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

in Scientific Papers. Series A. Agronomy (in press)

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

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

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

in Scientific Papers. Series A. Agronomy (in press)

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

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

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

in Plant Ecology and Evolution (in press)

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

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

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

in Entomologie Faunistique = Faunistic Entomology (2015), 68

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

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

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

Conference (2015, May 23)

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

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

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

Poster (2015, March 15)

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

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

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

Conference (2015, March 04)

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

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

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

Poster (2015, January 30)

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

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

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

Poster (2015, January 30)

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

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

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

Conference (2015)

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

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

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See detailEtude de la flore spontanée de la carrière de Loën pour de futures restaurations - Résultats
Pitz, Carline ULg; Mahy, Grégory ULg; Monty, Arnaud ULg et al

Conference given outside the academic context (2014)

Ce projet a pour objectif de caractériser la flore recolonisant spontanément les zones xériques non exploitées récemment de la carrière de Loën, du point de vue de la diversité spécifique et de la ... [more ▼]

Ce projet a pour objectif de caractériser la flore recolonisant spontanément les zones xériques non exploitées récemment de la carrière de Loën, du point de vue de la diversité spécifique et de la fonctionnalité écologique. Les communautés végétales ont été caractérisées au sein du site de Loën (diversité alpha) et d’un ensemble d’autres carrières représentatives de la diversité des contextes géographiques des carrières calcaires en Région Wallonne (diversité béta). L’étude a montré que, sur des laps de temps de plusieurs décennies, un processus de succession écologique s’est mis en place au sein du site de Loën, mais que cette succession ne tend pas vers une formation typique de pelouse sèche. Les explications peuvent être d’une part, que la disponibilité et l’apport de graines de pelouses sèches avoisinantes est insuffisant, et d’autre part, que le contexte abiotique pourrait être plus favorable à d’autres types de végétations herbacées. Cette étude illustre que des expériences de semis seraient souhaitable afin de définir les objectifs de restauration de la carrière de Loën et des carrières qui se trouvent dans des situations comparables. [less ▲]

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See detailDisentangling the sources of phenotypic variation in Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.: the role of seed traits
Ortmans, William ULg; Monty, Arnaud ULg; Mahy, Grégory ULg

Poster (2014, November 03)

When invading new environments, a plant invader may express new phenotypes as a result of different ecological and genetic processes. It includes phenotypic plasticity, local adaptation, environmental ... [more ▼]

When invading new environments, a plant invader may express new phenotypes as a result of different ecological and genetic processes. It includes phenotypic plasticity, local adaptation, environmental maternal effects, and genetic drift. The quantification of each of these factors is crucial in the study of biological invasions. Ambrosia artemisiifolia L. invasion success is strongly linked to seed characteristics (dispersal by human activities, long-lived soil seed bank, etc.). Known as an opportunist and a colonizer, the species is often limited by the competition from other plants. In the early stages of development, the seedlings can be quickly outcompeted and a rapid growth is therefore a major advantage. First, this study aims to analyze the seed traits variation, and to detect an impact of these traits on the early development of the seedling (environmental maternal effect). Second, we aimed to quantify the respective role of phenotypic plasticity, environmental maternal effect, local adaptation and genetic drift on seedlings phenotype. Variability of seeds from 3 geographical zones (Belgium – Centre of France – South of France) was assessed. We measured the seed variation in mass, length, width, circularity, and pigmentation. Seeds were disposed in growth chamber under two temperature treatments. After two months, we compared seedling phenotypic variation in germination time, height, aboveground biomass, belowground biomass, early competitive performance, and the final leaf area. We found a high variability of seed traits. Seeds were varying significantly among zones, populations, and parents, with more than 30% of the variation attributable to the mother plant identity. The main sources of seedling phenotypic variation appeared to be phenotypic plasticity and environmental maternal effect. No genetic differentiation was detected in this study. Seed mass was positively correlated to seedling biomass, early competitive performance, and the final leaf area. The relevance of traits reflecting environmental maternal effect is discussed. Phenotypic plasticity and seed characteristics appear to play a major role in the invasion success. [less ▲]

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See detailVegetative Regeneration Capacities of Five Ornamental Plant Invaders After Shredding
Monty, Arnaud ULg; Eugène, Marie; Mahy, Grégory ULg

in Environmental Management (2014)

