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See detailAssessment of the functional role of tree diversity: the multi-site FORBIO experiment
Verheyen, Kris; Ceunen, Kris; Ampoorter, Evy et al

in Plant Ecology and Evolution (2013), 146(1), 26-35

Context – During the last two decades, functional biodiversity research has provided strong support for the hypothesis that more biodiverse ecosystems have the potential to deliver more and better ... [more ▼]

Context – During the last two decades, functional biodiversity research has provided strong support for the hypothesis that more biodiverse ecosystems have the potential to deliver more and better services. However, most empirical support for this hypothesis comes from simple structured communities that are relatively easy to manipulate. The impact of forest biodiversity on forest ecosystem functioning has been far less studied. Experiment design – In this paper, we present the recently established, large-scale FORBIO experiment (FORest BIOdiversity and Ecosystem Functioning), specifically designed to test the effects of tree species diversity on forest ecosystem functioning. FORBIO’s design matches with that of the few other tree diversity experiments worldwide, but at the same time, the FORBIO experiment is unique as it consists of a similar experimental set-up at three sites in Belgium (Zedelgem, Hechtel-Eksel and Gedinne) with contrasting edaphic and climatological c haracteristics. This design will help to provide answers to one of the most interesting unresolved questions in functional biodiversity research, notably whether the effects of complementarity on ecosystem functioning decrease in less stressful and more productive environments. At each site, FORBIO consists of 41 to 44 plots (127 plots in total) planted with monocultures and mixtures up to four species, selected from a pool of five site-adapted, functionally different tree species. When allocating the treatments to the plots, we maximally avoided any possible covariation between environmental factors. Monitoring of ecosystem functioning already started at the Zedelgem and Gedinne sites and will start soon in Hechtel-Eksel. Multiple processes are being measured and as the trees grow older, we plan to add even more processes. Expected results – Not only basic science, but also forest management will benefit from the results coming from the FORBIO experiment, as FORBIO is, for instance, also a test case for uncommon, not well-known tree species mixtures. To conclude, FORBIO is an important ecosystem experiment that has the potential to deliver badly needed insights into the multiple relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, which will be valuable for both science and practice. [less ▲]

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See detailAssessment of the health status of wild fish inhabiting a cotton basin heavily impacted by pesticides in Benin (West Africa).
Agbohessi, Prudencio T.; Imorou Toko, Ibrahim; Ouedraogo, Alfred et al

in The Science of the total environment (2014)

To determine the impact of agricultural pesticides used in cotton cultivation on the health status of fish living in a Beninese cotton basin, we compared the reproductive and hepatic systems of fish ... [more ▼]

To determine the impact of agricultural pesticides used in cotton cultivation on the health status of fish living in a Beninese cotton basin, we compared the reproductive and hepatic systems of fish sampled from rivers located in both contaminated and pristine conditions. Different types of biomarkers, including biometric indices (a condition factor K, a gonadosomatic index GSI, and a hepatosomatic index HSI), plasma levels of sex steroids (11-ketotestosterone 11-KT, testosterone T and estradiol-17beta E2) and the histopathology of the gonads and liver, were investigated for two different trophic levels of the following two fish species: the Guinean tilapia Tilapia guineensis and the African catfish Clarias gariepinus. The fish were captured during both the rainy season (when there is heavy use of pesticides on cotton fields) and the dry season from one site, in Pendjari River (reference site), which is located outside the cotton-producing basin, and from three other sites on the Alibori River within the cotton-producing basin. Comparing fish that were sampled from contaminated (high levels of endosulfan, heptachlor and DDT and metabolites) and reference sites, the results clearly indicated that agricultural pesticides significantly decreased K and GSI while they increased HSI, regardless of the season, species and sex of the fish. These pesticides also induced a decrease in the plasma levels of 11-KT and T and increased those of E2. The histopathology of the testes revealed, in both species, a high rate of testicular oocytes, up to 50% in the African catfish, downstream of the Alibori River, which indicated estrogenic effects from the pesticides. The disruption of male spermatogenesis primarily included necrosis, fibrosis and the presence of foam cells in the lobular lumen. The histopathology of the ovaries revealed high levels of pre-ovulatory follicular atresia, impaired oogenesis, a decrease in the oocyte vitellogenic diameter and other lesions, such as fibrosis, vacuolation and melano-macrophagic centers. The histopathology of the liver revealed the presence of necrosis, hypertrophic hepatocytes, foci of vacuolation, glycogen depletion and hemosiderin. An assessment of the general health of the fish indicated that all of the sampled fish from the polluted sites were in poorer health compared with those from the reference site but that the African catfish appeared much more affected than the Guinean tilapia, regardless of the sex and season. In conclusion, the overall results indicated that agricultural pesticides significantly impair the endocrine regulation of fish living in the Beninese cotton basin and that this would most likely be one of the causes of the severe damage observed in the liver and gonads and the reduced health condition. [less ▲]

