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See detailAssessment of the ecological status of Mediterranean French coastal waters as required by the Water Framework Directive using the Posidonia oceanica Rapid Easy Index: PREI
Gobert, Sylvie ULg; Sartoretto, Stéphane; Rico-Raimondino, Valérie et al

in Marine Pollution Bulletin (2009), 58

This paper describes the PREI (Posidonia oceanica Rapid Easy Index), a method used to assess the ecological status of seawater along Mediterranean French coasts. The PREI was drawn up according to the ... [more ▼]

This paper describes the PREI (Posidonia oceanica Rapid Easy Index), a method used to assess the ecological status of seawater along Mediterranean French coasts. The PREI was drawn up according to the requirements of the Water Framework Directive (WFD 2000/60/EC) and was tested on 24 and 18 stations in PACA (Provence-Alpes-Côtes d’Azur) and Corsica respectively. The PREI is based on five metrics: shoot density, shoot leaf surface area, E/L ratio (Epiphytic biomass/leaf biomass), depth of lower limit, and type of this lower limit. The 42 studied stations were classified in the first four levels of status: high, good, moderate and poor. The PREI values ranged between 0.280 and 0.847; this classification is in accordance with our field knowledge and with our knowledge of the literature. The PREI was validated regarding human pressure levels (r²= 0.74). (http://eurex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2000:327:0001:0072:EN:PDF) [less ▲]

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See detailAssessment of the ecological status of P. oceanica meadow with a no destructive shoot method
Gobert, Sylvie ULg; Lejeune, Pierre ULg; Chéry, Aurélia et al

in Proceedings of the Mediterranean Seagrass Workshop 2012 (2012, June)

Posidonia oceanica (L.) Delile is a protected species, included in the Red list of marine threatened species of the Mediterranean. Because of its sensitivity to disturbance, P. oceanica is used as a ... [more ▼]

Posidonia oceanica (L.) Delile is a protected species, included in the Red list of marine threatened species of the Mediterranean. Because of its sensitivity to disturbance, P. oceanica is used as a bioindicator to define the health status of coastal waters. Monitoring methods generally require to sample plants, followed by measurements on picked shoots. This implies the total destruction of several tens of shoots. This study presents a method, “The Non Destructive Shoot Methodology”: NDSM, that permits the measurement of (1) the most used seagrass metrics, (2) the determination of C, N, P contents and (3) the measurement of the trace metal levels in P. oceanica leaves. Our technic has been firstly tested by comparison with the results obtained with classic method of biometry. Secondly, differences between levels of C, N, P and trace metals obtained with classic picking and our methodology were tested. Thirdly, the physiological consequences on the shoots were investigated (% of survival, growth, essential element contents (C, N, P, Fe, Cu...). The NDSM gives similar results to classic investigations to assess the ecological status of P. oceanica meadow (i.e. PREI, BiPO...) and avoid the uprooting of the “K-strategist” protected species. This methodology is usable in cases of monitoring and impact studies. [less ▲]

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See detailAssessment of the Effect of Micro-Simulation Error on Key Travel Indices: Evidence from the Activity-Based Model FEATHERS
Cools, Mario ULg; Kochan, Bruno; Bellemans, Tom et al

in Proceedings of the 90th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board (DVD-ROM) (2011)

Current transportation models often do not explicitly address the degree of uncertainty in travel forecasts. Of particular interest in activity-based travel demand models is the model uncertainty that is ... [more ▼]

Current transportation models often do not explicitly address the degree of uncertainty in travel forecasts. Of particular interest in activity-based travel demand models is the model uncertainty that is caused by the statistical distributions of random components, i.e. micro-simulation error. Therefore, the main objective of this paper is to assess the impact of micro-simulation error on two key travel indices, namely the average daily number of trips per person and the average daily distance traveled per person. The effect of micro-simulation error will be investigated by running the activity-based modeling framework FEATHERS 200 times using the same 10% fraction of the population. Results show that micro-simulation errors are limited especially when disaggregation is limited to two levels. Notwithstanding, results indicate that for more elaborate analyses a 10% fraction might not be sufficient. The size of micro-simulation error increases along with complexity. Moreover, more commonly used transport modes such as using the car as driver have a lower error rate. Further research should investigate the impact of the population fraction on the micro-simulation error rates. Besides, one could also investigate other aspects (e.g. the number of activities) involved in the activity-scheduling process. [less ▲]

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See detailAssessment of the effect of small-scale TEC gradients on DPN-GPS applications using a system of colors
Warnant, René ULg; Lejeune, Sandrine; Pottiaux, Eric

Report (2003)

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See detailAssessment of the effects of tree species diversity on forest biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (FORBIO) - Final Report
Verheyen, Kris; Carnol, Monique ULg; Branquart, Etienne et al

Report (2010)

Forests are biodiversity hotspots worldwide with 70% of terrestrial biodiversity being included in forested landscapes. However, deforestation, forest degradation and fragmentation lead to an increasing ... [more ▼]

