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See detailÉVOLUTION DE LA TENEUR EN EAU LE LONG D’UNE TOPOSEQUENCE FORESTIERE ARGILO-LIMONEUSE
Deraedt, Deborah ULg; Colinet, Gilles ULg; Degré, Aurore ULg

in Milieux Poreux et Transferts Hydriques (in press)

For the hydrological modeling of forested watersheds, the understanding of the forest hydrodynamic is essential. This study focusses on the hydrology of a Belgian forested plot with high stoniness and ... [more ▼]

For the hydrological modeling of forested watersheds, the understanding of the forest hydrodynamic is essential. This study focusses on the hydrology of a Belgian forested plot with high stoniness and steep slope. The soil water content is monitored at several positions on the toposequence and at different depth. During rain events, peak in soil water content are observed in different depth depending on the position along the toposequence. [less ▲]

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See detailNo favorable effect of reduced tillage on microbial communities in a silty loam soil (Belgium)
Degrune, Florine ULg; Theodorakopoulos, Nicolas ULg; Dufrêne, Marc ULg et al

Poster (2015, December 01)

To date, only a few studies have applied metagenomics to investigate the influence of different tillage regimes and types of crop residue management on soil microbial communities. These studies were ... [more ▼]

To date, only a few studies have applied metagenomics to investigate the influence of different tillage regimes and types of crop residue management on soil microbial communities. These studies were conducted under specific climates on soils characterized by particular land-use histories. A very different ecological context is to be found in certain areas of Western Europe, such as central Belgium, whose loess-derived soils are among the most fertile in the world and have long been used for intensive agriculture. Specific objectives were to determine diversity levels and changes in microbial community composition under different combinations of tillage regime (conventional vs. reduced) and crop residue fate (residue removal R- vs. residues left R+ on the field). As reduced tillage results in two contrasting zones (the first centimeters of soil are mixed each year, while the soil below remains unperturbed), we chose to perform the analysis at two depths: 0 to 5 cm and 15 to 20 cm. [less ▲]

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See detailEffects of Plant Growth-Promoting Rhizobacteria on Wheat Growth under Greenhouse and Field Conditions in combination with different nitrogen fertilizer levels
Nguyen, Minh ULg; Ongena, Marc ULg; Colinet, Gilles ULg et al

Poster (2015, November 23)

Many Plant Growth-Promoting Rhizobacteria (PGPR) are able to enhance root growth, mineral availability, and nutrient use efficiency of crops. The aim of this project is to screen commercially available ... [more ▼]

Many Plant Growth-Promoting Rhizobacteria (PGPR) are able to enhance root growth, mineral availability, and nutrient use efficiency of crops. The aim of this project is to screen commercially available PGPR formulations and lab strains to increase wheat growth and yield in combination with an optimized nitrogen (N) fertilizer application scheme. This could lead to a significant reduction of N fertilizer application without affecting the subsequent grain yields. The screened products collection includes (1) Mix1 (a mix of Azospirillum sp., Azorhizobium sp., and Azoarcus sp.), (2) Mix2 (a mix of Mix1 complemented with two strains of phosphorus-solubilizing Bacillus sp.), (3) Bacillus amyloliquefaciens a, (4) B. subtilis, and (5) B. amyloliquefaciens b. These products were screened under greenhouse and field conditions in 2014 by using spring and winter wheat varieties, respectively. Under greenhouse conditions, there was a significant increase in root dry weight and in root per shoot ratio of plants inoculated with Mix1. Under field conditions, the interaction between PGPR inoculation and different N fertilizer doses was assessed. The grain yield was negatively impacted by low N fertilizer applications. Under such conditions, the inoculation of the wheat rhizosphere with B. subtilis increased the grain yield by 15% relative to the water control. However, in the field trial, the variability between plot replicates was high and lead to non-significant results. Based on these results, modified screening strategies for PGPR selection were set up for the next trials. [less ▲]

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See detailImpacts of Plant Growth-Promoting Rhizobacteria-based Biostimulants on Wheat Growth under Greenhouse and Field Conditions
Nguyen, Minh ULg; Ongena, Marc ULg; Colinet, Gilles ULg et al

Poster (2015, November 16)