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See detailAssessment of the importance of the carbonate pump in surface waters of the Bay of Biscay
Harlay, Jérôme ULg; Chou, Lei; Dedonder, Virginie et al

Poster (2003, January 07)

Marine carbon research in the past decade has been mainly devoted to the understanding and quantification of processes controlling the fluxes of organic matter in the ocean. Little attention has been paid ... [more ▼]

Marine carbon research in the past decade has been mainly devoted to the understanding and quantification of processes controlling the fluxes of organic matter in the ocean. Little attention has been paid until now to the particulate inorganic carbon whose net fluxes to the sediments are comparable to those of the organic matter. There remains still a large uncertainty in the production and the fate of biogenic calcium carbonate in the oceanic carbon cycle. In the framework of the Belgian global change programme, we have developed a project devoted to the study of the inorganic carbon cycle in the Bay of Biscay where coccolithophorid blooms occur frequently. The study focuses on processes associated with the oceanic production and dissolution of calcium carbonate, by combining field investigations, laboratory experiments and modelling efforts. The rate of primary production and of calcification by phytoplankton is evaluated by 14C incubation experiments during a coccolithophorid bloom-forming period in the area of investigation. The relative production of organic matter and calcium carbonate in the photic zone along a transect from the continental shelf across the slope to deep waters will be presented. A tentative mass balance of the carbon fluxes for this area will be constructed. These preliminary results confirm the importance that the calcium carbonate pump may play in open ocean. [less ▲]

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See detailAssessment of the Influence of Inflammation and FCGR3A Genotype on Infliximab Pharmacokinetics and Time to Relapse in Patients with Crohn's Disease.
Ternant, David; Berkane, Zahir; Picon, Laurence et al

in Clinical pharmacokinetics (2014)

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Infliximab is a monoclonal anti-tumor necrosis factor-alpha (anti-TNFalpha) antibody that profoundly modified the treatment of Crohn's disease (CD). The polymorphism of Fc ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Infliximab is a monoclonal anti-tumor necrosis factor-alpha (anti-TNFalpha) antibody that profoundly modified the treatment of Crohn's disease (CD). The polymorphism of Fc fragment of IgG, low affinity IIIa, receptor (CD16a) [FCGR3A] influences the biological response to infliximab in patients with CD. Our aim was to study its influence on infliximab pharmacokinetics and risk of relapse after infliximab discontinuation. METHODS: In 111 CD patients in remission, infliximab was discontinued and its concentrations were measured for 30 months or until relapse. Infliximab pharmacokinetics were described using monocompartmental population modeling. RESULTS: The elimination rate of infliximab increased with C-reactive protein (CRP) [p = 0.00018] and was 16 % higher in FCGR3A-158V/V patients than in F carriers (p = 0.0028). Risk of relapse was higher in patients with baseline CRP >/=5 mg/L than in those with a lower value (p = 0.0000029). In addition, there was a first-order interaction between CRP and the FCGR3A genotype; in patients with high CRP, risk of relapse was higher for V/V patients than for F carriers (hazard ratio 4.80 and 2.84 for V/V and F carriers, respectively; p = 0.013). CONCLUSION: Both increased inflammation and FCGR3A-158V/V genotype are associated with increased infliximab elimination and risk of relapse after infliximab discontinuation in patients with CD. [less ▲]

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See detailAssessment of the long term changes of the SES ecosystem
Grégoire, Marilaure ULg

Conference (2011, April)

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See detailAssessment of the long term changes of the SES ecosystem
Grégoire, Marilaure ULg

Conference (2009, November)

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See detailAssessment of the NeQuick model at mid-latitudes using GNSS TEC and ionosonde data
Bidaine, Benoît ULg; Warnant, René

in Advances in Space Research (2010), 45(9), 1122-1128

The modelling of the Total Electron Content (TEC) plays an important role in global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) accuracy, especially for single-frequency receivers, the most common ones ... [more ▼]

