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See detailFiches techniques de mesure de la biomasse
Bauwens, Sébastien ULg; Fayolle, Adeline ULg; Dubiez, Emilien et al

Report (2015)

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See detailThe need for site-specific height-diameter allometry of Central African moist forests
Loubota Panzou, Grâce Jopaul ULg; Doucet, Jean-Louis ULg; Fayolle, Adeline ULg

Conference (2015, March 21)

L’utilisation de l’allométrie hauteur-diamètre globale ou régionale en milieu tropical pourrait avoir des conséquences importantes dans les estimations de biomasse et des stocks de carbone. L’objectif de ... [more ▼]

L’utilisation de l’allométrie hauteur-diamètre globale ou régionale en milieu tropical pourrait avoir des conséquences importantes dans les estimations de biomasse et des stocks de carbone. L’objectif de ce travail est d’identifier les variations de l’allométrie hauteur-diamètre au sein de deux types de forêts (forêt sempervirente et forêt semi-décidue) au sud du Cameroun et d’examiner leurs conséquences sur les estimations de biomasse. Le diamètre et la hauteur ont été mesurés sur un total de 521 arbres appartenant à 15 espèces et couvrant une gamme de diamètre de 10 à 240 cm. Une calibration des mesures non destructives et destructives de la hauteur a été réalisée sur 60 arbres. Dix modèles allométriques ont été ajustés sur ces données. Le meilleur modèle a été sélectionné avec Akaike Information Criterion (AIC). L’allométrie hauteur-diamètre au niveau des sites et entre les espèces a montré une tendance asymptotique (Modèle de Michaelis-Menten). Pour un même diamètre, les arbres étaient plus hauts dans les forêts semi-décidues que dans les forêts sempervirentes. Les différences de biomasse entre les deux types de forêts sont dues par les variations de l’allométrie hauteur-diamètre. Les variations de l’allométrie hauteur-diamètre sont donc d’une extrême importance dans les estimations de biomasse et des stocks de carbone des forêts denses humides tropicales d’Afrique centrale. [less ▲]

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See detailSite-specific height-diameter allometry of Central African moist forests
Loubota Panzou, Grâce Jopaul ULg; Doucet, Jean-Louis ULg; Fayolle, Adeline ULg

Poster (2015, February 04)

In this study we aimed to identify the variation in height-diameter allometry between forest types and among species in Central African moist forests. We also examined the consequences on biomass ... [more ▼]

In this study we aimed to identify the variation in height-diameter allometry between forest types and among species in Central African moist forests. We also examined the consequences on biomass estimation. Two forest sites in southern Cameroon with contrasting levels of deciduousness. Height and diameter were measured for a total of 521 trees belonging to 12 timber species over a large range of diameter, 10-240 cm for the Ma’an site and 11-182 cm for the Mindourou site. Non-destructive height measurements were calibrated with destructive measurements for a total of 60 trees, 30 in each site. Commercial forest inventory data (n=7253 0.5ha plots) were gathered for the Ma’an (n=34 samples and 2101 plots) and Mindourou (n=117 samples and 5152 plots) sites. A total of ten allometric models (including asymptotic and non-asymptotic models) were fitted to the height-diameter data at species (n=12) and site (n=2) level. Biomass estimates were computed based on forest inventory data and general allometric models using both site-specific and published height-diameter equations. Given the strong correlation between the non-destructive and destructive height measurements we had confidence in using the non-destructive height measurements to establish site- and species-specific height-diameter allometric equations. The height measurements performed over a wide range of diameters, 10-240 cm, tended to support an asymptotic shape (and most often the Michaelis Menten model) for the height-diameter allometry either at species and site level. We identified a significant difference in height-diameter allometry between the two study sites. For a given diameter, trees tended to be taller in the more semi-deciduous Mindourou site than in the more evergreen Ma’an site, with a maximum height of 39.5 and 46.5 m, respectively. The two sites significantly differed in stand structure and biomass. This difference is due to the variation in height-diameter allometry. Height-diameter allometry strongly varies between sites and site-specific height-diameter allometric equations should be developed to further improve the estimation of biomass and carbon stock contained in tropical forests. [less ▲]

