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See detailMining and biodiversity: Exploring the conservation strategy of a metallicolous vegetation in the Katangan Copperbelt (D.R.C.)
Boisson, Sylvain ULiege; Handjila Minengo, Guylain ULiege; Ngoy Shutcha, Mylor et al

Conference (2018, May 03)

Integration of economic activities with environmental integrity and social concerns is the greatest contemporary challenge, especially in case of mining activities. Southeastern of the Democratic Republic ... [more ▼]

Integration of economic activities with environmental integrity and social concerns is the greatest contemporary challenge, especially in case of mining activities. Southeastern of the Democratic Republic of Congo and adjoining regions in the North of Zambia, called the “Copperbelt”, comprise hundreds of Copper-Cobalt outcrops. This region hosts unique vegetation composed of metal tolerant and/or rare and endemic taxa. Most Cu-Co outcrops have now been allocated to mining companies and are expected to be impacted in the coming decades. Mining industries are adding environmental and social concerns in the mining plan, implying reflection ensuring a long term success. New concrete actions have been developed for the conservation and restoration of metallicolous plant communities before, during and after the extraction phase. Actions include in-situ conservation and ex-situ conservation methods through the storage of the most threatened species using species translocation, direct seeding, topsoil and community translocation and seed bank conservation for species having high priority. Also, innovative approaches have been exploring in order use metallicolous plants with high conservation value in site rehabilitation. This presentation will review ten years of challenges and actions, from the first scientific study of the ecosystem to the establishment of concrete strategies to temporarily store, restore an valorize this peculiar part of biological diversity. [less ▲]

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See detailDes toitures vertes analogues pour soutenir la biodiversité
Boisson, Sylvain ULiege; Monty, Arnaud ULiege; Mahy, Grégory ULiege

Article for general public (2018)

Imaginez-vous au beau milieu d’une prairie fleurie aux couleurs variées surplombant les toits d’une grande ville. Et si la ville pouvait réellement contribuer au maillage écologique ? Accueillir des ... [more ▼]

Imaginez-vous au beau milieu d’une prairie fleurie aux couleurs variées surplombant les toits d’une grande ville. Et si la ville pouvait réellement contribuer au maillage écologique ? Accueillir des espèces indigènes voire recréer des habitats d’intérêt conservatoire serait incontestablement une opportunité pour la biodiversité. Avec l’investissement dans le Centre de Recherche Terra, la faculté Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, Liège Université, s’est lancé le défi d’innover dans le domaine des toitures végétales grâce à l’équipe de l’Unité Biodiversité et Paysage. Près de 450 m² de parcelles sont destinés à mettre en avant les habitats naturels en se basant sur le concept d’« habitats analogues », concept émergeant en écologie urbaine. [less ▲]

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See detailQuantification of anthropogenic effects in the landscape of Lubumbashi
Andre, Marie ULiege; Vranken, Isabelle ULiege; Boisson, Sylvain ULiege et al

in Mahy, Grégory; Colinet, Gilles; Bogaert, Jan (Eds.) Anthropisation des paysages katangais (2018)

In order to understand the dynamic of the (sub)urbanisation and so, to quantify the anthropogenic effects of the rapid growth of tropical cities, it is crucial to find and apply valuable methods. In this ... [more ▼]

In order to understand the dynamic of the (sub)urbanisation and so, to quantify the anthropogenic effects of the rapid growth of tropical cities, it is crucial to find and apply valuable methods. In this contribution, the transferability of the Rüdisser et al. (2012) «Distance to Nature» hemeroby assessment method to the landscape surrounding the city of Lubumbashi (DRC) is evaluated. That methodology has the advantage of taking structural connectivity into account by computing the distance to natural habitats. As it had never been applied to an African city before, some adjustments (fitting of the local land uses types into the hemeroby levels designed to Austria) and amendments (suppression of the final classification into hemeroby level simplification) are proposed. Moreover, an analysis of the decanal (2002-2013) hemeroby dynamics is presented. Results suggest that the Distance to Nature methodology is transferable but requires good field knowledge to define reference habitats and identify them in the Landsat classified images. There was a dramatic decrease of the «natural» and «near-natural» levels in the study extent during the studied period. In addition, 32% of the land underwent anthropisation increase, mostly around cities and following a ribbon development. [less ▲]

