rate and growth rate, especially for T. welwitshii and D. marthozianum. C. cobalticola grew significantly better in highly contaminated soil than other soils. G. ledoctei did not show any significant difference between populations and soil treatments. [less ▲]

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See detailRealized niche of eight endemic plant species of Katangan Copperbelt (D.R. Congo): implications for copper species conservation
Boisson, Sylvain ULg; Seleck, Maxime ULg; Lebrun, Julie et al

Poster (2014, February 07)

South of the Katanga province (D.R. Congo), a unique vegetation grows on soils developed on 100 Cu-Co outcrops among the most important in the world (katangan Copperbelt). These outcrops form of isolated ... [more ▼]

South of the Katanga province (D.R. Congo), a unique vegetation grows on soils developed on 100 Cu-Co outcrops among the most important in the world (katangan Copperbelt). These outcrops form of isolated hills in the landscape hosting vegetal communities evolving along the mineralization gradient. More than 600 metallophytes can be found in these communities with some 32 strict endemics solely known from mineralized soils. These species present physiological and biological adaptations allowing them to tolerate toxic levels of metals in soils. The unique characteristics of most endemics are seriously threatened by the intense mining activities in the region thus also threatening the high genetic potential to be used in development of polluted soils’ restoration strategies. In an effort to characterize the ecology of these species, we model ecological niches of eight endemic species along copper-cobalt gradients. For each species, three sites were prospected and transects set. Along these, five plots where the species occurred were selected: at both the extremities of the gradient and at 1st quartile, median and 3rd quartile. In each plot, individuals of the particular species were counted and composite soil samples collected. Available EDTA Cu-Co values were determined and niches modeled for both metals through the kernel density method in R 3.0.1 (package ‘vioplot’). Results show that ecological niches of the selected endemics are distributed between Cu-soil values of 50 and 11 000 mg.kg-1 and between Co values between four and 1500 mg.kg-1. Six species occur in the lower 100 mg.kg-1concentrations of Co. As for the Cu gradient, two species present ecological optimums over 3000 mg.kg-1. This variation of ecological niches along the gradients indicates a need of adequacy between species conservation strategies and soils’ metal contents. Four of the eight studied species should be conserved on soils contaminated with some 500 mg Cu.kg-1 and 30 mg Co.kg-1. For others, precise conservation actions need to be undertaken. [less ▲]

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See detailCarrières & Biodiversité - Les pelouses sèches
Harzé, Mélanie ULg; Boisson, Sylvain ULg; Halford, Mathieu ULg et al

Learning material (2014)

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See detailCarrières & Biodiversité - Les plantes invasives
Halford, Mathieu ULg; Boisson, Sylvain ULg; Harzé, Mélanie ULg et al

Learning material (2014)

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See detailCarrières & Biodiversité - Les plans d'eau
Boisson, Sylvain ULg; Harzé, Mélanie ULg; Halford, Mathieu ULg et al

Learning material (2014)

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See detailCarrières & Biodiversité - Les falaises et éboulis
Seleck, Maxime ULg; Boisson, Sylvain ULg; Harzé, Mélanie ULg et al

Learning material (2014)

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See detailCarrières & Biodiversité - Les arènes minérales
Piqueray, Julien; Boisson, Sylvain ULg; Halford, Mathieu ULg et al

Learning material (2014)

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See detailDistribution de 8 espèces végétales endémiques du Katanga (R.D.Congo) le long d'un gradient de cuivre et de cobalt
Boisson, Sylvain ULg; Lebrun, Julie ULg; Mahy, Grégory ULg

Poster (2013, November 06)

Au sud de la province du Katanga (R.D.Congo), se développe une végétation unique sur des sols recouvrant une centaine d’affleurements de cuivre et de cobalt parmi les plus importants au monde (Arc ... [more ▼]

