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See detailVirus indexing and sanitation of international banana collection: insights from a 5-year collaborative effort
De Clerck, Caroline ULg; Parmenter, Kathleen; Vandenhouwe, Ines et al

Conference (2014, August 14)

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See detailContribution à l'exploration de la structure des sols par microtomographie aux rayons X : vers une amélioration de la modélisation hydropédologique
Beckers, Eléonore ULg

Doctoral thesis (2014)

The aim of this thesis is to tend towards a better representation of soil water horizontal fluxes in hydropedological modelling. Tillage practices result in soil structural modifications which impact soil ... [more ▼]

The aim of this thesis is to tend towards a better representation of soil water horizontal fluxes in hydropedological modelling. Tillage practices result in soil structural modifications which impact soil hydrodynamic behaviour. This study takes place in this context, aiming to understand these modifications using X-ray microtomography (µCT), which allows a more fundamental analysis of soil. Indeed, this tool becomes a key in the field of soil science, giving a direct insight of the internal structure of soil. Besides, anisotropy studies are still rare as tiresome, and this work shows that the current hydrological models are anyway unable to represent it correctly: when it is taken into account, it rests on the hypothesis of a simple ratio between vertical and horizontal conductivity functions. First, microtomography is used supplementary to usual methods for the establishment of hydrodynamic functions near saturation. We showed that the retention curve designed with µCT information is more realistic since it leads to a better estimation of unsaturated hydraulic conductivity. However, these results could be doubtful depending on the different µCT acquisition or processing choices and hypothesis. Particularly, the thresholding step is crucial. Consequently, we propose a new global thresholding method based on the visible part of soil sample porosity. This method has been tested and validated in the context of the present study. This step allows us to use microtomography results to increase our knowledge of soil structure. A principal component analysis on soil pores structural parameters confirms that connectivity, specific surface, volume and radius are key factors for the differentiation of soil horizons texturally similar but structurally different. Our results show that structural parameters have to be taken into account to improve hydropedological modelling, especially if pores orientation is considered. We described thus the relevant parameters that can be obtained with µCT and which could help to better model water fluxes in soil while discussing the remaining limits and uncertainties, about upscaling issues notably. [less ▲]

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See detailExactitude du positionnement numérique des axes de ruissellement dans les bassins versants agricoles
Ouedraogo, Mohamar ULg

Doctoral thesis (2014)

Des études récentes menées en Belgique estiment les dommages causés par les inondations et les coulées boueuses entre 12,5 et 122 millions d’euros par an pour les infrastructures publiques, et entre 1,6 ... [more ▼]

