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See detailPotential of copper-tolerant grasses to implement phytostabilisation strategies on polluted soils in South D. R. Congo: Poaceae candidates for phytostabilisation
Boisson, Sylvain ULg; Le Stradic, Soizig ULg; Collignon, Julien et al

in Environmental Science and Pollution Research (in press)

Phytostabilisation (i.e. using plants to immobilise contaminants) represents a well-known technology to hamper heavy metal spread across landscapes. In Katanga (D. R. Congo), Microchloa altera, a tolerant ... [more ▼]

Phytostabilisation (i.e. using plants to immobilise contaminants) represents a well-known technology to hamper heavy metal spread across landscapes. In Katanga (D. R. Congo), Microchloa altera, a tolerant grass from the copper hills, was recently identified as a candidate species to stabilise copper in the soil. More than 50 grasses compose this flora, which may be studied to implement phytostabilisation strategies. However, little is known about their phenology, tolerance, reproductive strategy or demography. The present study aims to characterize the other Poaceae that may be used in phytostabilisation purposes based on the following criteria: their ecological distribution, seed production at two times, abundance, soil coverage and the germination percentage of their seeds. We selected seven perennial Poaceae that occur on the copper hills. Their ecological distributions (i.e. species response curves) have been modelled along copper or cobalt gradients with generalized additive models using logic link based on 172 presence/absence samples on three sites. For other variables, a total of 69 quadrats (1 m2) were randomly placed across three sites and habitats. For each species, we compared the number of inflorescence-bearing stems (IBS) by plot, the percentage of cover, the number of seeds by IBS and the estimated number of seeds by plot between sites and habitat. Three species (Andropogon schirensis, Eragrostis racemosa and Loudetia simplex) were very interesting for phytostabilisation programs. They produced a large quantity of seeds and had the highest percentage of cover. However, A. schirensis and L. simplex presented significant variations in the number of seeds and the percentage of cover according to site. [less ▲]

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See detailEdaphic niches of metallophytes from southeastern Democratic Republic of Congo: implications for post-mining restoration
Boisson, Sylvain ULg; Monty, Arnaud ULg; Lebrun, Julie et al

in Journal for Nature Conservation (2016)

In southeastern D. R. Congo, about 550 metallophytes grow on soils with high copper and cobalt concentrations, 57 of which are endemics to these metalliferous environments. About 70% of those endemics are ... [more ▼]

In southeastern D. R. Congo, about 550 metallophytes grow on soils with high copper and cobalt concentrations, 57 of which are endemics to these metalliferous environments. About 70% of those endemics are considered threatened by destruction of habitats through mining activities. To provide guidelines for future restoration programs, the edaphic ecological niches of eight copper endemics were studied using a pragmatic sampling method adapted for urgent conservation needs. Niches were modelled using violin plot along Cu, Co and C:N gradients representing the two main independent edaphic gradients among nine edaphic variables (C, N, C:N, K, P, pH, Co, Cu, and Mn). Copper endemics presented distinct edaphic niches along the copper and cobalt gradients, but differentiation was lower along the C:N gradient. In addition, edaphic elements presented covariations among them and metalliferous soils had higher nutrient and element content compared to the non-metalliferous soils of the region dominated by the Miombo woodland. The complexity of the soil composition and the edaphic niches of copper endemics revealed an important challenge in the implementation of the species conservation and the habitat restoration strategies of post-mining sites. [less ▲]

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See detailDeveloping biodiversity indicators on a stakeholders' opinions basis: the gypsum industry Key Performance Indicators framework.
Pitz, Carline ULg; Mahy, Grégory ULg; Vermeulen, Cédric ULg et al

in Environmental Science and Pollution Research (2015)

Aims: To establish a common Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) framework for reporting about the gypsum industry biodiversity at the European level. Methods: In order to integrate different opinions and to ... [more ▼]