Au sud de la province du Katanga (R.D.Congo), se développe une végétation unique sur des sols recouvrant une centaine d’affleurements de cuivre et de cobalt parmi les plus importants au monde (Arc cuprifère katangais). Le paysage de cette région est composé de collines isolées les unes des autres et présentant des communautés végétales distinctes selon la concentration en éléments traces métalliques du sol. Les savanes steppiques se retrouvent sur des sols faiblement contaminés tandis que les pelouses sont inféodées aux sols pouvant être contaminés à des teneurs avoisinant les 10 000 mg.kg-1 de cuivre et 1000 mg.kg-1 de cobalt. Plus de 600 espèces d’angiospermes métallophytes y sont retrouvées dont 32 vivant exclusivement sur des sols contaminés (endémiques strictes). Ces espèces présentent des adaptations physiologiques et biologiques leur permettant de tolérer les concentrations exceptionnelles dans le sol. Certaines d’entre-elles ont d’ailleurs été identifiées comme des hyperaccumulatrices de cuivre et/ou de cobalt. Le caractère unique de la plupart des espèces endémiques de cette flore est aujourd’hui menacé par les activités minières intenses dans la province. Ces espèces représentent pourtant des ressources génétiques de grands intérêts pour développer des stratégies de restauration et de remédiation des sites pollués par leur rôle potentiel en phytostabilisation des sols. L’objectif de l’étude est de caractériser la niche écologique réalisée de 8 espèces endémiques le long du gradient de cuivre et cobalt en vue d’adapter les stratégies de conservation et de restauration des espèces. Les espèces étudiées sont Triumfetta likasiensis, Lopholaena deltombei, Tinnea coerulea var. obovata, Sopubia neptunii, Basananthe kisimbae, Barleria lobelioides, Commelina zigzag, Euphorbia cupricola. Pour chaque espèce, 3 sites ont été prospectés en faisant un transect de 2 m de large le long des gradients métalliques et en identifiant tous les individus de l’espèce. Ensuite, 5 individus ont été sélectionnés parmi le nombre total d’individus comptés : 2 extrêmes, 1er quartile, 1 médian, 3ème quartile. Pour chacun d’eux, un quadrat d’un mètre carré y a été centré au sol et le nombre d’individus de l’espèce dénombrés. Un échantillon de sol composite a ensuite été prélevé entre 0 et 15 cm de profondeur afin de déterminer les teneurs en cuivre et cobalt par une spectrométrie d’absorption atomique dans la flamme à partir de l’extrait NH4-Acétate-EDTA du sol. Les niches écologiques réalisées ont été modélisées pour chaque métal par la méthode d’estimation des noyaux avec le logiciel R 3.0.1 (package ‘vioplot’). Les résultats montrent que les niches écologiques de ces espèces endémiques se répartissent entre 50 et 11 000 mg.kg-1 de sol pour le cuivre et 4 et 1500 mg.kg-1 de sol pour le cobalt. Six espèces se situent dans des concentrations inférieures à 100 mg.kg-1 le long du gradient de cobalt. Le long du gradient de cuivre, deux espèces ont des optima écologiques supérieurs à 3000 mg.kg-1. La niche écologique de B. kisimbae est la plus étroite avec un optimum environnant les 200 mg Cu.kg-1 et 50 mg Co.kg-1. L’espèce S. neptunii est présente sur l’entièreté du gradient de cobalt et est retrouvée dans les concentrations élevées. La variation des niches écologiques le long des gradients métalliques indique que les stratégies de conservation doivent être adaptées selon les espèces à conserver. Dans cette étude, 4 des 8 espèces pourraient être conservées sur un sol contaminé à 500 mg Cu.kg-1 et 30 mg Co.kg-1. Pour les autres, il est indispensable de mettre en place les stratégies de conservation en considérant, dans un premier temps, les espèces au cas par cas. [less ▲]

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See detailHow to increase species diversity in phytostabilization strategies near Lubumbashi (D.R.C.)
Boisson, Sylvain ULg; Collignon, Julien ULg; Le Stradic, Soizig ULg et al

Conference (2013, October 08)

Copper contamination of soils represents a threat to natural areas and to human health. Phytostabilization, i.e using plants to immobilize contaminants, represents a well-known technology to hemper heavy ... [more ▼]

Copper contamination of soils represents a threat to natural areas and to human health. Phytostabilization, i.e using plants to immobilize contaminants, represents a well-known technology to hemper heavy metals spread across landscapes. In Katanga (Congo D.R.), Microchloa altera was recently identified as a candidate species to stabilize copper in soil. This grass naturally tolerates and accumulates high copper concentrations and belongs to the typical copper flora of Katanga. However more than 600 species compose this flora and other grasses may be used in phytostabilisation strategies. But little is known about the phenology reproductive strategy and demography of these species, which makes their use in current phytostabilization strategies difficult. The present study aims to characterize the reproduction capacity of seven other dominant grass species for future phytostabilisation tests. A total of 67 quadrats (1m²) were randomly placed across three sites. At two periods over the fruiting season, three inflorescences per species per quadrat were collected in order to estimate the number of spikes, spikelets and viable seeds. All species have sexual reproductive strategy and spikelets number presents little variation between populations. Three species are very common (Andropogon shirensis, Loudetia simplex and Eragrostis racemosa) and represent potential candidates to increase species diversity in phytostabilization strategies in Katanga. Further research, including germination tests and phytostabilization tests in situ, is planned in a near future. [less ▲]

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See detailPlant ecological niche distribution along heavy metal gradients
Boisson, Sylvain ULg; Monty, Arnaud ULg; Seleck, Maxime ULg et al

Conference (2013, June 26)

Why species do not occur everywhere? The concept of ecological niche is central to understand relationships among biotic/abiotic factors and species distribution. Gradients of environmental stress ... [more ▼]