Des études récentes menées en Belgique estiment les dommages causés par les inondations et les coulées boueuses entre 12,5 et 122 millions d’euros par an pour les infrastructures publiques, et entre 1,6 et 16,5 millions d’euros par an pour les habitations. La carte des zones à risque potentiel de ruissellement concentré est l’un des outils mis en place par la Wallonie pour lutter contre ces phénomènes de plus en plus fréquents. Cependant, la résolution (10 × 10 m) du MNT utilisé pour extraire les axes de ruissellement est trop faible pour prendre en compte les détails de la microtopographie (travail du sol, résidus de cultures, cultures…) des parcelles agricoles. De plus, elle ne tient pas compte des incertitudes inévitables, présentes dans les données altimétriques utilisées. L’objectif de cette thèse est d’envisager l’utilisation des nouvelles technologies d’acquisition des données altimétriques de haute densité (plusieurs points/m²), i.e., le scanner laser terrestre (TLS) et la photogrammétrie à partir d’un véhicule non piloté (VNP) pour créer un modèle numérique de terrain (MNT) de meilleure exactitude et de haute résolution spatiale (maille de dimensions ± 1 x 1 m). Cela permet de tenir compte de la variabilité altimétrique des parcelles agricoles, et d’analyser son impact sur le positionnement numérique des axes de ruissellement. Dans un premier temps, un TLS et un VNP à voilure fixe ont été utilisés pour acquérir des données altimétriques sur un bassin versant agricole de 12 ha. Deux logiciels photogrammétriques ont permis de générer le MNTPSC (Agisoft PhotoScan) et le MNTMCM (MicMac) ; tandis que des traitements statistiques ont été nécessaires pour supprimer les erreurs systématiques présentes dans les nuages de points obtenus au TLS avant de les fusionner pour générer le MNTTLS. La comparaison des MNT avec des points de contrôle (GCP) positionnés au récepteur GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) en mode RTK (Real Time Kinematic) a montré que le MNTTLS est le plus exact avec un RMSE (Root Mean Square Error) de 4,5 cm, suivi par le MNTMCM et le MNTPSC avec des RMSE valant respectivement 9,0 et 13,9 cm. Dans un second temps, la méthode de Monte Carlo a été utilisée pour générer à partir du MNTTLS, des MNT équiprobables. L’extraction des axes de ruissellement à partir des MNT équiprobables a permis de définir pour chaque maille du MNT, la probabilité d’appartenir à l’axe de ruissellement, et de définir une zone contenant l’axe de ruissellement extrait du MNTTLS avec une probabilité définie. Une telle zone peut être utilisée pour la mise en place de solutions telles que les bandes et les chenaux enherbés. La comparaison des algorithmes de suppressions des dépressions fermées d’une part, et des algorithmes d’extraction de la direction de l’eau d’autre part, a montré peu de différence au niveau de la probabilité d’appartenance des mailles à l’axe de ruissellement lorsque le MNT est de haute résolution spatiale (± 1 m). Enfin, les analyses statistiques ont montré que les altitudes des GCP utilisés dans la méthode de Monte Carlo sont influencées par l’état d’ameublissement et par la rugosité des sols des parcelles agricoles. Les études futures, e.g., à l’échelle de la Wallonie, devront prendre en compte l’impact de ces erreurs. [less ▲]

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See detailBarley (Hordeum distichon L.) roots produce volatile aldehydes via the lipoxygenase/hydroperoxide lyase pathway with a strong age-dependent pattern
Delory, Benjamin ULg; Delaplace, Pierre ULg; du Jardin, Patrick ULg et al

Conference (2014, August 13)

In chemical ecology, the roles played by root-emitted volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in biotic interactions and the quantitative analysis of such chemicals in root tissues remain poorly documented. In ... [more ▼]

In chemical ecology, the roles played by root-emitted volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in biotic interactions and the quantitative analysis of such chemicals in root tissues remain poorly documented. In this context, this study aims at using a fully automated gas chromatography – mass spectrometry methodology allowing both identification and accurate quantification of VOCs produced by roots of a monocotyledonous plant species at five selected developmental stages from germination to the end of tillering. Results show that barley roots mainly produce four volatile aldehydes, namely hexanal, (E)-hex-2-enal, (E)-non-2-enal and (E,Z)-nona-2,6-dienal. These molecules are well-known linoleic and linolenic acid derivatives produced via the lipoxygenase/hydroperoxide lyase pathway of higher plants. Our findings contrast with analyses documented on aboveground barley tissues that mainly emit C6 aldehydes, alcohols and their corresponding esters. Multivariate statistical analyses performed on individual VOC concentrations indicate quantitative changes in the volatile profile produced by barley roots according to plant age. Barley roots produced higher total and individual VOC concentrations when young seminal roots emerged from the coleorhizae compared to older phenological stages. Moreover, results also show that the C6/C9 volatile aldehyde ratio was the lowest at the end of tillering while the maximum mean value of this ratio was reached in seven day-old barley roots. [less ▲]

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See detailAnalysis of spray retention on a 3D black-grass plant model as a function of spray nozzle and formulation using a process-driven approach
Massinon, Mathieu ULg; Ouled Taleb Salah, Sofiene ULg; Dumont, Benjamin ULg et al

Poster (2014, August 13)