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See detailDifferential Performance between Two Timber Species in Forest Logging Gaps and in Plantations in Central Africa
Fayolle, Adeline ULg; Ouedraogo, Dakis-Yaoba ULg; Ligot, Gauthier ULg et al

in Forests (2015), 6(2), 380-394

To develop silvicultural guidelines for high-value timber species of Central African moist forests, we assessed the performance of the pioneer Milicia excelsa (iroko, Moraceae), and of the non-pioneer ... [more ▼]

To develop silvicultural guidelines for high-value timber species of Central African moist forests, we assessed the performance of the pioneer Milicia excelsa (iroko, Moraceae), and of the non-pioneer light demander Pericopsis elata (assamela, Fabaceae) in logging gaps and in plantations in highly degraded areas in south-eastern Cameroon. The survival and size of each seedling was regularly monitored in the silvicultural experiments. Differences in performance and allometry were tested between species in logging gaps and in plantations. The two species performance in logging gaps was significantly different from plantations and concurred with the expectations of the performance trade-off hypothesis but not with the expectations of species light requirements. The pioneer M. excelsa survived significantly better in logging gaps while the non-pioneer P. elata grew significantly faster in plantations. The high mortality and slow growth of M. excelsa in plantations is surprising for a pioneer species but could be explained by herbivory (attacks from a gall-making psyllid). Identifying high-value native timber species (i) with good performance in plantations such as P. elata is of importance to restore degraded areas; and (ii) with good performance in logging gaps such as M. excelsa is of importance to maintain timber resources and biodiversity in production forests. [less ▲]

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See detailHow Tightly Linked Are Pericopsis elata (Fabaceae) Patches to Anthropogenic Disturbances in Southeastern Cameroon?
Bourland, Nils; Cerisier, François; Daïnou, Kasso ULg et al

in Forests (2015), 6(2), 293-310

While most past studies have emphasized the relationships between specific forest stands and edaphic factors, recent observations in Central African moist forests suggested that an increase of slash-and ... [more ▼]

While most past studies have emphasized the relationships between specific forest stands and edaphic factors, recent observations in Central African moist forests suggested that an increase of slash-and-burn agriculture since 3000–2000 BP (Before Present) could be the main driver of the persistence of light-demanding tree species. In order to examine anthropogenic factors in the persistence of such populations, our study focused on Pericopsis elata, an endangered clustered timber species. We used a multidisciplinary approach comprised of botanical, anthracological and archaeobotanical investigations to compare P. elata patches with surrounding stands of mixed forest vegetation (“out-zones”). Charcoal samples were found in both zones, but were significantly more abundant in the soils of patches. Eleven groups of taxa were identified from the charcoals, most of them also present in the current vegetation. Potsherds were detected only inside P. elata patches and at different soil depths, suggesting a long human presence from at least 2150 to 195 BP, as revealed by our charcoal radiocarbon dating. We conclude that current P. elata patches most likely result from shifting cultivation that occurred ca. two centuries ago. The implications of our findings for the dynamics and management of light-demanding tree species are discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailNew data on the recent history of the littoral forests of southern Cameroon: an insight into the role of historical human disturbances on the current forest composition
Biwolé, Achille ULg; Morin-Rivat, Julie ULg; Fayolle, Adeline ULg et al

in Plant Ecology and Evolution (2015), 148(1), 19-28

Background and aims – Prior to European colonisation of Central Africa, human populations were dispersed through the forests, where they practiced slash-and-burn cultivation. From the 19th century they ... [more ▼]