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See detailVariation in copper and cobalt tolerance and accumulation among six populations of the facultative metallophyte Anisopappus chinensis (Asteraceae)
Lange, Bastien; Delhaye, Guillaume; Boisson, Sylvain ULiege et al

in Environmental and Experimental Botany (2018), 153

Advances on the ecology and evolution of adaptation to metal toxicity are based on studying metallophytes that are not restricted to soils strongly enriched in trace elements. The evolution of Cu and Co ... [more ▼]

Advances on the ecology and evolution of adaptation to metal toxicity are based on studying metallophytes that are not restricted to soils strongly enriched in trace elements. The evolution of Cu and Co tolerance and accumulation, which principally occurs among the Copperbelt of Central Africa, is poorly known. In this paper, we studied Cu and Co tolerance and accumulation in a facultative metallophyte occupying a very broad ecological niche in southeastern Democratic Republic of Congo: Anisopappus chinensis (Asteraceae). The population variation in Cu and Co tolerance and accumulation was experimentally investigated using four metallicolous and two non-metallicolous populations from contrasted habitats. Surprisingly, Cu tolerance was poorly expressed in metallicolous populations grown in hydroponics, suggesting that specific rhizosphere processes may account for the ability to grow without toxicity symptoms under high Cu concentration on metalliferous soils. Population variation in Co tolerance and accumulation was demonstrated, which positively correlated to the concentration of Co in the native soil. Increased tolerance seems to have evolved in populations originating from Co-enriched soils. Foliar Co accumulation above 300 mg kg⁻¹ dry weight with increased translocation was observed in the most tolerant populations, possibly making such populations promising materials to test for Co-phytomining applications. [less ▲]

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See detailCopperflora Conservation Strategies: Species, strategies and phytostabilization
Boisson, Sylvain ULiege; Handjila Minengo, Guylain ULiege; Ngoy Shutcha, Mylor et al

Poster (2018, February 28)

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See detail2018 Copperflora Regional Workshop
Boisson, Sylvain ULiege; Handjila Minengo, Guylain ULiege; Mahy, Grégory ULiege

Conference given outside the academic context (2018)

Following the opening ceremony lead by TFM Environmental Manager Brian Ford, their Excellencies, the Ministers of Environment of Lualaba and Haut-Katanga, followed by his Excellency the Consul of Zambia ... [more ▼]

Following the opening ceremony lead by TFM Environmental Manager Brian Ford, their Excellencies, the Ministers of Environment of Lualaba and Haut-Katanga, followed by his Excellency the Consul of Zambia and his Excellency the Governor of the province of Lualaba, the professors of Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech (ULiège) introduced the challenges concerning the unique Copper Flora vegetation for both science and societal purposes. Sylvain Boisson, project engineer of the program, provided an overview of the strategy of conservation at within the concession and identified the primary objectives. Guylain Handjila, responsible for the TFM biodiversity program, then detailed the action structures, particularly the work of Stanko Muzala and Héritier Kabulo, ensuring, respectively, ecosystem reconstruction and nursery maintenance. The afternoon session was opened by the Rector Representative of the UNILU, Lucien Kimuni. Professors Wilfried Masengo and Mylor Ngoy Shutcha then described the benefit of a multidisciplinary project between the university and the various companies, particularly the opportunity for creating new scientific branches linked with the conservation of biodiversity. Sylvain Boisson concluded the presentation session with the valorization of vegetation within the reclamation strategy for polluted soils in the Copper belt. The challenges for studying biodiversity within the Copper belt was supported by professor Françoise Ilunga from the Université Nouveaux Horizons (Lubumbashi), who is starting a project focused on edible mushrooms. The first day of the workshop concluded with a short debate and discussion moderated by professor Grégory Mahy. The group discussed the benefit of regional awareness to conserve plant biodiversity within the Copper belt. Those in attendance appreciated this focus which is consistent with provincial objectives. The second day focused on a field visit within the TFM concession, presenting a sample of actions taken by the company towards the Copper Flora Conservation Program. A reconstructed ecosystem was visited, followed by the laboratory of biodiversity and the nursery in the Environmental Department of TFM. The closing ceremony of the workshop was made by Brian Ford and the provincial authorities who reaffirmed this positive initiative. [less ▲]