Forests are biodiversity hotspots worldwide with 70% of terrestrial biodiversity being included in forested landscapes. However, deforestation, forest degradation and fragmentation lead to an increasing rate of species extinctions. Hence, predicting the consequences of changes in species numbers, in distribution patterns of taxa, and of shifts in dominance, has become a major challenge for community and ecosystem ecology. However, until now the relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in forests have been largely underexplored Therefore, the overall aims of the BELSPO cluster project FORBIO are: to review, synthesize and disseminate existing knowledge about the benefits and drawbacks of mixed stands vs monocultures (WP1); and to establish a highly innovative, large-scaled forest biodiversity experiment to evaluate the impact of increasing tree diversity on forest ecosystem functioning (WP2). To achieve the first objective, a so-called ‘white paper’ has been compiled by the FORBIO team members which has been published in Dutch as a special issue of the BosRevue and in French as a special issue of Forêt Wallone. Among stakeholders, many different opinions exist about the functioning of mixed forests and therefore the scientific evidence was confronted with stakeholder perceptions on ecosystem services in mixed forests compared to monocultures. The principal outcome was that stakeholders appear to have quite strong opinions on the functioning of mixed vs monoculture stands, whereas the review of the scientific literature highlighted the lack of specific information on forest ecosystem services in mixed forests compared to monocultures, in particular from studies where confounding factors can be eliminated or accounted for. The second objective was met by establishing two large-scaled tree diversity experiments in Zedelgem (Flanders) and Gedinne (Wallonia). Based on a state-of-the-art experimental design, 32 810 and 33 304 trees of five different species were planted in 42 and 44 experimental plots in Zedelgem and Gedinne, respectively. A third experiment with a similar design will be established in Hecthel-Eksel (Flanders) in 2011. FORBIO’s short-term contributions to sustainable development are mainly related to the fact that the project has introduced the state-of-the-art concepts and empirical support on the various relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning to a large audience of forest owners, managers, users and scientists in Belgium. In the long-run, FORBIO will significantly contribute to a better understanding of the importance of tree species diversity for the functioning of forest ecosystems and the ecosystem services that they provide thanks to the establishment of the two (and soon three) large-scaled tree diversity experiments. Furthermore, the experiments, embedded in the worldwide TreeDivNetwork, will most likely continue to act as an attractor for researchers from Belgium and abroad. [less ▲]

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See detailAssessment of the Electric and Magnetic field levels in the vicinity of the HV overhead power lines in Belgium.
Hoeffelman, Jean; Decat, Gilbert; Lilien, Jean-Louis ULg et al

in Conférence Internationale des Grands Réseaux Electriques à Haute Tension - CIGRE (2004, August)

Maximum exposure levels in the vicinity of HV power lines in Belgium.

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See detailAssessment of the entering stock, migration dynamics and fish pass fidelity of european eel in the belgian meuse river
Nzau Matondo, Billy ULg; Benitez, Jean-Philippe ULg; Dierckx, Arnaud ULg et al

in River Research & Applications (2016)

Migration dynamics of incoming eels in Belgium via Lixhe in the Meuse River were investigated using two fish passes with different configurations— net traps and automatic detection stations—as tools to ... [more ▼]

Migration dynamics of incoming eels in Belgium via Lixhe in the Meuse River were investigated using two fish passes with different configurations— net traps and automatic detection stations—as tools to distinguish resident and migrating eels. From April to September 2013, 435 eels (P50 length, 403 mm; range, 196–836 mm) were caught (daily maxima catch, 90 eels per day), 90% between 13 June and 1 August (50 days) and P50 on 19 July. Eels migrated mostly at 19–26 °C (P50, 24.4 °C), river discharge 65–314m3 s 1 (P50, 84m3 s 1), during the dark at 00:00–05:00 h and during both the waxing and waning phases of moonlight. From 396 eels tagged and released 0.3 km downstream of the Lixhe dam, 6.8% of them were recaptured, and 37.4% were detected. Migration flux was estimated at 7184 eels (0.863 t) using the markrecapture method and decreased to 1156 eels (0.139 t) using automatic transponder detection. Most eels probably migrated through a sluice located downstream of Lixhe to reach the upper Meuse via the Albert Canal. Eels moved almost independently to the configuration of the fish passes and their location, but most eels displayed fidelity to the fish pass where they were captured. Migrant eels showed a wide range of size and life stages, with a higher proportion of eels (80%) belonging to the yellow eel stage. A lower proportion of eels (6%) had a larger size and presented an advanced continental silvering process corresponding to the migrating stage before their transatlantic migration. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [less ▲]

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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 (2015), 506-507

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 (2015)

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 long-term effect of vaccination on transmission of infectious bovine rhinotracheitis virus in cattle herds hyperimmunized with glycoprotein E-deleted marker vaccine
Ampe; Duchateau, L.; Speybroeck, N. et al

in American Journal of Veterinary Research (2012), 73

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