Background and aims – Prior to European colonisation of Central Africa, human populations were dispersed through the forests, where they practiced slash-and-burn cultivation. From the 19th century they were progressively concentrated in villages along roads, leaving large areas of forest derelict. In south-western Cameroon, and elsewhere in Central Africa, forest canopy is dominated by long-lived lightdemanding tree species, suggesting a possible role of human disturbance. The aim of this study was to bring new insights into the possible effect of historical human disturbances in terms of timing and spatial extent on the current forest composition. Location – Wet evergreen littoral forest in south-western Cameroon. Methods and key results – A combined vegetation sampling and archaeobotanical survey were conducted. Potsherds, oil-palm endocarps, and charcoal were found throughout the study area, suggesting generalised human occupation and anthropogenic fire. Human occupancy occurred in two periods: between 2200 and 1500 BP, and, more recently, beginning three centuries ago. High frequency of fire and the presence of Elaeis guineensis both dated recently (between 260 and 145 BP) suggest slash-and-burn shifting cultivation practices. These human-induced disturbances may coincide with the age of the current emergent lightdemanding species, the age of which can be estimated around 200 years, or with the phases of drying climate recorded in the Central African forest in the early 18th century. Conclusions – These results support the idea that historical human disturbances are one of the major factors that shaped the current forest composition in Central Africa. [less ▲]

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See detailLe genre Erythrophleum (Fabaceae) en Afrique, un modèle pour l’étude des mécanismes de différenciation de niches climatiques
Gorel, Anaïs ULg; Duminil, Jérôme; Doucet, Jean-Louis ULg et al

Conference (2014, December 16)

Comprendre l’origine des patrons de diversité est un défi en écologie des communautés et en écologie évolutive, notamment dans le contexte du futur changement climatique. Ce poster aura deux objectifs : i ... [more ▼]

Comprendre l’origine des patrons de diversité est un défi en écologie des communautés et en écologie évolutive, notamment dans le contexte du futur changement climatique. Ce poster aura deux objectifs : i) présenter pourquoi le genre Erythrophleum en Afrique est un modèle d’étude idéal à la compréhension des mécanismes de différenciation de niche et de spéciation au sein d’une lignée d’arbre en région tropicale; ii) mettre en lumière les démarches statistiques et expérimentales permettant de valider et de comprendre ces mécanismes. Le genre Erythrophleum, largement distribué en Afrique, est représenté par quatre espèces d’arbre : E. ivorense, E. suaveolens, E. africanum et E. lasianthum. Ces espèces morphologiquement très proches, présentent des aires de distribution géographiques et climatiques adjacentes. Elles sont distribuées de façon parapatrique sur un gradient pluviométrique, du plus humide pour E. ivorense ou plus sec pour E. lasianthum. Ce mode de distribution apparent, combiné à des données issues d’études phylogénétiques, suggère un rôle majeur des gradients climatiques comme pilotes des différenciations spécifiques du genre et pourrait donc confirmer l’hypothèse du gradient écologique (« The ecological gradient hypothesis » suppose que des gradients environnementaux peuvent induire des spéciations parapatriques sans que les populations ne soient isolées géographiquement. Néanmoins, des études sur les niches climatiques et leurs degrés de conservatisme sont indispensables pour valider cette hypothèse. Aujourd’hui, ces études sont rendues plus aisées grâce au développement de nouvelles techniques de modélisation des niches environnementales (Species Distribution Model ou SDM) et de tests statistiques de quantification du conservatisme/divergence de niche (voire Warren et al., 2008). En complément de la modélisation des niches observées (c.à.d. niches réalisées selon la définition de Hutchison (1957)), il est intéressant de comprendre les stratégies fonctionnelles sous-jacentes aux différenciations de niche. Les différenciations de niche au sein des espèces du genre sont probablement issues d’une distinction de leurs stratégies d’utilisation des ressources (lumière/eau) et de leurs différents positionnements au sein du slow-fast continuum (sensu Reich, 2014). Cette hypothèse peut être testée par la mise en place d’expériences en milieu contrôlé mesurant les réponses des individus à des stress environnementaux. [less ▲]