The efficiency of spray application of foliar plant protection products can be variable because of the different amount of spray solution intercepted and retained by leaves. On one hand, the spray ... [more ▼]

The efficiency of spray application of foliar plant protection products can be variable because of the different amount of spray solution intercepted and retained by leaves. On one hand, the spray interception by plants is affected by nozzle kind, size and operating pressure as well as by the plant architecture. On the other hand, the spray retention is affected by application parameters resulting from droplet size and velocity as well as spray mixture physicochemical properties. In this paper, spray retention is tackled with a physical approach at the droplet scale. The methodology deals with high-speed imaging to characterize droplet impacts; adhesion, rebound or shatter on small excised leaf areas and the spray granulometry. The 3D reconstruction of a black-grass plant involves a structured light technique. The overall spray retention was determined by using an interception algorithm combined with a process-driven retention approach as a function of the spray nozzle and formulation used. The interception model allowed determining the spray retention by a single plant and discriminating application parameters by explaining the variability resulting from various droplet size distributions intercepted by single plant. Such a model can be used to increase the understanding of interactions between spray techniques and plant architectures. [less ▲]

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See detailExperimental study of the magnetic shielding performances of a Bi2223 tube closed by a Bi2223 cap.
Wera, Laurent ULg; Fagnard, Jean-François ULg; Hogan, Kevin ULg et al

Poster (2014, August 12)

A superconducting tube can be used as an efficient magnetic shield. However, the shielding factor (defined as the ratio between the applied magnetic induction and the magnetic induction measured inside ... [more ▼]

A superconducting tube can be used as an efficient magnetic shield. However, the shielding factor (defined as the ratio between the applied magnetic induction and the magnetic induction measured inside the tube) decreases towards tube extremities because of the field penetration through the open ends of the tube. To improve the performances at tube extremities, the tube should be closed. This can be achieved by using a superconducting vessel or by closing both extremities with a cap. The purpose of the present work is to study experimentally the shielding performances of a Bi2223 tube closed by a superconducting Bi2223 cap. The cap is a circular plate with a diameter equal to the outer diameter of the tube and there is no superconducting joint between the cap and the tube. Our interest is to characterize the effect of the cap on the shielding factor distribution along the tube axis when only one extremity of the tube is closed. We also study the effect of the gap size between the cap and the tube in axial configuration. Finally, a tube closed at its both ends is also characterized. All experiments are carried out at 77K. The tube is subjected to a quasi-static (“DC”) uniform magnetic field. A Hall probe measures the three components of the local magnetic induction along the axis of the tube as a function of the applied magnetic induction. Results show that the shielding performances in the axial configuration are highly improved at the closed extremity as the cap reduces the penetration through the open end. The shielding factor distribution along the tube axis is affected by the presence of the cap. For an open tube, the shielding factor is maximum near the center and decreases towards both extremities. For the tube closed at one extremity, the shielding factor is maximum at the closed extremity and decreases towards the center. Moreover, the shielding factor distribution between the tube center and the open extremity is not affected by the presence of the cap. The experimental results show that, a small gap between the tube and the cap, which can be necessary for applications, does not strongly affect the magnetic shielding performances of the assembly. [less ▲]

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See detailRobustness and efficiency of multivariate coefficients of variation
Aerts, Stéphanie ULg; Haesbroeck, Gentiane ULg; Ruwet, Christel ULg

Conference (2014, August 12)

The coefficient of variation is a well-known measure used in many fields to compare the variability of a variable in several populations. However, when the dimension is greater than one, comparing the ... [more ▼]

The coefficient of variation is a well-known measure used in many fields to compare the variability of a variable in several populations. However, when the dimension is greater than one, comparing the variability only marginally may lead to controversial results. Several multivariate extensions of the univariate coefficient of variation have been introduced in the literature. In practice, these coefficients can be estimated by using any pair of location and covariance estimators. However, as soon as the classical mean and covariance matrix are under consideration, the influence functions are unbounded, while the use of any robust estimators yields bounded influence functions. While useful in their own right, the influence functions of the multivariate coefficients of variation are further exploited in this talk to derive a general expression for the corresponding asymptotic variances under elliptical symmetry. Then, focusing on two of the considered multivariate coefficients, a diagnostic tool based on their influence functions is derived and compared, on a real-life dataset, with the usual distance-plot. [less ▲]

