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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 detailSoil seed bank characteristics in Cameroonian rainforests and implications for post-logging recovery
Daïnou, Kasso ULg; Bauduin, Aline ULg; Bourland, Nils ULg et al

in Ecological Engineering (2011), 37(10), 1499-1506

The soil seed bank is considered as an important component for resilience of climacic vegetation. No investigation has ever been conducted in Central African rainforests regarding this topic. We studied ... [more ▼]

The soil seed bank is considered as an important component for resilience of climacic vegetation. No investigation has ever been conducted in Central African rainforests regarding this topic. We studied the soil seed bank characteristics in relation to the standing vegetation in three Cameroonian forest zones with different disturbance regimes. There was no significant difference between sites in terms of density of the seed bank. But dissimilarities of the floristic compositions between sites were high. Overall, seeds came from 43 species including three commercial tree species. Whereas the seedlings emerging from soil samples mostly came from weedy and short-lived pioneer species, climax species predominated in the extant vegetation, leading to a very weak similarity between soil seed flora and the surrounding vegetation. Canopy openness could significantly affect the species richness of soil seed stocks but not the seed density. These results show that the soil seed bank contribution to the resilience of mature tropical forests is low. In particular, very few timber tree species could benefit from soil seed stocks for their regeneration. Therefore, the development of enrichment techniques including use of the soil seed bank as a source of tree regeneration in such a context would be irrelevant. [less ▲]

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See detailSeasonal productivity of a periphytic algal community for biofuel feedstock generation and nutrient treatment
Sandefur, HN; Matlock, MD; Costello, TA et al

in Ecological Engineering (2011), 37

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