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See detailIntegrating phylogenetic and environmental niche models to explore speciation mechanisms in the Erythrophleum genus in tropical Africa
Gorel, Anaïs ULg; Fayolle, Adeline ULg; Doucet, Jean-Louis ULg et al

Conference (2014, December 10)

In the context of global climate change, it is of primary importance to understand the species response to climate (habitat tracking or adaptation). In this study we investigated the evolutionary history ... [more ▼]

In the context of global climate change, it is of primary importance to understand the species response to climate (habitat tracking or adaptation). In this study we investigated the evolutionary history of the climatic niche between and within closely related tropical tree species of the Erythrophleum genus (Fabaceae, Caesalpinioideae): E. ivorense, E. suaveolens and E. africanum. Two major hypotheses, the refuge theory and the ecological gradient hypothesis, have been developed to explain the current distribution of tree clades across tropical Africa. To identify the speciation mechanisms, we used a combination of geographic data and environmental factors to quantify the degree of niche conservatism (or divergence). We used two sets of distribution data for the purpose of this study. Species distribution data for the whole of tropical Africa were gathered from herbarium records. Distribution data of the two sister species E. ivorense and E. suaveolens assigned to genetic cluster were available for the lowland tropical forests of western and central Africa. Using a Species Distribution Model (SDM) approach based on MaxEnt algorithm, we tested for the environmental differences (BIOCLIM data) between species and genetic clusters within species. We developed SDMs for each of the three Erythrophleum species (over the whole range) and for each of the five genetic clusters. We quantified the niche overlap using new niche similarity metrics. At species level, the climatic niches differed significantly and overlapped only sligthly, suggesting a parapatric speciation along a climatic gradient. Within the two sister species, the niche of the parapatric central African clusters strongly overlapped, suggesting a secondary contact following the recolonization from different forest refugia. The west African cluster however showed contrasted climatic niches possibly due to either recent (< 100 yrs) climate change in west Africa, or ongoing differentiation on the dry part of the climatic gradient. [less ▲]

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See detailEnrichment of Logging Gaps with a High Conservation Value Species (Pericopsis elata) in a Central African Moist Forest
Ouedraogo, Dakis-Yaoba ULg; Fayolle, Adeline ULg; Daïnou, Kasso ULg et al

in Forests (2014), 5(12), 3031-3047

In central Africa, most of the timber species require high light at the seedling stage for survival and growth. Forest managers face a regeneration shortage of these light-demanding timber species. To ... [more ▼]

In central Africa, most of the timber species require high light at the seedling stage for survival and growth. Forest managers face a regeneration shortage of these light-demanding timber species. To achieve long-term sustainability, there is a need for enrichment methods combining low cost and high species performance. The aim of this study was to assess the performance of Pericopsis elata seedlings in enriched logging gaps in Cameroon. Over five years; the survival and size of each seedling was monitored in 27 logging gaps that were either left without maintenance or cleared. Gaps were relatively small with an average total area of 155 m2. We found that planted seedlings of P. elata performed well in logging gaps. Even without any maintenance 61% of the planted seedlings survived after five years with an average annual diameter increment of 0.28 cm. P. elata appeared to be a good candidate species for enrichment in logging gaps. We demonstrated that the seedlings of P. elata tolerated a wide range of soil conditions but that their performance was strongly influenced by light availability (gap clearance), suggesting potentially improved performance of P. elata in high light environments such as in plantation or larger gaps. [less ▲]

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See detailModelling the future range and productivity of African tree species. Perspectives and limits
Hambuckers, Alain ULg; Dury, Marie ULg; Tosso, Dji-ndé Félicien ULg et al

Poster (2014, June)

There remains a lack of information on the future of plant species in many parts of Africa under the threads of climate change with the exception of the mountainous areas. Models are valuables tools to ... [more ▼]