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See detailMagnetic shielding properties of a bulk Bi-2223 superconducting hollow cylinder subjected to an inhomogeneous magnetic field
Hogan, Kevin ULg; Wera, Laurent ULg; Fagnard, Jean-François ULg et al

Poster (2014, August 12)

Bulk superconducting materials are well suited for magnetic shielding applications. At low frequencies, the performances of superconductors are higher than those of conventional ferromagnetic materials ... [more ▼]

Bulk superconducting materials are well suited for magnetic shielding applications. At low frequencies, the performances of superconductors are higher than those of conventional ferromagnetic materials. In shielding applications, two situations may be encountered. The first one corresponds to the case where the screen has to shield a volume from the magnetic field in its environment; this corresponds to an “immunity” problem. In the second situation, the screen has to prevent the magnetic field generated by an electronic device from perturbing its environment; this is an “emission” problem. So far, superconducting screens have been extensively studied in “immunity” and were subjected to uniform magnetic fields. In “emission”, the magnetic field is no longer uniform because a local magnetic source has to be placed inside the screen. In this work, we have studied experimentally at 77K the magnetic flux penetration in a Bi-2223 superconducting hollow cylinder subjected to a non-uniform quasi-static magnetic field generated by a small coil placed inside the sample. Two configurations were investigated: axial and transverse; corresponding respectively to the situation where the axis of the coil is coaxial or perpendicular to the axis of tube. We also investigate the influence of the sweep rate of the magnetic field on the magnetic shielding performances. Planar and circular (i.e. at constant distance of the tube) mappings of the magnetic field at proximity of the external surface of the tube were obtained thanks to a bespoke experimental setup using a three axes miniature Hall probe. It was observed that the three components of the magnetic field measured outside are affected differently by the superconducting screen. A simple one-dimensional model based on the conservation of magnetic flux and the Bean model was developed for the axial configuration. It was found to be in accordance with experimental data. It allows one to predict the maximal magnetic flux that can be generated inside the coil before the tube is fully penetrated and a magnetic field is measured outside the tube. Finally, it was observed that the inner surface of the tube is subjected to a magnetic field higher than the one at the same place without the tube. This concentration phenomenon arises because of the diamagnetic behaviour of the superconductor. [less ▲]

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See detailDesign of biocompatible and responsive hydrogels and nanogels made from poly(2-oxazoline)s
Legros, Camille ULg; Gillet, Marie-Claire ULg; tam, Michael et al

Conference (2014, August 12)

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See detailNoise Reduction Properties of an Experimental Bituminous Slurry with Crumb Rubber Incorporated by the Dry Process
Bueno, Moises; Luong, Jeanne ULg; Teran, Fernando et al

in Coatings (2014), 4(3), 602-613

Nowadays, cold technology for asphalt pavement in the field of road construction is considered as an alternative solution to conventional procedures from both an economic and environmental point of view ... [more ▼]

Nowadays, cold technology for asphalt pavement in the field of road construction is considered as an alternative solution to conventional procedures from both an economic and environmental point of view. Among these techniques, bituminous slurry surfacing is obtaining an important role due to the properties of the obtained wearing course. The functional performance of this type of surfaces is directly related to its rough texture. Nevertheless, this parameter has a significant influence on the tire/road noise generation. To reduce this undesirable effect on the sound performance, new designs of elastic bituminous slurries have been developed. Within the FENIX project, this work presents the acoustical characterization of an experimental bituminous slurry with crumb rubber from wasted automobile tires incorporated by the dry process. The obtained results show that, under controlled operational parameters, the close proximity sound levels associated to the experimental slurry are considerably lower than those emitted by a conventional slurry wearing course. However, after one year of supporting traffic loads and different weather conditions, the evaluated bituminous slurry, although it conserves the original noise reduction properties in relation to the conventional one, noticeably increases the generated sound emission. Therefore, it is required to continue improving the design of experimental surfaces in order to enhance its long-term performance. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Neurocognitive Underpinnings of Multitasking Capacities in Persons Diagnosed with Schizophrenia
Laloyaux, Julien ULg; Van der Linden, Martial ULg; Levaux, Marie-Noëlle ULg et al