The modelling of the Total Electron Content (TEC) plays an important role in global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) accuracy, especially for single-frequency receivers, the most common ones constituting the mass market. For the latter and in the framework of Galileo, the NeQuick model has been chosen for correcting the ionospheric error contribution and will be integrated into a global algorithm providing the users with daily updated information. In order to reach the ionosphere error correction level objective, the model itself as well as its use for Galileo are investigated. In our comparison process, we take advantage of various ionosphere data from several European stations (Dourbes in Belgium, El Arenosillo and Roquetes in Spain) where ionosonde and GPS TEC data are available for different solar activity levels. These data allow us to study NeQuick representation of the ionosphere at mid-latitudes. Constraining the model with ionosonde measurements, we investigate the difference between GPS-derived vertical TEC and corresponding values from NeQuick for a high solar activity level (year 2002). With this approach, we reach residual errors of less than 20% in standard deviation. We especially highlight the improvements from the latest (second) version of NeQuick and show the critical importance of the topside formulation. [less ▲]

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See detailAssessment of the NeQuick Model at Mid-latitudes using GPS TEC and Ionosonde Data
Bidaine, Benoît ULg; Warnant, René ULg

Conference (2007, July 11)

The ionosphere plays a crucial role in GNSS accuracy. In extreme cases, this electrically charged part of the atmosphere can lead to errors in positioning exceeding 100m. At first approximation, the ... [more ▼]

The ionosphere plays a crucial role in GNSS accuracy. In extreme cases, this electrically charged part of the atmosphere can lead to errors in positioning exceeding 100m. At first approximation, the ionospheric effect depends on the frequency of the incident signal and on the total content in free electrons of the ionosphere (“total electron content”, TEC) which is the integral of the electron density on the path between the satellite and the receiver. The modelling of this parameter reveals then itself to be critical in particular for single-frequency receivers, the most common ones constituting the mass market, but also for multiple-frequency devices which will comprise a fallback mode in single frequency within the framework of critical applications such as civil aviation where the level of precision must be guaranteed in all circumstances. The NeQuick model, which has been chosen for correcting the ionospheric error contribution in GALILEO single frequency users, calculates the electron density at a given point of the ionosphere according to the time conditions and the solar activity. This electron density can be integrated along the path from the receiver to the considered satellite to provide the TEC. The NeQuick model depends on a parameter Az (“effective ionization level”) which will be daily updated by the GALILEO ground stations to give the solar activity information to the model. In order to reach the ionosphere error correction level objective (70% or 20 TECu whichever is larger), the model itself as well as its use for GALILEO are investigated. Different situations have to be considered: different latitude regions (space conditions), different hours, seasons and years (time conditions) and specific phenomena appearance (magnetic storms, Travelling Ionospheric Disturbances – TIDs). In addition the results can be compared to different data sets among which GPS slant or vertical TEC measurements, Global Ionospheric Maps, ionosonde profiles, topside soundings but also other ionosphere models results such as IRI. As a first step in a thorough comparison process, we take benefit of various ionosphere data from the Dourbes Observatory (Belgium) where ionosonde and GPS TEC data are available on a period of more than one solar cycle, to study the mid-latitudes. We first investigate the difference between GPS-derived vTEC for Dourbes station and vTEC values from NeQuick for the latest years (between solar maximum in 2000 and minimum in 2006) in order to observe the temporal dependencies towards Universal Time, season and solar activity. The paper analyses the different situations when NeQuick fails to represent TEC in an adequate way to provide an efficient correction for navigation. Ionosonde measurements will help in the interpretation of these situations. [less ▲]

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See detailAssessment of the NeQuick Model at Mid-latitudes using GPS TEC and Ionosonde Data
Bidaine, Benoît ULg; Warnant, René ULg

in First Colloquium Scientific and Fundamental Aspects of the Galileo Programme (2007, October)

The ionosphere plays a crucial role in Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) accuracy. In extreme cases, this electrically charged part of the atmosphere can lead to errors in positioning exceeding ... [more ▼]