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See detailConcilier la conservation des métallophytes et la phytoremédiation des sols pollués par les éléments traces métalliques
Boisson, Sylvain ULiege; Ngoy Shutcha, Mylor; Mahy, Grégory ULiege

in Colinet, Gilles; Mahy, Grégory; Bogaert, Jan (Eds.) Anthropisation des paysages katangais (R.D.C.) (2018)

La conservation de la biodiversité est devenue un challenge social, politique et économique au niveau mondial. Etant donné que certaines régions du monde sont fortement soumises à l’anthropisation et à ... [more ▼]

La conservation de la biodiversité est devenue un challenge social, politique et économique au niveau mondial. Etant donné que certaines régions du monde sont fortement soumises à l’anthropisation et à ses impacts, il est indispensable de modifier notre perception et notre réflexion en ce qui concerne la conservation de la biodiversité et la restauration écologique. Ce chapitre explore les possibilités existantes et les adapte pour associer la conservation des espèces végétales d’intérêt avec la phytoremédiation des sols pollués. Cette nouvelle stratégie semble encourageante pour conserver le lien entre la société et l’environnement. En utilisant la diversité végétale locale, il est possible de créer de nouvelles communautés végétales afin de réhabiliter des sols pollués par les éléments traces métalliques. Le cas de la ville de Lubumbashi et de la flore de l’Arc Cuprifère Katangais en est un exemple marquant qui a été récemment testé avec succès. Cependant, d’autres études sur les métallophytes sont essentielles pour les utiliser de manière appropriée. [less ▲]

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See detailUsing phytostabilisation to conserve threatened endemic species in southeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo
Boisson, Sylvain ULiege; Seleck, Maxime ULiege; Le Stradic, S. et al

in Ecological Research (2018)

Outcrops in the southeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are recognized as some of the largest copper–cobalt orebodies in the world. They support a unique vegetation with nearly 600 ... [more ▼]

Outcrops in the southeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are recognized as some of the largest copper–cobalt orebodies in the world. They support a unique vegetation with nearly 600 metallophytes that include rare and endemic species. Mineral exploitation has increased considerably in the region since the 1900s, affecting both environmental and public health. Phytostabilisation of polluted areas represents an opportunity to decrease the bioavailability of heavy metals in the highly polluted soils that result from ore extraction. Such a technique has been successfully implemented near Lubumbashi with the grass Microchloa altera. However, long-term maintenance requires a good understanding of interspecific relationships, such as competition and facilitation. This study tested the establishment success of four herbaceous species from the Katangan Copperbelt by assessing the potential role of Microchloa altera as a nurse species. Two annual and two perennial species were sown in an experiment designed to study the influence of soil amendment and vegetation cover on seedling emergence, growth, and survival. These variables were monitored during the vegetation growing season as well as resprouting success for perennials. Microchloa altera showed a distinct effect on the emergence and survival of annual and perennial species and negatively affected the growth of individuals belonging to both groups of species. © 2018 The Ecological Society of Japan [less ▲]

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See detailConservation ex situ de la flore cupro-cobalticole du Haut-Katanga en banque de graines
Masengo Kalenga, Wilfried; Boisson, Sylvain ULiege; Lebrun, Julie et al

in Bogaert, Jan; Colinet, Gilles; Mahy, Grégory (Eds.) Anthropisation des paysages katangais (2018)

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See detailGreen roofs as a primer for urban biodiversity?
Bernard, Cedric; Garré, Sarah ULiege; Mahy, Grégory ULiege et al

Scientific conference (2018)

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See detailTowards a population approach for evaluating grassland restoration-a systematic review
Harzé, Mélanie ULiege; Monty, Arnaud ULiege; Boisson, Sylvain ULiege et al

in Restoration Ecology (2018)

Persistence of restored populations depends on growth, reproduction, dispersal, local adaptation, and a suitable landscape pattern to foster metapopulation dynamics. Although the negative effects of ... [more ▼]