Plant Growth-Promoting Rhizobacteria (PGPR) are one of the main biostimulant classes due to their capacity of stimulating root growth and enhancing soil mineral availability, hence increasing nutrient use ... [more ▼]

Plant Growth-Promoting Rhizobacteria (PGPR) are one of the main biostimulant classes due to their capacity of stimulating root growth and enhancing soil mineral availability, hence increasing nutrient use efficiency in crops. The aim of this study is to screen commercially PGPR-containing products to enhance wheat growth and yield in combination with an optimized nitrogen (N) fertilizer application scheme. This could lead to a significant reduction of N fertilizer application without affecting the subsequent grain yields. The screened products collection includes (1) Mix1 (a mix of Azospirillum sp., Azorhizobium sp., and Azoarcus sp.), (2) Mix2 (a mix of Mix1 complemented with two strains of phosphorus-solubilizing Bacillus sp.), (3) Bacillus amyloliquefaciens a, (4) B. subtilis, and (5) B. amyloliquefaciens b. These biostimulants were screened under greenhouse and field conditions in 2014 by using spring and winter wheat varieties respectively. There was a significant increase in root dry weight and in root per shoot ratio of plants inoculated with Mix1. Under field conditions, the interaction between PGPR inoculation and N fertilizer application was assessed. The grain yield was negatively impacted by low N fertilizer applications. Under such conditions, the inoculation of the wheat rhizosphere with Bacillus subtilis increased the grain yield by 15% relative to the water control. However, in the field trial, the variability between plot replicates was high and lead to non-significant results. Based on those results, modified screening strategies for PGPR selection were set up for the 2015 trials to reduce field variability and possibly achieve higher yield increases. [less ▲]

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See detailEvaluation of phosphorus bioavailability according to the soil organic matter content
Barbieux, Sophie ULg; Colinet, Gilles ULg

Poster (2015, July)

Phosphorus (P) is an essential nutrient for plants. The organic matter contains significant amounts of P which can be mineralized and supply soil solution. We hypothesize that increasing P organic pools ... [more ▼]

Phosphorus (P) is an essential nutrient for plants. The organic matter contains significant amounts of P which can be mineralized and supply soil solution. We hypothesize that increasing P organic pools in soils is a way to improve its progressive release for plants and alleviate risks of immobilization in mineral forms. The main objective of this study is to evaluate the P bioavailability and its uptake by plants according to the soil organic matter (SOM) content. The experimental protocol is based on a micro-culture in pots. The test-plant used is ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.). Eight silty soils were selected from vegetable gardens (5) and from a long-term fertilization trial on field (3). They present a gradient of SOM (from 2 to 9 %) and available P content (from 5 to 55 mg/100g). Plants were first grown in pure sand and P-free Hoagland nutritive solution. Ten days after plant emergence, roots were brought into contact with the studied soil during about one month. The experiment was stopped after three harvests (every 10 days) and three growth cycles. At the end of the experimentation, analyses were performed on plant material (biomass, P content) and on soil (soluble P, available P, microbial P, pH, phosphatase activity, hot water carbon, nitrate). Besides this study, an incubation experiment was carried out with the same soils without plant to assess soil P status at each harvest time. Paper will present the main findings of the experiment. Especially, the following issues should find answers: (1) do higher levels of SOM and organic phosphorus modify the evolution of P content in soil solution and its uptake by plants?, (2) are the biological processes involved in P cycling promoted in soils with higher SOM content? [less ▲]

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See detailImpacts of Plant Growth-Promoting Rhizobacteria on Wheat Growth under Greenhouse and Field Conditions
Nguyen, Minh ULg; du Jardin, Patrick ULg; Jijakli, Haissam ULg et al

Poster (2015, June 16)

Plant Growth-Promoting Rhizobacteria (PGPR) are well-known on stimulating root growth, enhancing mineral availability, and nutrient use efficiency in crops, and therefore become promising tool for ... [more ▼]