The ionosphere plays a crucial role in Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) accuracy. In extreme cases, this electrically charged part of the atmosphere can lead to errors in positioning exceeding 100 $m$. At first approximation, ionospheric effects depend mainly on the total content in free electrons of the ionosphere ("total electron content", TEC). The modelling of the latter parameter reveals thus itself critical in particular for single frequency receivers, the most common ones constituting the mass market. In the framework of GALILEO, the NeQuick model has been chosen to this extent and will be integrated into a global algorithm providing the users with daily updated information. In order to reach the specified correction level, the model itself and its latest evolutions as well as its use for GALILEO are investigated. As a first step in a thorough analysis, we take benefit of ionosonde and GPS TEC data from the Dourbes Geophysical Observatory (Belgium) to study the mid-latitudes. Constraining the model with ionosonde measurements, we first investigate the difference between GPS-derived vertical TEC (vTEC) for Dourbes station and corresponding values from NeQuick for the latest years for solar maximum in 2002 and minimum in 2006. With this approach, we reach residual errors of about 20% RMS for 2002 and 30% for 2006. Through a focusing process, we identify then gradually best and worst months and days for which we observe the evolution between two versions of NeQuick. We highlight among others improvements from the latest modification in the topside formulation which appears clearly in the electron density profiles examined at the end of the assessment. [less ▲]

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See detailAssessment of the new immunological test Hemoblot for detecting occult blood in faeces
Jeanson, Antoinette; Jamart, J.; Maisin, J. M. et al

in European Journal of Cancer Prevention (1994), 3(5), 407-412

Hemoblot, a new immunological faecal occult blood test, produced by Gamma, Angleur, Belgium, was characterized and compared with another immunological test (HemeSelect, SmithKline Diagnostics, USA) and ... [more ▼]

Hemoblot, a new immunological faecal occult blood test, produced by Gamma, Angleur, Belgium, was characterized and compared with another immunological test (HemeSelect, SmithKline Diagnostics, USA) and with a guaiac test (Hemoccult II, SmithKline Diagnostics). The analytical sensitivity of Hemoblot is 0.15 mg haemoglobin/g faeces and the test is specific for human haemoglobin. In addition, 135 symptomatic patients who had to undergo a colonoscopy were tested using the three tests. Two criteria were considered for the analysis: (1) the blood criterion: any pathology likely to cause colorectal or other bleeding; and (2) the precancerous-cancerous criterion: the pathology being either a colorectal polyp > 0.5 cm or a colorectal cancer. Considering both criteria, the sensitivity of Hemoblot was significantly higher than the sensitivity of Hemoccult: 38% and 23%, respectively, for the blood criterion; and 54% and 29% for the precancerous-cancerous criterion. Sensitivity and specificity did not differ statistically between Hemoblot and HemeSelect but Hemoblot was faster and simpler to perform. It could be widely used in mass screening. [less ▲]

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See detailAssessment of the night weather parameters and their use in forecasting model of leaf rust.
El Jarroudi, Moussa ULg; Giraud, Frédéric; Delfosse, Philippe et al

Conference (2010, August 07)

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See detailAssessment Of The Night Weather Parameters And Their Use In Forecasting Model Of Wheat Leaf Rust.
El Jarroudi, Moussa ULg; Giraud, Frédéric; Delfosse, Philippe et al

in Phytopathology (2010), (100), 32

A stochastic model was developed to predict the wheat leaf rust (Puccinia triticina Eriks.) severity (percentage of leaf area with symptoms showing uredinia) in four-replicated field experiments located ... [more ▼]

A stochastic model was developed to predict the wheat leaf rust (Puccinia triticina Eriks.) severity (percentage of leaf area with symptoms showing uredinia) in four-replicated field experiments located in three villages (Diekirch district: Reuler; Grevenmacher district: Burmerange and Christnach), representative of the different agroclimatological zones of Luxembourg. The model was elaborated by the analysis of the night weather and leaf rust incidence. Statistical validation using regression analysis reports a strong correlation between the number of hours with specific meteorological conditions and the percentage leaf area covered by brown rust lesions for the two upper and youngest leaves, which are mostly responsible for photosynthesis activity and assimilates production filling the grains. The development of the brown rust requires a period of at least twelve consecutive hours with temperatures between 8 and 16°C and a relative humidity (RH) greater than 60%, with optimal values lying between 12 and 16°C and RH greater than 80%. <br />During the 2004 to 2009 period, at four sites, the linear regression between simulated and observed values for Puccinia triticina was highly significant (P < 0.01) and R2 (coefficient of determination) explained 80 to 85% of the variability. Efforts are now being developed to better define thresholds for fungicide applications and to spatialize the outputs of the model over the entire Luxembourg territory. [less ▲]

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See detailAssessment of the oxidant-antioxidant blood balance in a field exercise test in Standardbred and eventing horses
De Moffarts, Brieuc; Kirschvink, Nathalie; van Erck, Emmanuelle et al

in Equine & Comparative Exercise Physiology (2005), 2(4), 253-261

The aim of this study was to determüie which oxidant-antioxidant blood markers are of interest for a field exercise test (ET) performed on a racetrack. Healthy Standardbred herses (S: n = 12) and healthy ... [more ▼]