Persistence of restored populations depends on growth, reproduction, dispersal, local adaptation, and a suitable landscape pattern to foster metapopulation dynamics. Although the negative effects of habitat fragmentation on plant population dynamics are well understood, particularly in grasslands, the population traits that control grassland restoration are less known. We reviewed the use of population traits for evaluating grassland restoration success based on 141 publications (1986-2015). The results demonstrated that population demography was relatively well-assessed but detailed studies providing information on key stages of the life cycle were lacking despite their importance in determining population viability. Vegetative and generative performances have been thoroughly investigated, notably the components of plant fitness, such as reproductive output, while genetic and spatial population structures were largely ignored. More work on the population effects of ecological restoration would be welcomed, particularly with a focus on population genetics. Targeted species were principally common and dominant natives, or invasive plants while rare or threatened species were poorly considered. Evaluation of ecological restoration should be conducted at different scales of ecological complexity, but so far, communities and ecosystems are over represented, and more focus should be directed towards a population approach as population traits are essential indicators of restoration success. © 2018 Society for Ecological Restoration. [less ▲]

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See detailDiversification de communautés végétales éphémères en carrières : enseignements du projet LIFE In Quarries
Cagnati, Eva; Seleck, Maxime ULiege; Mercken, Kathleen ULiege et al

Poster (2017, September 03)

L'activité extractive est régulièrement considérée comme analogue des grandes perturbations naturelles : elle conduit à l’initiation de processus de successions écologiques. Les zones ainsi créées et ... [more ▼]

L'activité extractive est régulièrement considérée comme analogue des grandes perturbations naturelles : elle conduit à l’initiation de processus de successions écologiques. Les zones ainsi créées et amenées à être ré-impactées par l'exploitation ne sont que rarement réhabilitées. Elles évoluent temporairement vers des milieux d'accueil d’une diversité d'espèces animales et végétales pionnières. La recolonisation de ces zones par la végétation est une fonction complexe des filtres à la dispersion, biotiques et abiotiques. L’influence de ces filtres sur la vitesse de recolonisation limite le potentiel d’accueil des zones amenées à être ré-exploitées à court terme. Le projet LIFE In Quarries vise notamment la mise en place de ressources floristiques sur des zones provisoirement hors exploitation. Afin de lever le filtre à la dispersion, un mélange de graines d’espèces de plantes à fleurs sélectionné a été semé sur une variété de substrats artificiels régulièrement rencontrés en carrières. Notre étude vise à évaluer: • la diversité floristique initiale présente sur une diversité de substrats remaniés; • le potentiel d’accueil de ces substrats pour ce mélange de graines. En comparant les communautés végétales pré-existantes à celles établies en conditions contrôlées et in situ, on tentera de présenter le potentiel d’accueil théorique des différents substrats ainsi que le rôle des filtres abiotiques dans l’installation du mélange. Cette étude doit permettre de caractériser le potentiel de création de communautés végétales éphémères diversifiées dans des sites d’extraction. [less ▲]

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See detailNo copper required for germination of an endangered endemic species from the Katangan Copperbelt (Katanga, DR Congo): Diplolophium marthozianum
Boisson, Sylvain ULiege; Ortmans, William ULiege; Maréchal, Justine et al

in Tropical Ecology (2017), 58(1), 193-198

Two hypotheses were tested with respect to the germination of Diplolophium marthozianum, an endemic plant species of the copper-cobalt outcrops in Katanga, Democratic Republic of Congo: (1) germination of ... [more ▼]

Two hypotheses were tested with respect to the germination of Diplolophium marthozianum, an endemic plant species of the copper-cobalt outcrops in Katanga, Democratic Republic of Congo: (1) germination of copper-endemics is limited by fungal infection in the absence of pathogen control and (2) the germination success of this copper-endemic species is copper-dependent. Seed lots of twenty seeds were weighed, soaked in different disinfection treatments and then placed in a germination medium containing four distinct copper concentrations for 30 days. Seed viability was measured at the beginning and at the end of the experiment by a cut test. Final germination percentage (15.2 ± 8.2 %) and seed viability (24.2 ± 10.3 %) were not affected by copper concentration or disinfection treatments. D. marthozianum is able to germinate in a substrate without added copper, despite pervasive fungal infection. However, seed mass had a significant positive effect on seed germination suggesting that selecting the largest seeds may ensure the highest germination success in ex situ conservation programs. [less ▲]

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See detailSpecialized edaphic niches of threatened copper endemic plant species in the D.R. Congo: implications for ex situ conservation
Boisson, Sylvain ULiege; Faucon, M.-P.; Le Stradic, Soizig ULiege et al

in Plant and Soil (2017)

Background and aims: Copper (Cu) rich soils derived from rocks of the Katangan Copperbelt in the south-eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) support a rich diversity of metallophytes including 550 ... [more ▼]