Poster (2014, August 10)

Difficulties in everyday life activities are core features of persons diagnosed with schizophrenia, and in particular during multitasking activities. Multitasking refers to activities where the person has ... [more ▼]

Difficulties in everyday life activities are core features of persons diagnosed with schizophrenia, and in particular during multitasking activities. Multitasking refers to activities where the person has to: carry out and alternate between different tasks that vary in terms of priority, difficulty and duration; define the tasks’ targets; and where the person is faced with unexpected problems during the realization of these tasks (Burgess, 2000). However, the neurocognitive underpinnings of multitasking have never been explored in schizophrenia. Further, only two cognitive models exist in the literature, based on a student sample (Logie et al., 2011) and a neurological sample (Burgess et al., 2000). Both of these models suggest three primary constructs including Memory, Planning and Intent. However, there are several limitations related to the way multitasking was evaluated in these studies. We thus developed a computerized real-life activity task designed to take into account the multitasking nature of certain everyday life activities where participants are required to prepare a room for a meeting – the Computerized Meeting Preparation Task (CMPT). Using this new task, and based on previous studies (Burgess et al., 2000; Logie et al., 2011), the aim of the present study was to evaluate a new cognitive model of multitasking ability and that takes into account certain cognitive processes that are not integrated in existing models. Fifty-seven individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia and 41 matched healthy controls completed the CMPT. Participants were also evaluated with a battery of cognitive tests. The results suggest that the CMPT has a good sensitivity. Moreover, structural equation modelling confirmed the three underlying constructs of multitasking (Memory, Planning and Intent) which are underpinned by several cognitive functions and multitasking aspects. Taken together, this new cognitive model and the CMPT could be a good basis for cognitive intervention on multitasking. [less ▲]

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See detailPerformance on a Computerized Shopping Task in Bipolar Disorder and Alcohol Dependency
Laloyaux, Julien ULg; Michel, Céline; Pellegrini, Nadia et al

Poster (2014, August 10)

Persons diagnosed with bipolar disorder and alcohol dependency are frequently subject to cognitive impairments and encounter difficulties during everyday life activities. However, little is known how ... [more ▼]

Persons diagnosed with bipolar disorder and alcohol dependency are frequently subject to cognitive impairments and encounter difficulties during everyday life activities. However, little is known how these deficits interact in real life. Moreover, previous studies have primarily used questionnaires or observational methods to assess everyday life functioning, both of which contain a number of limits. In order to address some of these limits, we developed a computerized real-life activity task, in particular, a shopping task where participants are required to shop for a list of 8 grocery store items in a virtual supermarket. Twenty individuals diagnosed with alcoholic dependence and 21 patients diagnosed with bipolar disorder were compared with healthy controls (20 and 21, respectively), matched for age, sex and educational level. All participants completed the shopping task, and both clinical groups were evaluated with an extensive battery of cognitive tests (assessing executive functioning, attention, processing speed and memory), clinical scales and a measure of real world functioning. Results showed that, for both clinical groups, performance on the computerized shopping task significantly differentiated patients and healthy controls for a number of variables, especially total time to complete the shopping task. Performances on shopping task variables, in both clinical groups, were also significantly correlated with cognitive tests measuring processing speed, episodic memory, cognitive flexibility and inhibition. Finally, performances on the computerized shopping task were significantly correlated with real world functioning in both patient groups. These findings suggest that the computerized task used in the present study provides a valid indication of the level of real world functioning for these clinical populations, and therefore may be viewed as a valuable instrument in both an evaluation and remediation context. [less ▲]