Aims: To establish a common Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) framework for reporting about the gypsum industry biodiversity at the European level. Methods: In order to integrate different opinions and to reach a consensus framework, an original participatory process approach has been developed among different stakeholder groups: Eurogypsum, European and regional authorities, universities scientists, consulting offices, European and regional associations for the conservation of nature and the extractive industry. The strategy is developed around four main steps: (i) building of a maximum set of indicators to be submitted to stakeholders based on the literature (Focus Group method); (ii) evaluating the consensus about indicators through a policy Delphi survey aiming at the prioritization of indicator classes using the Analytic Hierarchy Process method (AHP) and of individual indicators; (iii) testing acceptability and feasibility through analysis of Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) and visits to three European quarries; (iv) Eurogypsum final decision and communication. Results: The resulting framework contains a set of 11 indicators considered the most suitable for all the stakeholders. Conclusions: Our KPIs respond to European legislation and strategies for biodiversity. The framework aims at improving sustainability in quarries and at helping to manage biodiversity as well as to allow the creation of coherent reporting systems. The final goal is to allow for the definition of the actual biodiversity status of gypsum quarries and allow for enhancing it. The framework is adaptable to the local context of each gypsum quarry. [less ▲]

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See detailChallenges for the restoration of dry calcareous grasslands in quarries: does nature need help?
Pitz, Carline ULg; Piqueray, Julien; Harzé, Mélanie ULg et al

Conference (2015, August 26)

In order to maximize the biodiversity potential of dry calcareous grasslands in former quarries two options are available to managers: (i) allow species to spontaneously recolonize the site, (ii ... [more ▼]

In order to maximize the biodiversity potential of dry calcareous grasslands in former quarries two options are available to managers: (i) allow species to spontaneously recolonize the site, (ii) implement technical support for ecosystem restoration. This study aimed at characterizing the spontaneous communities established in dry area of unexploited quarries and at comparing communities encountered to the succession panel of dry grasslands. To evaluate the ecological succession in quarries, three successional stages where defined: (i) less than three years; (ii) three to 20 years; and (iii) more than 20 years after exploitation. For each successional stage, six parcels were selected and 20 1m2 plots were randomly marked in each parcel. All selected parcels presented dry grasslands abiotic conditions: filtering and stony soils and south orientation. During the 2014 vegetation period, percentage cover of higher plant species was recorded in each plot. Explaining environmental variables including coordinates, altitude, slope (degrees), soil depth, exposure, maximum vegetation height, bare ground cover, moss cover, and shrub cover (%) were measured. Our main results showed that, over decades of time, the ecological succession in dry area of unexploited quarries does not approach a typical formation of dry calcareous grassland. Most recolonizations tended to form meadows communities, except for three sites belonging to a specific landscape context. Potential implications for future quarries restoration will be discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailPromoting quarries biodiversity through partnerships: a Belgian case study
Seleck, Maxime ULg; Harzé, Mélanie ULg; Pitz, Carline ULg et al

Conference (2015, August 25)

Throughout the life cycle of quarries, a large diversity of temporary habitats is generated, sometimes left to evolve to more permanent ones. In many cases, the biological roles of quarries are neglected ... [more ▼]

Throughout the life cycle of quarries, a large diversity of temporary habitats is generated, sometimes left to evolve to more permanent ones. In many cases, the biological roles of quarries are neglected though they are playing a significant role as stepping-stones and regulating green infrastructure in landscapes. In highly urbanized and controlled landscapes, quarries are an exceptional opportunity to maintain rare and threatened transient habitats hosting fugitive species. Such ephemeral biodiversity is hard to manage through a site legal protection status. As exploitation progresses, more permanent, biodiverse habitats settle in abandoned areas but the biologic potential could also be maximized by optimized groundwork through the whole exploitation process. Exploitation plans taking into consideration biodiversity could allow maximizing quarry biodiversity hosting capacity during the exploitation phase and in further rehabilitation schemes. Since 2012 Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech (University of Liège) provides support to FEDIEX - the Belgian federation of extractive industries – in its implementation of a sectorial charter on “Quarries and Biodiversity” that aims at i) raising members’ awareness; ii) promoting the integration of practical recommendations for the protection and management of biodiversity in exploitation plans; iii) quarries’ personnel trainings. Our presentation will trace realizations undertaken under this collaboration, among which the “Mr/Ms Biodiversity” training organized in 2013, 2014 and 2015, the publication of folders popularising the management and enhancement of nature in active quarries and the collaboration in the redaction of a “LIFE in Quarries” project (LIFE Biodiversity) submitted for the 2014 LIFE call. [less ▲]

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See detailPromoting quarries biodiversity through partnerships: a Belgian case study
Seleck, Maxime ULg; Lussis, Benoit; Harzé, Mélanie ULg et al

Conference (2015, June 17)

Throughout the life cycle of quarries, a large diversity of temporary habitats is generated, sometimes left to evolve to more permanent ones. In many cases, the biological roles of quarries are neglected ... [more ▼]

