References of "Van Acker, Joris"
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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 detailDensity variations and their influence on carbon stocks: case-study on two Biosphere Reserves in the Democratic Republic of Congo
De Ridder, Maaike; de Haulleville, Thalès ULg; Kearsley, Elizabeth et al

Poster (2014, April 28)

It is commonly acknowledged that allometric equations for aboveground biomass and carbon stock estimates are improved significantly if density is included as a variable. However, not much attention is ... [more ▼]

It is commonly acknowledged that allometric equations for aboveground biomass and carbon stock estimates are improved significantly if density is included as a variable. However, not much attention is given to this variable in terms of exact, measured values and density profiles from pith to bark. Most published case-studies obtain density values from literature sources or databases, this way using large ranges of density values and possible causing significant errors in carbon stock estimates. The use of one single fixed value for density is also not recommended if carbon stock increments are estimated. Therefore, our objective is to measure and analyze a large number of tree species occurring in two Biosphere Reserves (Luki and Yangambi). Nevertheless, the diversity of tree species in these tropical forests is too high to perform this kind of detailed analysis on all tree species (> 200/ha). Therefore, we focus on the most frequently encountered tree species with high abundance (trees/ha) and dominance (basal area/ha) for this study. Increment cores were scanned with a helical X-ray protocol to obtain density profiles from pith to bark. This way, we aim at dividing the tree species with a distinct type of density profile into separate groups. If, e.g., slopes in density values from pith to bark remain stable over larger samples of one tree species, this slope could also be used to correct for errors in carbon (increment) estimates, caused by density values from simplified density measurements or density values from literature. In summary, this is most likely the first study in the Congo Basin that focuses on density patterns in order to check their influence on carbon stocks and differences in carbon stocking based on species composition (density profiles ∼ temperament of tree species). [less ▲]

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See detailExploring ancient charcoal archives in Central Africa
Hubau, Wannes; Morin-Rivat, Julie ULg; Van den Bulcke, Jan et al

Conference (2012, July)

Fossil pollen and charcoal fragments are preserved in lake sediments, in forest soils and in ancient human settlements, were they can be accompanied by artifacts. As such, vegetation history is remarkably ... [more ▼]

Fossil pollen and charcoal fragments are preserved in lake sediments, in forest soils and in ancient human settlements, were they can be accompanied by artifacts. As such, vegetation history is remarkably well archived and sometimes closely linked to cultural history. Direct evidence for Central African vegetation history has been mainly derived from pollen analysis, while the charcoal archive remains hardly explored. However, analysis of charred wood remains has proven worthwhile for palaeovegetation reconstructions in temperate and arid regions. One of the main challenges for charcoal identification in tropical regions is species diversity. Therefore we developed and present a transparent charcoal identification protocol within an umbrella database of species names and metadata, compiled from the on-line database of wood-anatomical descriptions (InsideWood), the database of the world’s largest reference collection of Central African wood specimens (RMCA, Tervuren, Belgium) and inventory and indicator species lists. We applied the protocol on radiocarbon dated charcoal collections sampled in the Mayumbe forest (Bas-Congo, DRCongo), in human settlements along the Aruwimi and Lomami rivers (Province Orientale, DRCongo), along the Sangha river (Sangha department, Republic of the Congo) and in Pallisco logging concessions (East Province of Cameroon). First charcoal identification results are promising and sometimes seem to be taxonomically more precise than pollen identification. However, next to opportunities, we also present some pitfalls when exploring ancient charcoal archives. [less ▲]

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See detailCoconut lumber for wood decks (Cocos nucifera L.):decay resistance against Basidiomycetes fungi
Jourez, Benoît ULg; Verheyen, Cécile; Van Acker, Joris

Conference (2011, May)

Since a couple of years, manufactured products of coconut wood for outdoor uses like wood decks have been proposed on the European market. These are presented as an alternative for traditional tropical ... [more ▼]

Since a couple of years, manufactured products of coconut wood for outdoor uses like wood decks have been proposed on the European market. These are presented as an alternative for traditional tropical timbers. In the past, coconut wood was neglected and burned for sanitary reasons and lack of interest at industrial scale. Plantation coconut trees at end of production of copra constitute a renewable resource with high added value. In order to convince the markets, natural durability for outdoor use, without preservative treatment, against wood destroying fungi characteristic of northern temperate regions is a major property that has to be checked. Natural durability of coconut lumber was tested in the laboratory according to the European standard EN 15083-1 against brown (Coniophora puteana) and white (Coriolus versicolor) rot decay basidiomycetes fungi. Beech wood specimens were used as virulence controls. Mass losses were determined after 16 weeks exposure. The results showed that tested coconut wood is very resistant to the brown rot fungus Coniophora puteana and resistant to the white rot fungus Coriolus versicolor. Mass loss and density of tested samples with C. versicolor are inversely related. In addition, the density shows a large variability in the test sample, more than 500 kg / m³. These results confirm that after a selection on density criteria, the natural durability of Coconut lumber is sufficient for outdoor application in use class 3 (based on European standard EN 335 and in line with EN 460). [less ▲]

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