Vegetation management often involves shredding to dispose of cut plant material or to destroy the vegetation itself. In the case of invasive plants, this can represent an environmental risk if the ... [more ▼]

Vegetation management often involves shredding to dispose of cut plant material or to destroy the vegetation itself. In the case of invasive plants, this can represent an environmental risk if the shredded material exhibits vegetative regeneration capacities. We tested the effect of shredding on aboveground and below-ground vegetative material of five ornamental widespread invaders in Western Europe that are likely to be managed by cutting and shredding techniques: Buddleja davidii (butterfly bush, Scrophulariaceae), Fallopia japonica (Japanese knotweed, Polygonaceae), Spiraea x billardii He´rincq (Billard’s bridewort, Rosaceae), Solidago gigantea (giant goldenrod, Asteraceae), and Rhus typhina L. (staghorn sumac, Anacardiaceae). We looked at signs of vegetative regeneration and biomass production, and analyzed the data with respect to the season of plant cutting (spring vs summer), the type of plant material (aboveground vs below-ground), and the shredding treatment (shredded vs control). All species were capable of vegetative regeneration, especially the belowground material. We found differences among species, but the regeneration potential was generally still present after shredding despite a reduction of growth rates. Although it should not be excluded in all cases (e.g., destruction of giant goldenrod and staghorn sumac aboveground material), the use of a shredder to destroy woody alien plant material cannot be considered as a general management option without significant environmental risk. [less ▲]

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See detailEtude de la flore spontanée de la carrière de Loën pour de futures restaurations - Rapport final
Pitz, Carline ULg; Mahy, Grégory ULg; Monty, Arnaud ULg et al

Report (2014)

Ce projet a pour objectif de caractériser la flore recolonisant spontanément les zones xériques non exploitées récemment de la carrière de Loën, du point de vue de la diversité spécifique et de la ... [more ▼]

Ce projet a pour objectif de caractériser la flore recolonisant spontanément les zones xériques non exploitées récemment de la carrière de Loën, du point de vue de la diversité spécifique et de la fonctionnalité écologique. Les communautés végétales ont été caractérisées au sein du site de Loën (diversité alpha) et d’un ensemble d’autres carrières représentatives de la diversité des contextes géographiques des carrières calcaires en Région Wallonne (diversité béta). L’étude a montré que, sur des laps de temps de plusieurs décennies, un processus de succession écologique s’est mis en place au sein du site de Loën, mais que cette succession ne tend pas vers une formation typique de pelouse sèche. Les explications peuvent être d’une part, que la disponibilité et l’apport de graines de pelouses sèches avoisinantes est insuffisant, et d’autre part, que le contexte abiotique pourrait être plus favorable à d’autres types de végétations herbacées. Cette étude illustre que des expériences de semis seraient souhaitable afin de définir les objectifs de restauration de la carrière de Loën et des carrières qui se trouvent dans des situations comparables. [less ▲]

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See detailLocusts and Grasshoppers: Future Foods?
Paul, Aman ULg; Frederich, Michel ULg; Uyttenbroeck, Roel ULg et al

Scientific conference (2014, May 08)

Consuming locusts and grasshoppers as food is not a new concept, because some people have been doing it for a long time and there are many references in the religious literature to support this. About 80 ... [more ▼]

Consuming locusts and grasshoppers as food is not a new concept, because some people have been doing it for a long time and there are many references in the religious literature to support this. About 80 locust and grasshopper species are consumed worldwide, and the large majority of grasshopper species are edible. From the nutritional point of view they are an excellent source of proteins, lipids and other minor components like vitamins and minerals. They are an excellent source of amino acids and their lipids contain a large majority of unsaturated fatty acids. Environmentalists have supported human consumption of grasshoppers owing to the facts that they usually appear as pests. Using them as food could help reduce their population and result in limited application of harmful pesticides. Their production usually generates lesser amount of greenhouse gases & ammonia; a lower amount of water is required for their production in comparison to conventional proteins sources. Some species of grasshoppers usually feed on dead organic matter, this reduces the environmental load. In the developing world, catching of grasshoppers and selling them for human consumption has played a key role in improving the livelihood of women and underprivileged children. Eating grasshopper and locust is not a very common practice in temperate areas. However it is a very common practice in the tropical areas of world because of the higher density, bigger size of the insect and yearlong availability in such areas. To encourage their consumption in temperate areas, it is now necessary to perform accurate research regarding food safety (minor components, toxicity, allergens,…) but also to develop value added products to make it easier for people to adapt with entomophagy. Furthermore we have to develop methods for commercial production and organize awareness campaigns to explain about the nutritional and other benefits related to locust & grasshopper consumption as food to people. [less ▲]