Background and aims: Copper (Cu) rich soils derived from rocks of the Katangan Copperbelt in the south-eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) support a rich diversity of metallophytes including 550 heavy metal tolerant; 24 broad Cu soil endemic; and 33 strict Cu soil endemic plant species. The majority of the plant species occur on prominent Cu hills scattered along the copperbelt. Heavy metal mining on the Katangan Copperbelt has resulted in extensive degradation and destruction of the Cu hill ecosystems. As a result, approximately 80 % of the strict Cu endemic plant species are classified as threatened according to IUCN criteria and represent a conservation priority. Little is known about the soil Cu tolerance optimum of the Cu endemic plant species. The purpose of this study was to quantify the soil Cu concentration (Cu edaphic niche) of four Cu endemic plant species to inform soil propagation conditions and microhabitat site selection for planting of the species in Cu hill ecosystem restoration. Methods: The soil Cu concentration tolerance of Cu endemic plant species was studied including Crotalaria cobalticola (CRCO); Gladiolus ledoctei (GLLE); Diplolophium marthozianum (DIMA); and Triumfetta welwitschii var. rogersii (TRWE-RO). The in situ natural habitat distributions of the Cu endemic plant species with respect to soil Cu concentration (Cu edaphic niche) was calculated by means of a generalised additive model. Additionally, the seedling emergence and growth of the four Cu endemic plant species in three soil Cu concentrations was tested ex situ and the results were compared to that of the natural habitat soil Cu concentration optimum (Cu edaphic niche). Results: CRCO exhibited greater performance on the highest soil Cu concentration, consistent with its calculated Cu edaphic niche occurring at the highest soil Cu concentrations. In contrast, both DIMA and TRWE-RO exhibited greatest performance at the lowest soil Cu concentration, despite the calculated Cu edaphic niche occurring at moderate soil Cu concentrations. GLLE exhibited equal performances in the entire range of soil Cu concentrations. Conclusions: These results suggest that CRCO evolved via the edaphic specialization model where it is most competitive in Cu hill habitat with the highest soil Cu concentration. In comparison, DIMA and TRWE-RO appear to have evolved via the endemism refuge model, which indicates that the species were excluded into (i.e., took refuge in) the lower plant competition Cu hill habitat due to their inability to effectively compete with higher plant competition on normal soils. The soil Cu edaphic niche determined for the four species will be useful in conservation activities including informing soil propagation conditions and microhabitat site selection for planting of the species in Cu hill ecosystem restoration. © 2016 Springer International Publishing Switzerland [less ▲]

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See detailIs the observer effect significant in vegetation assessment of restored metallicolous grassland?
Boisson, Sylvain ULiege; Mahy, Grégory ULiege

Conference (2016, August 22)

Projects that prospects habitat restoration require protocols of vegetation assessment to monitor the evolution of the restored ecosystems over time. In most cases, multiple assessors are needed and some ... [more ▼]

Projects that prospects habitat restoration require protocols of vegetation assessment to monitor the evolution of the restored ecosystems over time. In most cases, multiple assessors are needed and some studies have shown that the variability among observer can be significant. In the context of tropical grassland, few studies quantified the impact of the observer on the results, reducing the capacity to replicate conclusions, and, therefore to plan restoration strategies at large scale. This study aims to quantify the variation among observers using two phytosociological methods on restored metallicolous grassland and to test whether variation in the assessment could involve the conclusions of the vegetation assessment. Four observers were selected to perform monitoring of quadrats in two distinct habitats identified in four restored ecosystems. All observers sampled seven metrics based on phytosociological methods and two of them also performed a complete vegetation sampling of the quadrat, including species identification and cover in quadrat. For metrics based on cover, variation of measure exists among the observers. For metrics based on counting, no variation is highlighted and the observers are able to distinguish and identify species. These results emphasize that a same method could lead to distinct results according to observer and, in restoration projects, it is crucial to ensure a correct transfer of protocols of vegetation assessment in order to reproduce equally the method. [less ▲]

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See detailA population approach to evaluate grassland restoration - a systematic review
Harzé, Mélanie ULiege; Monty, Arnaud ULiege; Boisson, Sylvain ULiege et al

Conference (2016, August)

How do we know if restoration goals are achieved? In practice, the criteria used to evaluate the success of restoration actions are numerous and can be defined at different ecological scales, i.e. at the ... [more ▼]

