|Reference : Conservation of endangered plant communities: a study case of ecosystem reconstruction i...|
|Scientific congresses and symposiums : Unpublished conference|
|Life sciences : Environmental sciences & ecology|
|Conservation of endangered plant communities: a study case of ecosystem reconstruction in Katanga (DRC)|
|Lebrun, Julie [Université de Liège - ULg > Forêts, Nature et Paysage > Biodiversité et Paysage >]|
|Handjila, Guylain [ > > ]|
|Bizoux, Jean-Philippe [Université de Liège - ULg > Forêts, Nature et Paysage > Biodiversité et Paysage >]|
|Seleck, Maxime [Université de Liège - ULg > Forêts, Nature et Paysage > Biodiversité et Paysage >]|
|Malaisse, François [Université de Liège - ULg > Forêts, Nature et Paysage > Biodiversité et Paysage >]|
|Mahy, Grégory [Université de Liège - ULg > Forêts, Nature et Paysage > Biodiversité et Paysage >]|
|7th International Conference on Serpentine Ecology|
|12-16 June 2011|
|University of Coimbra, Portugal|
|[en] The Katangan copper-cobalt deposits (Democratic Republic of Congo) are part of the Central African Copperbelt, one of the world’s greatest metallogenic province. The ore comes to the surface in a series of hills isolated in the miombo woodland. These unique ecosystems present high metals concentration levels where a specific vegetation develops. Flora comprises more than 600 species from which 30 are endemics. Due to the recent revival of mining activities in the region, copper plant communities of Katanga and their associated flora are now critically threatened.
Tenke Fungurume Mining sarl (TFM), an important mining company operating in Katanga, has developed a Biological Diversity Action Plan (BDAP) to conserve copper-cobalt flora and mitigate potential species extinction risk. One of the most original BDAP tasks is an ecosystem reconstruction experiment that should preserve plant communities representative of the diversity found on the exploited hill and to provide the plant material for further post-exploitation restoration. From December 2007 to April 2009, full vegetation blocks were translocated with their soil mat on an adequate mineral substrate of 1500m². Since 2008, the artificial ecosystem is monitored every year. Three communities were successfully recreated. A total of 144 species were found in the ecosystem which represents more than 80% of the original species richness. The reconstructed ecosystem seems to favour the most tolerant species to copper. This first experience shows that ecosystem reconstruction is successful and may be used as a strategy to conserve copper-cobalt plant communities in their habitat.
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