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See detailNo performance reduction at the present northern edge of Ambrosia artemisiifolia L. invasion range
Ortmans, William ULg; Chauvel, Bruno; Monty, Arnaud ULg et al

Conference (2014, May 05)

Plant populations at range edges may exhibit reduction of performances and fitness. In the case of biological invasions, such a reduction could be associated with a slowing down of the spread and explain ... [more ▼]

Plant populations at range edges may exhibit reduction of performances and fitness. In the case of biological invasions, such a reduction could be associated with a slowing down of the spread and explain the non-naturalization of a species outside its present invasion range. Common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.) is an ideal model to investigate such processes, since it is invasive in France but not naturalized in northern countries, such as Belgium and the Netherlands. In this study, we test if the performances of ragweed populations vary among different invasion zones. Three populations were selected in each of four invasion zones in Western Europe: 1) French invasion area; 2) northern and 3) southern invasion edges; and 4) outside the invasion area (Belgium and Netherlands). Field performances (growth, reproduction, stress resistance) were recorded on 25 plants per population. Furthermore, the competition by the native flora was assessed around each plant. Generalized Linear Models were used to compare performance among invasion zones and populations, with competition as covariate. Regressions were also performed to assess the influence of climatic data on population performances. No evidence of decreasing performances was found at the edges of the invasion area, neither outside of it, suggesting that the invasion front has the potential to keep going northwards. Competition by native flora had a significant impact on stress resistance, but did not decrease reproduction or growth. These results are discussed in the light of other ongoing experiments in Belgium. [less ▲]

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See detailAlien plant species along watercourses in the Natura 2000 network
Monty, Arnaud ULg; Aimont, Hélène; Mahy, Grégory ULg

Conference (2014, May)

Natura 2000 is the centerpiece of EU nature and biodiversity policy. It is a European wide network of nature protection areas aiming at assuring the long-term survival of Europe's most valuable and ... [more ▼]

Natura 2000 is the centerpiece of EU nature and biodiversity policy. It is a European wide network of nature protection areas aiming at assuring the long-term survival of Europe's most valuable and threatened species and habitats. However, alien plants do not stop their spread at the border of protection areas and invasive plants are reported to threaten aquatic and riparian ecosystems. Our study aimed at assessing the plant invasion threat along watercourses within the Natura 2000 in Southern Belgium. A stratified random sampling, based on the natural region and the size of the watershed, was conducted. 187 sections of watercourses bank were visited between May and September 2013. For all recorded alien species, data were collected about local abundance, competitive impacts, regeneration potential and ecological conditions. 51 alien species were observed. Some were widespread (e.g. Impatiens glandulifera, with 17 % of linear banks invaded) whereas others were either rare or considered emergent alien species. Emergent species, showing low occurrence but high impact index, are appropriate target species for early detection programs and preventive management actions. Analyses showed that typical riparian species’ occurrence increased with the size of the watershed, indicating propagule pressure within protected areas through hydrochory. No link could be established between the presence of disturbance(s) and alien species in the considered N2000 sites. [less ▲]

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See detailEtude de la flore spontanée de la carrière de Loën pour de futures restaurations
Pitz, Carline ULg; Mahy, Grégory ULg; Monty, Arnaud ULg et al

Conference given outside the academic context (2014)

This project aims to characterize the flora that spontaneously recolonize non recently exploited areas in one group quarry (Loën) from the point of view of species diversity and ecological functionality ... [more ▼]

This project aims to characterize the flora that spontaneously recolonize non recently exploited areas in one group quarry (Loën) from the point of view of species diversity and ecological functionality. Plant communities will be compared with observed plant communities characterized in longest abandoned quarries in the same regions (same pool of potential species) and known plant communities of the dry grassland habitats reference. The project will establish the potential for restoration of dry grasslands in the study site and established for the quarry studied the basic principles of future restoration plans. [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)

Detailed reference viewed: 30 (3 ULg)