Plant Growth-Promoting Rhizobacteria (PGPR) are well-known on stimulating root growth, enhancing mineral availability, and nutrient use efficiency in crops, and therefore become promising tool for sustainable agriculture. The aim of this project is to screen PGPR strains to enhance wheat growth and yield in combination with an optimised nitrogen (N) fertilizer dose, and thus finally reduce the use of N fertilizer with equivalent yield as the recommended N dose. A list of PGPR has been collected, including (1) Mix1 (a mix of Azospirillum sp., Azorhizobium sp., and Azoarcus sp.), (2) Mix2 (a mix of Mix1 plus with two strains phosphorus-solubilizing Bacillus sp.), (3) Bacillus amyloliquefaciens a, (4) Bacillus subtilis, and (5) Bacillus amyloliquefaciens b. The PGPR were screened in both greenhouse and field condition 2014. There was significant increase in root dry weight and in root per shoot ratio of plants inoculated with Mix1 in the greenhouse. Under field condition, besides the first factor PGPR, an additional factor, i.e. four N fertilizer doses, was applied in the combination with PGPR. Without or at low N fertilizer doses, the results showed that the grain yield declined significantly. The highest grain yield increase was fifteen per cent above the control and achieved by inoculating Bacillus subtilis without application of N fertilizer. However, there was statistically insignificant in all treatments due to variability between plot replicates. Based on these results, a modified protocol plus new strategies for PGPR selection has been built up for 2015 trial to reduce the influence of variability on field and possibly achieve the higher yield increase. [less ▲]

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See detailDetermination of Zinc, Cadmium and Lead Bioavailability in Contaminated Soils at the Single-Cell Level by a Combination of Whole-Cell Biosensors and Flow Cytometry
Hurdebise, Quentin ULg; Tarayre, Cédric ULg; Fischer, Christophe ULg et al

in Sensors (2015)

Zinc, lead and cadmium are metallic trace elements (MTEs) that are widespread in the environment and tend to accumulate in soils because of their low mobility and non-degradability. The purpose of this ... [more ▼]

Zinc, lead and cadmium are metallic trace elements (MTEs) that are widespread in the environment and tend to accumulate in soils because of their low mobility and non-degradability. The purpose of this work is to evaluate the applicability of biosensors as tools able to provide data about the bioavailability of such MTEs in contaminated soils. Here, we tested the genetically-engineered strain Escherichia coli pPZntAgfp as a biosensor applicable to the detection of zinc, lead and cadmium by the biosynthesis of green fluorescent protein (GFP) accumulating inside the cells. Flow cytometry was used to investigate the fluorescence induced by the MTEs. A curvilinear response to zinc between 0 and 25 mg/L and another curvilinear response to cadmium between 0 and 1.5 mg/L were highlighted in liquid media, while lead did not produce exploitable results. The response relating to a Zn2+/Cd2+ ratio of 10 was further investigated. In these conditions, E. coli pPZntAgfp responded to cadmium only. Several contaminated soils with a Zn2+/Cd2+ ratio of 10 were analyzed with the biosensor, and the metallic concentrations were also measured by atomic absorption spectroscopy. Our results showed that E. coli pPZntAgfp could be used as a monitoring tool for contaminated soils being processed. [less ▲]

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See detailEvaluation of soil structural changes through macroscopic and microscopic measurement
Parvin, Nargish ULg; Degré, Aurore ULg; Chelin, Marie ULg et al

Poster (2015, April 16)

The heterogeneity of soil structure and pore size distribution are highly influenced by external factors like tillage systems and other agricultural management practices. However, changes in soil ... [more ▼]

The heterogeneity of soil structure and pore size distribution are highly influenced by external factors like tillage systems and other agricultural management practices. However, changes in soil hydrodynamic behavior are not fully understood and are still under research. Also, researchers have explained the impact of tillage practices on soil hydraulic properties related to pore size distribution, connectivity and orientation are involved but the characterization of these modifications and consequences remains a challenge. Furthermore, the relation between macroscopic measurements and microscopic investigation of the soil structure remains scarce. Recently, X-ray tomography (X- μCT) has been used in order to characterize changes in soil pore size distribution in various contexts and the method is able to link microtomography information to hydrodynamic measurement. In our study, X-μCT has been used in order to characterize changes in soil pore system. Since, tomography does not count most of the micropores, Richards’ pressure plate and evaporation method was also combined to get complete range of pore size distribution. We found good match between evaporation data with X-μCT at the macropore scale and evaporation data with pressure plate method at micropore scale. X-μCT data refines retention and hydraulic curves near saturation where Richards’ data alone can lead to numerous sets of fitted parameters. On the otherhand, evaporation data (Hyprop apparatus ©) provide comparable datasets with X-μCT. Combining micro and macroscopic measurements allows us to validate X-μCT information, which is otherwise not so obvious. [less ▲]