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See detailARTICLE: Reflexions ULG. Geerkens Mélanie. Paroles d'ados.
Boulard, Aurore ULg

Diverse speeche and writing (2014)

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See detailGlobal power grids for harnessing world renewable energy
Chatzivasileiadis, Spyros; Ernst, Damien ULg; Andersson, Göran

in Jones, Lawrence (Ed.) Renewable Energy Integration: Practical Management of Variability, Uncertainty and Flexibility in Power Grids (2014)

The Global Grid advocates the connection of all regional power systems into one electricity transmission system spanning the whole globe. Power systems are currently forming larger and larger ... [more ▼]

The Global Grid advocates the connection of all regional power systems into one electricity transmission system spanning the whole globe. Power systems are currently forming larger and larger interconnections. Environmental awareness and increased electricity consumption leads more investments towards renewable energy sources, abundant in remote locations (off-shore or in deserts). The Global Grid will facilitate the transmission of this “green” electricity to load centers, serving as backbone. This chapter elaborates on the concept presenting four stages that could gradually lead to the development of a globally interconnected power network. Quantitative analyses are carried out for all stages, demonstrating that a Global Grid is both technically feasible and economically competitive. Real price data from Europe and the USA are used to identify the potential of intercontinental electricity trade, showing that substantial profits can be generated through such interconnections. [less ▲]

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See detailRecueil de réglementation interne des principaux partis allemands, belges et britanniques
Bouhon, Frédéric ULg

E-print/Working paper (2014)

Le présent recueil compile des extraits de la réglementation interne des principaux partis allemands, belges et britanniques. Cette documentation vient principalement appuyer le chapitre 1er de la ... [more ▼]

Le présent recueil compile des extraits de la réglementation interne des principaux partis allemands, belges et britanniques. Cette documentation vient principalement appuyer le chapitre 1er de la deuxième partie de notre étude sur le droit électoral et le principe d’égalité (à paraître en septembre 2014 aux éditions Bruylant) dans laquelle nous avons notamment étudié une partie du droit interne de certaines formations politiques. [less ▲]

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See detailDevelopment of entomopathogenic fungi in mosquito control: which kind of production for which efficiency?
Bawin, Thomas ULg; Delvigne, Frank ULg; Francis, Frédéric ULg

Poster (2014, August 06)

Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) are zoonotic vectors responsible for numerous infectious diseases of medical and veterinary importance such as filariasis, malaria and encephalitis. As part of an ... [more ▼]

Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) are zoonotic vectors responsible for numerous infectious diseases of medical and veterinary importance such as filariasis, malaria and encephalitis. As part of an integrated vector control, entomopathogenic fungi could be developed as biopesticides in two ways: spores and metabolites recognized as effective virulence factors. Solid-state fermentation enhances spore production and induces the secretion of metabolites quantitatively and qualitatively different from submerged fermentation, which impairs fungal metabolic efficiency. In this context, we showed high spore productivity of solid-state media based on agro-industrial substrates as wheat bran. Spores remained pathogenic, as revealed by classical toxicity tests and electron microscopy. However, the absence of free water makes culture parameter variations difficult to control in large-scale. Recently, we performed a bioreactor design intended for simultaneous spore and metabolite production, combining the technological advantages of submerged and solid-state fermentations. Biofilm fermentation (i.e. growth of fungal biomass on an inert support immerged in a nutrient medium) is a tremendous production system favouring the secretion of insecticidal metabolites in the liquid medium as we showed recently. This is also an interesting tool to provide an overview of the complexity of the metabolic pathways involved in the regulation of extracellular metabolites secretion because corresponding genes are reported to be differentially expressed from classical fermentation systems. Researches in vector control are currently intensified. In this context, the identification of genes and metabolites specifically expressed during biofilm fermentation will help to develop new technologies related both to the design of bioreactor and the production of insecticidal proteins. [less ▲]