Why species do not occur everywhere? The concept of ecological niche is central to understand relationships among biotic/abiotic factors and species distribution. Gradients of environmental stress associated to interspecific interactions generate testable patterns of specie’s response curves. Distribution of response curves have been seldom tested along toxicity gradient, in contrast to resource gradients. On Katangan copper hills (south R.D.C.), natural copper and cobalt concentrations span a large range: 2 - 1000 mg kg-1 for cobalt and 30 - 10 000 mg kg-1 for copper. In this study, we evaluate three hypotheses related to niche distributions and shapes along metal toxic gradients: (1) Species optima are uniformly distributed over copper-cobalt gradient. (2) Realized niche width varies in relation to the niche optimum along copper and cobalt gradient. (3) Absolute values of skewness coefficient are higher when plant species optima are in the extremes of cobalt gradient with a niche tails toward mesic conditions. Realized niches of 80 taxa were modeled with general additive models (GAM) using presence/absence data in 172 1m² plots. Niche optima, niche widths and skewness coefficients were estimated from species response curves. The three hypotheses were globally validated. Three groups of species were distinguished according to their optima position along metal gradient with packed optima on intermediate concentrations suggesting higher interspecific competition in low metal concentrations. Niche width increased with metal concentrations. Highest metal tolerant plant species had broader niches. Skewness coefficient was inversely related to niche optima positions. Our study demonstrates that species distribution pattern on toxicity gradient presents similarities with resource gradient. Broad realized amplitude of species adapted to high levels of copper cobalt concentrations suggests that fundamental niche of specialist metallophytes may be larger than expected. This should be further tested in controlled conditions in association to competition tests. [less ▲]

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See detailCopperflora.org - website
Boisson, Sylvain ULg; Lebrun, Julie ULg; Seleck, Maxime ULg et al

Textual, factual or bibliographical database (2012)

This website is intended as a place of exchange for scientists and mine managers interested in the conservation, the restoration and the taxonomy of the copper-cobalt flora.

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See detailModelling realized niche of metallophyte species along copper and cobalt gradients on Katanga copper hills
Boisson, Sylvain ULg; Seleck, Maxime ULg; Guillaume, Arielle et al

Poster (2012, February 10)

In South Central Africa were identified more than 650 plant species tolerant to heavy metals, several of which endemic to Katanga and critically endangered by mining activities. These metallophyte are ... [more ▼]

In South Central Africa were identified more than 650 plant species tolerant to heavy metals, several of which endemic to Katanga and critically endangered by mining activities. These metallophyte are distributed over a hundred hills containing high copper and cobalt concentrations (20 to 10000 mg/kg for copper and 2 to 1000 mg/kg for cobalt). To understand the response of metallophyte to heavy metals, the ecological niches of 80 cupro-cobaltophytes were modeled with general additive models (GAM). Results show that (1) three groups of species were identified according to their optimum along a metal concentrations gradient and (2) a positive relationship exists between niche amplitude and optimum copper concentration. [less ▲]

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See detailContribution à la conservation de la flore cupro-cobalticole endémique du Katanga (R.D.C.) : Conservation en banque de graines et régénération d'espèces métallicoles
Boisson, Sylvain ULg

Master's dissertation (2011)

Metallophytes are plants that represent the biodiversity of metal-rich soils. Some of them are able to accumulate high metal concentrations: metal hyperaccumulators plants. In Katanga (RD Congo), 32 ... [more ▼]

Metallophytes are plants that represent the biodiversity of metal-rich soils. Some of them are able to accumulate high metal concentrations: metal hyperaccumulators plants. In Katanga (RD Congo), 32 species have been identified as copper-cobalt endemic but mining activities are still a threat to outcrop ecosystems. We must characterize native environmental parameters (realized niche) and the full range of environmental conditions in culture (fundamental niche) to conserve, preserve and restore these ecosystems. Six representative species of the natural copper gradient were selected after soil-species data analyses (Crepidorhopalon perennis, Crotalaria cobalticola, Gladiolus ledoctei, Haumaniastrum robertii, Lopholaena deltombei and Sopubia mannii). The study determined their behavior (germination, survival) and their development (vegetative measures) on one group of natural soil (from three copper gradients of Fungurume V hill), two groups of artificially contaminated soils with incremental doses (copper sulfate and copper hydroxycarbonate: 500, 2000 and 5000 mg.kg-1) and one uncontaminated soil (control) by two types of plant establishment (direct seeding and transplant from Petri dishes). The results depend on species habitat and show that four of these species can grow on uncontaminated soil in the early stages of growth. In addition, the seed bank (in Faculty of Agronomy - University of Lubumbashi) management (cleaning, updating and germination tests of accessions) was maintained using standard methods. The results of germination tests demonstrated the effectiveness of some conservation methods and helped to provide recommendations for the methodology. [less ▲]

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