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See detailInvestigating the Effects of Plant Root Exudates on PAHs Bioavailability to Soil Microorganisms in Contaminated Brownfields : Research Methodology.
Davin, Marie ULg; Lognay, Georges ULg; Fauconnier, Marie-Laure ULg et al

Poster (2015, January 30)

As a result of heavy industrial past activities, an estimated 6,000 brownfields require remediation in Wallonia. This number rises to over 3.5 million in Europe. Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs ... [more ▼]

As a result of heavy industrial past activities, an estimated 6,000 brownfields require remediation in Wallonia. This number rises to over 3.5 million in Europe. Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) represent 17% of treated pollutants in Wallonia (Aldric et al., 2011). Current remediation techniques are rather expensive and technically demanding (Megharaj et al., 2011). Based on the observation that PAHs soil content decreases in the presence of plants (Cheema et al., 2010), the PhD aims at developing alternative PAHs remediation techniques in brownfields. It is articulated around three research axes. The first axis focusses on plant exudates and how they may improve PAHs bioavailability to soil microorganisms and enhance their degradation. This will be investigated by (i) characterizing several contaminated soils (physico-chemical parameters) and PAH content and factors of bioavailability, (ii) selecting a plant model and collecting root exudates, and (iii) evaluating the effects of exudates on PAHs bioavailability. The objective of the second axis is to evaluate the effects of plant exudates on PAHs degrading microorganisms by (i) comparing PAHs biodegradation in the presence/absence of exudates and (ii) assessing the potential toxic effects of exudate compounds on the microbial communities. The aim of the third axis is to study plant-pollutants interactions by (i) establishing the plant tolerance to several contamination levels and (ii) following PAHs bioavailability when facing real exudation rates, on the field. [less ▲]

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See detailA novel sub-phylum method discriminates better the impact of crop management on soil microbial community
Degrune, Florine ULg; Dufrêne, Marc ULg; Colinet, Gilles ULg et al

in Agronomy for Sustainable Development (2015)

Soil microorganisms such as mycorrhizae and plant-growth-promoting rhizobacteria have beneficial effects on crop productivity. Agricultural practices are known to impact soil microbial communities, but ... [more ▼]

Soil microorganisms such as mycorrhizae and plant-growth-promoting rhizobacteria have beneficial effects on crop productivity. Agricultural practices are known to impact soil microbial communities, but past studies examining this impact have focused mostly on one or two taxonomic levels, such as phylum and class, thus missing potentially relevant information from lower levels. Therefore we propose here an original, sub-phylum method for studying how agricultural practices modify microbial communities. This method involves exploiting the available sequence information at the lowest taxonomic level attainable for each operational taxonomic unit. In order to validate this novel method we assessed microbial community composition using 454 pyrosequencing of 16S and 28S rRNA genes, then we compared the results with results of a phylum-level analysis. Agricultural practices included conventional tillage, reduced tillage, residue removal and residue retention. Results show that, at the lowest taxonomic level attainable, tillage is the main factor influencing both bacterial community composition, accounting for 13% of the variation, and fungal community composition, accounting for 18% of the variation. Whereas phylum-level analysis failed to reveal any effect of soil practice on bacterial community composition, and missed the fact that different members of the same phylum responded differently to tillage practice. For instance, the fungal phylum Chytridiomycota showed no impact of soil treatment, while sub-phylum-level analysis revealed an impact of tillage practice on the Chytridiomycota sub-groups Gibberella, which includes a notorious wheat pathogen, and Trichocomaceae. This clearly demonstrates the necessity of exploiting the information obtainable at sub-phylum level when assessing the effects of agricultural practice on microbial communities. [less ▲]

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See detailDegree of phosphorus saturation in agricultural loamy soils with a near-neutral pH
Renneson, Malorie ULg; Vandenberghe, Christophe ULg; Dufey, Joseph et al

in European Journal of Soil Science (2015), 66

The degree of phosphorus saturation (DPS) represents the ratio of sorbed phosphorus (P) to the P sorption capacity (PSC) of soils. In some countries, DPS is used to evaluate the risk of P loss and surface ... [more ▼]