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See detailFeeding ecology of harpacticoid copepod species: Insights from stable isotopes analysis and fatty acid profiling
Mascart, Thibaud ULg; De Troch, Marleen; Remy, François ULg et al

Conference (2014, August 04)

Understanding how biodiversity influence ecosystem functioning is a major research question in current ecology research. Trophic diversity within communities strongly affects ecosystem functioning through ... [more ▼]

Understanding how biodiversity influence ecosystem functioning is a major research question in current ecology research. Trophic diversity within communities strongly affects ecosystem functioning through trophic interactions between species. Various studies tackled ecosystem functioning via interactions between trophic guilds such as bottom-up and top-down control. However, few studies focussed on interspecific variability in the feeding ecology of organisms with overlapping trophic niche. Here, we in a North-Western Corsican Posidonia oceanica seagrass meadow and its variability over one year. The extensive P. oceanica meadows are occasionally interrupted by bare sand patches which serve as deposition and accumulation area for detritus, mainly derived from senescent macrophytes. These macrophytodetritus accumulation harbour a diverse community of Harpacticoida (Crustacea, Copepoda). The most abundant harpacticoids and their potential food sources (i.e. macrophytodetritus, epiphytic biofilm, macroalgae and particulate matter) were analysed for stable isotope ratios (δ13C, δ15N). Bayesian mixing model (SIAR) showed a minor contribution of macrophytodetritus while the epiphytic biofilm, present on the macrophytodetritus, appeared to be the major food source of harpacticoid copepods. In order to distinguish the several components of the epiphytic biofilm and their contribution, fatty acid profiling was used. The outcome revealed a general harpacticoid diet preference towards diatoms and bacteria, however specialisation for certain components seemed to reduce competition between harpacticoid species. In conclusion, our results underline the importance of multiple biomarker species-specific analysis, especially in complex and dynamic environments where a wide variety of potential trophic niches are present. [less ▲]

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See detailIntraspecific variation of copper tolerance of four endemic plant species from the katangan Copperbelt (D. R. Congo)
Boisson, Sylvain ULg; garin, olivier; Seleck, Maxime ULg et al

Conference (2014, August 04)

Harsh ecosystems are at the origin of speciation processes in plant communities. In metalliferous areas, plants develop physiological adaptations to tolerate metal excesses which lead to high species and ... [more ▼]

Harsh ecosystems are at the origin of speciation processes in plant communities. In metalliferous areas, plants develop physiological adaptations to tolerate metal excesses which lead to high species and population diversity. South of the Katanga province (D.R. Congo), plant communities occur on soils with one of the world’s largest concentrations of copper and cobalt. More than 600 species including 54 endemics are distributed along a copper gradient (up to 10 000 mg kg-1 available Cu) and the populations are isolated on more than 100 copper hills scattered in miombo forest. In order to improve restoration strategies of threatened species, we aimed to identify intraspecific copper tolerance of 4 endemic plant species from katangan copper outcrops: Crotalaria cobalticola, Diplolophium marthozianum, Gladiolus ledoctei and Triumfetta welwitschii. Seeds were collected in 3 different populations in the katangan Copperbelt and sown according three soil contamination modalities: control (no addition of Cu), 100 mg kg-1 and 1000 mg kg-1 of Cu concentration using hydrated copper (II) sulfate. For each combination (species x populations x soils), we had 10 repetitions. For each population, sample of 5 seeds was weighed before seedling in pot in November 2013. One individual by pot was kept for measures. Height (cm), number of leaves, number of flowers and number of fruits were measured once a week during one rainy season. For all species, no significant difference of copper tolerance appeared between populations. In contrast, populations had distinct germination rate and growth rate, especially for T. welwitshii and D. marthozianum. C. cobalticola grew significantly better in highly contaminated soil than other soils. G. ledoctei did not show any significant difference between populations and soil treatments. [less ▲]

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