Throughout the life cycle of quarries, a large diversity of temporary habitats is generated, sometimes left to evolve to more permanent ones. In many cases, the biological roles of quarries are neglected though they are playing a significant role as stepping-stones and regulating green infrastructure in landscapes. In highly urbanized and controlled landscapes, quarries are an exceptional opportunity to maintain rare and threatened transient habitats hosting fugitive species. Such ephemeral biodiversity is hard to manage through a site legal protection status. As exploitation progresses, more permanent, biodiverse habitats settle in abandoned areas but the biologic potential could also be maximized by optimized groundwork through the whole exploitation process. Exploitation plans taking into consideration biodiversity could allow maximizing quarry biodiversity hosting capacity during the exploitation phase and in further rehabilitation schemes. In 2012, FEDIEX - the Belgian federation of extractive industries - committed itself to a sectorial charter on “Quarries and Biodiversity”. The charter defines an action plan based on three main axes: i) raising members’ awareness; ii) promoting the integration of practical recommendations for the protection and management of biodiversity in exploitation plans; iii) quarries’ personnel trainings. Since 2012 FEDIEX engaged in a partnership with Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech (University of Liège). Our presentation will trace realizations undertaken under this collaboration, among which the “Mr/Ms Biodiversity” training organized in 2013, 2014 and 2015, the publication of folders popularising the management and enhancement of nature in active quarries and the collaboration in the redaction of a “LIFE in Quarries” project (LIFE Biodiversity) submitted for the 2014 LIFE call. [less ▲]

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See detailCopperflora – an online species-level database of biology, ecology, geography of the flora from the Katangan Copperbelt (D.R. Congo) to manage their conservation
Boisson, Sylvain ULg; Seleck, Maxime ULg; Le Stradic, Soizig ULg et al

Poster (2015, May 21)

Storage and accessibility to structured data are essential in all fields of scientific research. In ecology, conservation managers regularly use thousands qualitative and quantitative data from different ... [more ▼]

Storage and accessibility to structured data are essential in all fields of scientific research. In ecology, conservation managers regularly use thousands qualitative and quantitative data from different partners and studies. In recent years, online databases concerning climate, species traits and distribution have been developed but few offer a comprehensive tool for the management of species conservation at several steps. The Copperflora database was created in order to include a diversity of informations about species (taxonomy, habitats, phenology, pictures, distribution, etc.) but also information concerning seeds collection, conservation, monitoring and tests applied to target species. Copperflora is meant to be an interactive and a dynamic project enhancing the exchange of data. Our project also contributes to the advance in the understanding of metallophyte communities’ conservation and restoration projects. Our database structure is expected to be easily transferable to other conservation actions. [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 detailComparison of translocation methods to conserve metallophyte communities in the Southeastern D.R. Congo
Le Stradic, Soizig ULg; Seleck, Maxime ULg; Lebrun, Jean ULg et al

in Environmental Science and Pollution Research (2015)

In southeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, unique metallophyte communities supporting numerous endemic species occurred on the highly mineralized copper cobalt (Cu–Co) hills throughout the province ... [more ▼]

In southeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, unique metallophyte communities supporting numerous endemic species occurred on the highly mineralized copper cobalt (Cu–Co) hills throughout the province. These hills are economically valuable mineral reserves; mining activities represent therefore a threat to the long-term persistence of these communities. Ex situ conservation program was set up by a mining company to rescue and conserve the diversity of Cu–Co communities until restoration activities are initiated. Two kinds of Cu–Co communities: the steppe and the steppic savanna, were translocated using topsoil spreading and whole-turf translocation. In this study, we assessed the effectiveness of these two techniques in conserving Cu–Co communities and their potential use in future restoration programs. More than 2 years after the translocation, whole-turf translocation appeared to be the better technique for ex situ conservation of endemic Cu–Co species. Not only did whole-turf successfully translocate numerous target species that were not present in the topsoil areas, but it also resulted in fewer ruderal and non-target species compared to topsoil spreading. Topsoil spreading recorded low seedling emergence from seed bank due to large proportions of dormant seeds or the absence of a seed bank, especially for the steppic savanna. Restoration of the steppe is currently more successful than for steppic savanna where the lack of dominant and structuring species likely contributed to divergence in species composition compared to reference ecosystem. Our study stresses the fact that tropical old-growth grasslands, which require probably several centuries to assemble, are difficult to restore or translocate. © 2015 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg [less ▲]