The degree of phosphorus saturation (DPS) represents the ratio of sorbed phosphorus (P) to the P sorption capacity (PSC) of soils. In some countries, DPS is used to evaluate the risk of P loss and surface water eutrophication. This study investigated DPS measurement and prediction in neutral loamy soils fromWallonia, Belgium. A total of 57 agricultural topsoil samples subject to diverse P management were evaluated. No satisfactory relationship could be found between PSC determined by a one-point short-term isotherm in the laboratory and the sum of aluminium and iron extracted by oxalate (Alox +Feox). The equation PSC=a Alox +b pHw appeared to be more appropriate for estimating PSC in the soils studied. These soils had a near-neutral pH, and P fixation processes linked to the presence of calcium ions or carbonates were important. Comparisons of DPS with soil-test P and water-extracted P suggested that DPS could be a useful agronomic and/or environmental indicator. Our results also showed that DPS values between 20 and 30% corresponded to the agronomic optimum of soil P content. Consequently, DPS may be used as an indicator of P status in neutral soils, provided that the PSC assessment is adapted to the local soil characteristics. [less ▲]

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See detailAssessment of soil metal distribution and environmental impact of mining in Katanga (Democratic Republic of Congo)
Pourret, Olivier; Lange, Bastien; Bonhoure, Jessica et al

in Applied Geochemistry (2015)

Metal and metalloid (As, Cd, Co, Cu, Pb and Zn) distribution in soils from the Katanga Copperbelt (Democratic Republic of Congo) is investigated in order to characterize the environmental impacts of ... [more ▼]

Metal and metalloid (As, Cd, Co, Cu, Pb and Zn) distribution in soils from the Katanga Copperbelt (Democratic Republic of Congo) is investigated in order to characterize the environmental impacts of mining and smelting activities in that area. The concentrations of Cu, Co, As, Zn, Pb and Cd in soils from mining sites are higher than in non-metalliferous sites and above permissible metal and metalloid concentrations in soils. Moreover, the fractionation and mobility of Co, and Cu in such environment is assessed using the application of both ammonium acetate-EDTA extraction and speciation modeling (WHAM 6). The resulting data set covers wide range of environmental conditions (pH, trace metals concentration, natural soils and soils affected by mining and ore processing). These extractions show that only a small fraction of Cu and Co is mobile, with variation depending on sites: mobility is higher in soils affected by mining and ore processing. The strong affinity of Mn-oxides for Co may explain lower Co mobility in Mn-rich soils. The high Mn and Fe contents of Cu-Co soils from Katanga may actually exert a protective effect against the toxic effects of Co. Finally, Cu-Co speciation modeling of contaminated sites emphasizes that organic matter strongly sorb Cu whereas Co speciation is mostly by Mn content. This type of study leads to a better understanding of metal fractionation and can guide to define different practices of phytoremediation. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. [less ▲]

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See detailCaractérisation des systèmes sols-plantes dans les collines de l’arc cuprifère du Katanga (synthèse bibliographique)
Kaya Muyumba, Donato; Liénard, Amandine ULg; Mahy, Grégory ULg et al

in Biotechnologie, Agronomie, Société et Environnement = Biotechnology, Agronomy, Society and Environment [=BASE] (2015), 19(2), 204-214

Introduction: The Copper belt of Katanga presents huge resources of Cu and Co-ore. On the copper hills, mineralized rocks outcrop and a specific flora did develop as a response to the high levels of Cu ... [more ▼]

Introduction: The Copper belt of Katanga presents huge resources of Cu and Co-ore. On the copper hills, mineralized rocks outcrop and a specific flora did develop as a response to the high levels of Cu and Co in soil. Soil-vegetation relationships need to be understood in order to elaborate biodiversity conservation programs prior to industrial mining of the copper hills. Literature: This paper reviews knowledge about soil characterization in the copper hills of Katanga and makes proposals for further research about the influence of the very specific chemical conditions of contaminated soils on the vegetation. The focus was put on the geochemical background and the bioavailability of Cu and Co. A lot of progress has been made recently about identification of soil-vegetation relationships. Conclusion: However, the issue of Cu and Co mobility within soil-plant systems is not entirely solved. [less ▲]

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