There remains a lack of information on the future of plant species in many parts of Africa under the threads of climate change with the exception of the mountainous areas. Models are valuables tools to examine this problem because they permit to extrapolate basic information as simple as species occurrence coming from a restricted number of localities to the entire continent. Niche-based models, like logistic regression or MaxEnt, easily allow fitting empirical relationships between environmental variables related to climate and possibly to soil properties. They produce probabilities of occurrence for the present with good accuracy (calibration phase). Projections for the future are made by switching the explanatory data set with future conditions. These models however are limited by the fact that it is difficult to integrate physiological response to increasing CO2 air concentration. Dynamic vegetation models (DVMs) are process-based models that simulate plant environment (soil water, light intensity at various heights, etc.) and plant physiology (transpiration, CO2 fixation, photosynthesis, respiration, carbon allocation, etc.) from climate variables, soil properties, and elevation. They could be run at various scales, from global to regional or even local scale, and simulate the growth of plant functional types (PFTs), of biological affinity groups (BAGs) or of species. A model like CARAIB is able to simulate PFTs and BAGs growth (occurrence and productivity) with rather good accuracy for Western Europe. For the future, the simulations confirm that the physiological effect of CO2 concentration change is dramatic but not easily foreseeable because it depends on overall fertility of the sites (Dury et al., iForest – Biogeosciences and Forestry, 4:82-99, 2011). From this conclusion, spatial and temporal variations of fertility would have to be introduced in modelling studies to reach more operational conclusions. Questions arising about the future of ecosystem services in tropical countries highlight particular plant species (BIOSERF project funded by the Belgian Science Policy: Sustainability of tropical forest biodiversity and services under climate and human pressure). In this study, we model a set of 11 selected African tree species including several Congolese species with logistic regression, MaxEnt and CARAIB models. The two niche-based-models rather properly simulate the ranges obtained with the alpha-hull polygon method. CARAIB correctly simulates the range of the evergreen species but not of the deciduous trees. We examine how physiological knowledge could be use to improve the model. IN particular, we conclude that bud dormancy breaking representation has to be upgraded in the model because this process is likely to control the range of the species. It should act in combination with the specific bioclimatic constants controlling the hydrological and thermal stress and the germination. Additionally, we examine the evolution of the ranges at the 2050 horizon using one of the most recent socio-economic scenarios. [less ▲]

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

Conference (2014, April 30)

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

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

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See detailModelling the Congo basin ecosystems with a dynamic vegetation model
Dury, Marie ULg; Hambuckers, Alain ULg; Trolliet, Franck ULg et al

Conference (2014, April)

The scarcity of field observations in some parts of the world makes difficult a deep understanding of some ecosystems such as humid tropical forests in Central Africa. Therefore, modelling tools are ... [more ▼]

The scarcity of field observations in some parts of the world makes difficult a deep understanding of some ecosystems such as humid tropical forests in Central Africa. Therefore, modelling tools are interesting alternatives to study those regions even if the lack of data often prevents sharp calibration and validation of the model projections. Dynamic vegetation models (DVMs) are process-based models that simulate shifts in potential vegetation and its associated biogeochemical and hydrological cycles in response to climate. Initially run at the global scale, DVMs can be run at any spatial scale provided that climate and soil data are available. In the framework of the BIOSERF project (“Sustainability of tropical forest biodiversity and services under climate and human pressure”), we use and adapt the CARAIB dynamic vegetation model (Dury et al., iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, 4:82-99, 2011) to study the Congo basin vegetation dynamics. The field campaigns have notably allowed the refinement of the vegetation representation from plant functional types (PFTs) to individual species through the collection of parameters such as the specific leaf area or the leaf C:N ratio of common tropical tree species and the location of their present-day occurrences from literature and available database. Here, we test the model ability to reproduce the present spatial and temporal variations of carbon stocks (e.g. biomass, soil carbon) and fluxes (e.g. gross and net primary productivities (GPP and NPP), net ecosystem production (NEP)) as well as the observed distribution of the studied species over the Congo basin. In the lack of abundant and long-term measurements, we compare model results with time series of remote sensing products (e.g. vegetation leaf area index (LAI), GPP and NPP). Several sensitivity tests are presented: we assess consecutively the impacts of the level at which the vegetation is simulated (PFTs or species), the spatial resolution and the initial land cover (potential or human-induced). First, we show simulations over the whole Congo basin at a 0.5◦ spatial resolution. Then, we present high-resolution simulations (1 km) carried out over different areas of the Congo basin, notably the DRC part of the WWF Lake Tele – Lake Tumba Landscape. Studied in the BIOSERF project, this area is characterized by a forest-savannah mosaic but also by swamp and flooded forest. In addition, forward transient projections of the model driven with the outputs of about thirty global cli- mate models (GCMs) from the new Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) will permit to outline the likely response of carbon pools to changing climate over the Congo basin during the 21th century. [less ▲]