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See detailImplication of plant-soil relationships for conservation and restoration of copper-cobalt ecosystems
Faucon, M.-P.; Le Stradic, Soizig ULg; Boisson, Sylvain ULg et al

in Plant and Soil (2015)

Background: Chemical soil factors play an important role in generating and maintaining plant diversity. Naturally metal-enriched habitats support highly distinctive plant communities consisting of many ... [more ▼]

Background: Chemical soil factors play an important role in generating and maintaining plant diversity. Naturally metal-enriched habitats support highly distinctive plant communities consisting of many rare and endemic species. Species of these plant communities possess remarkable physiological adaptations and are now being considered key elements in the implementation of green technologies aimed at phytoremediation of contaminated soils and post-mined soils. Several studies have emphasised that industrial mineral extraction results in serious damage to ecosystems and serious threats to human health and leads to the extinction of metallophyte species. In the southeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), mining activities represent a threat to the long-term persistence of communities located on metalliferous copper and cobalt outcrops and their associated endemic metallophytes, which are currently considered some of the most critically endangered plants in the world. Scope: Plant diversity conservation of metal-rich soils must assess soil-plant relationships at different scales (ecosystems, communities, and populations) to define in-situ and ex-situ conservation and restoration projects. This paper proposes a review of soil-plant relationships involved in plant diversity and endemism and their implications for biodiversity conservation and restoration. © 2015 Springer International Publishing Switzerland [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 detailPlant functional traits as a promising tool for the ecological restoration of degraded tropical metal-rich habitats and revegetation of metal-rich bare soils: A case study in copper vegetation of Katanga, DRC
Ilunga wa Ilunga, Edouard; Mahy, Grégory ULg; Piqueray, Julien et al

in Ecological Engineering (2015), 82

Ecological restoration of degraded metal-rich habitats and bare metal-rich soils created by mining activities has nowadays become a major environmental issue to reduce mining impacts on the erosion of ... [more ▼]

Ecological restoration of degraded metal-rich habitats and bare metal-rich soils created by mining activities has nowadays become a major environmental issue to reduce mining impacts on the erosion of biodiversity and the degradation of landscape, soil and water.Studies based on species identification for restoration purposes without reference to plant trait are limited only to local pool of species which makes the interpretation and applications in various ecological contexts rather difficult. This study aims at trait analysis of metal-rich habitats in order to test the differences in plant traits in degraded primary habitat and along a successional gradient in secondary habitats. In this context, investigation of the existence of resilience or the need for ecological restoration is attempted. A second aim of this work is also the identification of traits candidates for appropriate species selection for revegetation of metal-rich bare soils purposes.Results showed that the cover of xylopodia trait values decreases according to the intensity of degradation among habitats, and can be considered an indicator of habitat degradation. Differences of traits values among primary and old secondary habitats highlighted that the absence of resilience of degraded primary steppic savanna was not explained by 14 soil factors measured.The main plant traits for revegetation of metal-rich bare soils are the following: annual life cycle, growth phenology in wet season, depth 0-10. cm of underground system. , bud bank by seeds, dispersule size <2. mm. ×. 2. mm and dispersal mode by adhesion.Future challenge would be to develop new functional ecosystem on metal-rich bare soils promoting biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services related to water and soil protection. This would require the association of species selected for revegetation and phytostabilization from plant traits occurring in secondary metalliferous habitats and species selected from plant traits specific to primary habitats. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. [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; Monty, Arnaud ULg; Piqueray, Julien 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 detailEtude de la flore spontanée de la carrière de Loën pour de futures restaurations - Rapport final
Pitz, Carline ULg; Piqueray, Julien; Harzé, Mélanie 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 detailRestoration of threatened metallophyte populations in Katanga (D.R. Congo): lessons learnt.
Le Stradic, Soizig ULg; Seleck, Maxime ULg; Le Brun, Julie et al

Conference (2014, August 05)

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

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

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See detailTopsoil and community translocation as a mean to restore metallophyte communities of katangan copper hills (D.R. Congo)
Seleck, Maxime ULg; Le Stradic, Soizig ULg; Lebrun, Julie et al

Conference (2014, August 04)

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

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

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

Conference (2014, August 04)

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

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

Detailed reference viewed: 78 (20 ULg)
See detailEtude de la flore spontanée de la carrière de Loën pour de futures restaurations
Pitz, Carline ULg; Monty, Arnaud ULg; Piqueray, Julien 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 ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 36 (15 ULg)