The aim of this study was to determüie which oxidant-antioxidant blood markers are of interest for a field exercise test (ET) performed on a racetrack. Healthy Standardbred herses (S: n = 12) and healthy eventing horses (E: n = 12) were investigated. Exercice was monitored by measuring velocity (V), heart rate (HR), and plasma lactate (LA). Whilst maximal LA did sot Biffer (11.8 ± 0.88 mmoll-1), maximal V (S: 12.3 ± 0.17ms-1 versus E: 11.1 ±0.24ms-1, P < 0,05) and final HR (S: 222 ±1 versus E: 203 ± 8 beats min-1, P < 0.03) were significantly différent between groups. Venous was collected at rest (R) prior to ET and The following oxidant-antioxidant markers were detennitted: uric acid (UA), ascorbic acid (AA), alpha-tocopherol (Vit E). vitamin A (Vit A), superoxide cüsmutase (SOB), glutaYhione peroxidase (GPx), glutathione (reduced: GSH and oxidized: GSS(r), glutathione redox ratio (GRR), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn) and sélénium (Se), uxidized proteins (Protox), lipid prrosides (Pool), antioxidant capacity of water-soluble comporteras (ACW) and antioxidant capacity of lipid-soluble components (ACW). The following markers were further determined 15 min (E15) after the ET:UA, ACW; AA, GSH, Proton, Pool, ACL. Standardbreds had significantly higher concentrations of ACW, GSH, ACL and Protox, whilst Se, Zn and SOI) were significantly lover than in eventing horses. Exercice induced a significant increase in ACW and UA. GSH decreaced in eventing horses and Pool significantly decreased in both horse groups. This study describes a field ET of high intensity for Standardbred and eventing horses, which could be performed by all animals tested. By sampling blond al rest and at E15, changes of thé hydrophilic antioxidant defence were partially assessed, whereas no interpretable changes of the lipophilic antioxidants and of oxidation markers (Protox, Pool) could be detected [less ▲]

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See detailThe assessment of the past decades based on modelling and data analysis: some examples
Grégoire, Marilaure ULg; Gorsky, G.; Sesame participants, .

Conference (2010, May)

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See detailAssessment of the present state of the Aral Sea
Mikhailov, V.N.; Kravtsova, V.I.; Gurov, F.N. et al

in Seria 5, Geografia 6 (2001)

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See detailAssessment of the processes controlling the seasonal variations of dissolved inorganic carbon in the North Sea
Bozec, Y.; Thomas, H.; Schiettecatte, L. S. et al

in Limnology & Oceanography (2006), 51(6), 27462762

We used a seasonal North Sea data set comprising dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2), and inorganic nutrients to assess the abiotic and biological processes governing the ... [more ▼]

We used a seasonal North Sea data set comprising dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2), and inorganic nutrients to assess the abiotic and biological processes governing the monthly variations of DIC. During winter, advection and air–sea exchange of CO2 control and increase the DIC content in the surface and deeper layers of the northern and central North Sea, with the atmosphere supplying CO2 on the order of 0.2 mol C m22 month21 to these areas. From February to July, net community production (NCP) controls the seasonal variations of DIC in the surface waters of the entire North Sea, with a net uptake ranging from 0.5 to 1.4 mol C m22 month21. During the August–December period, NCP controls the seasonal variations of DIC in the southern North Sea, with a net release ranging from 0.5 to 0.8 mol C m22 month21. Similarly, during the April–August period in the deeper layer of the northern North Sea, the NCP was the main factor controlling DIC concentrations, with a net release ranging from 0.5 to 5.5 mol C m22 month21. In the surface layer of the North Sea, NCP on the basis of DIC was 4.3 6 0.4 mol C m22 yr21, whereas, NCP on the basis of nitrate was 1.6 6 0.2 mol C m22 yr21. Under nutrient-depleted conditions, preferential recycling (extracellular) of nutrients and intracellular mechanisms occurred and were responsible for the non-Redfield uptake of DIC versus nitrate and phosphate. [less ▲]

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See detailAssessment of the risk of cardiovascular diseases in women with increased risk of osteoporosis
Tancredi, Annalisa ULg; Bosio-Le Goux, B.; Reginster, Jean-Yves ULg

in Osteoporosis International (2003, November), 14(Suppl. 7), 89

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