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See detailModelling the Congo basin ecosystems with a dynamic vegetation model
Dury, Marie ULg; Hambuckers, Alain ULg; Trolliet, Franck ULg et al

Poster (2014, April)

The scarcity of field observations in some parts of the world makes difficult a deep understanding of some ecosystems such as humid tropical forests in Central Africa. Therefore, modelling tools are ... [more ▼]

The scarcity of field observations in some parts of the world makes difficult a deep understanding of some ecosystems such as humid tropical forests in Central Africa. Therefore, modelling tools are interesting alternatives to study those regions even if the lack of data often prevents sharp calibration and validation of the model projections. Dynamic vegetation models (DVMs) are process-based models that simulate shifts in potential vegetation and its associated biogeochemical and hydrological cycles in response to climate. Initially run at the global scale, DVMs can be run at any spatial scale provided that climate and soil data are available. In the framework of the BIOSERF project (“Sustainability of tropical forest biodiversity and services under climate and human pressure”), we use and adapt the CARAIB dynamic vegetation model (Dury et al., iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, 4:82-99, 2011) to study the Congo basin vegetation dynamics. The field campaigns have notably allowed the refinement of the vegetation representation from plant functional types (PFTs) to individual species through the collection of parameters such as the specific leaf area or the leaf C:N ratio of common tropical tree species and the location of their present-day occurrences from literature and available database. Here, we test the model ability to reproduce the present spatial and temporal variations of carbon stocks (e.g. biomass, soil carbon) and fluxes (e.g. gross and net primary productivities (GPP and NPP), net ecosystem production (NEP)) as well as the observed distribution of the studied species over the Congo basin. In the lack of abundant and long-term measurements, we compare model results with time series of remote sensing products (e.g. vegetation leaf area index (LAI), GPP and NPP). Several sensitivity tests are presented: we assess consecutively the impacts of the level at which the vegetation is simulated (PFTs or species), the spatial resolution and the initial land cover (potential or human-induced). First, we show simulations over the whole Congo basin at a 0.5◦ spatial resolution. Then, we present high-resolution simulations (1 km) carried out over different areas of the Congo basin, notably the DRC part of the WWF Lake Tele – Lake Tumba Landscape. Studied in the BIOSERF project, this area is characterized by a forest-savannah mosaic but also by swamp and flooded forest. In addition, forward transient projections of the model driven with the outputs of about thirty global cli- mate models (GCMs) from the new Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) will permit to outline the likely response of carbon pools to changing climate over the Congo basin during the 21th century. [less ▲]

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

Scientific conference (2014, March 26)

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

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

Conference (2014, February 27)

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

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

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

Scientific conference (2014, February 14)

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

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See detailSoil Seed Bank : a poorly know component of forest regeneration
Douh, Chauvelin ULg; Daïnou, Kasso ULg; Fernandez Pierna, Juan-Antonio et al

Poster (2014, February)

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