How do we know if restoration goals are achieved? In practice, the criteria used to evaluate the success of restoration actions are numerous and can be defined at different ecological scales, i.e. at the population, community or ecosystem level. Most studies about restoration success monitoring assessed attributes corresponding to the community or ecosystem levels like species diversity, vegetation structure and ecological processes. Has the population approach been disregarded to evaluate restoration success? This systematic review of the literature aimed to identify how often plant population traits were used to monitor restoration of grasslands. Practically, 3133 papers were reviewed among which 1065 reported monitoring of plant species after a restoration action. Only 153 papers used a population approach and represent the core of this review. Detailed results and paper content will be presented with the aim to identify restoration protocols (with or without species addition), species of interest, population attributes and processes considered to evaluate restoration success. [less ▲]

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See detailUsing phytostabilisation as a way to conserve threatened endemic species from the Southeastern D.R. Congo
Boisson, Sylvain ULiege; Le Stradic, Soizig ULiege; Seleck, Maxime ULiege et al

Conference (2016, June 22)

Metalliferous outcrops of the southeastern Democratic Republic of Congo are recognized as some of the largest copper-cobalt deposits of the world. They support unique vegetation with around 600 ... [more ▼]

Metalliferous outcrops of the southeastern Democratic Republic of Congo are recognized as some of the largest copper-cobalt deposits of the world. They support unique vegetation with around 600 metallophyte species including rare and endemic species. Since 1900s, the exploitation of the Cu-Co outcrops in D.R. Congo has considerably increased, impacting environment and putting public health at risk. Phytostabilisation is a suitable technology to decrease the bioavailability of heavy metals in highly polluted soils. This technic has been successfully implemented in the vicinity of Lubumbashi with the grass Microchloa altera. The long term maintenance of such technic requires a good understanding of the interspecific relationship like competition and facilitation. This study aims to test the success of establishment of four herbaceous species from the southeastern DRC presenting conservation priority and to assess the potential role of M. altera as nurse plant in this context. Two annual species and two perennial species were sown in experimental design with soil amendments crossed with vegetation cover. The emergence, the growth and the survival were followed during the vegetation season and the resprout was measured for perennial species. M. altera had a distinct effect on the emergence and the survival of the annual and perennial species but affected negatively the growth of individuals for all species. [less ▲]

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See detailTen years of research on copper-cobalt ecosystems in southeastern D.R. Congo
Le Stradic, Soizig; Boisson, Sylvain ULiege; Faucon, MP et al

in Malaisse, François; Schaijes, Michel; D'Outreligne, Claire (Eds.) Copper-cobalt flora of Upper Katanga and Copperbelt - Field Guide (2016)

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See detailCopper tolerance of three Crotalaria species from southeastern D.R. Congo at the early development stage [Tolérance au cuivre de trois espèces de Crotalaria de l’Arc Cuprifère Katangais dans les premiers stades de croissance]
Boisson, Sylvain ULiege; Le Stradic, Soizig ULiege; Commans, M. et al

in Biotechnologie, Agronomie, Société et Environnement (2016), 20(2), 151-160

Description of the subject. Microevolutionary processes in metallophytes established on copper enriched soils can lead to a diversity of plant species showing distinct tolerance capacities among genus ... [more ▼]

Description of the subject. Microevolutionary processes in metallophytes established on copper enriched soils can lead to a diversity of plant species showing distinct tolerance capacities among genus. Researches about the relationship between these endangered plants and soil copper concentrations are critical in order to improve ex situ conservation methods in southeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (Katangan Copperbelt). Objectives. The aim of the study was to test the effect of copper on the germination and root elongation of three Crotalaria species naturally occurring along a natural copper gradient. The hypothesis is that copper concentrations have different effects on germination and root elongation according to the species of Crotalaria genus. Method. Three species were selected: Crotalaria cobalticola, Crotalaria peschiana and Crotalaria cornetii, occurring on soils with the highest to the lowest copper concentrations respectively. Germination and root elongation tests were performed in vitro (MS vitamin-enriched medium) in six copper mediums ranging from 0 to 125 μM Cu2+. Results. No significant differences in germination percentage were observed according to the copper concentrations. Crotalaria cornetii had the lowest germination percentage. Root elongation of C. peschiana did not differ with copper concentration, but root elongation of C. cobalticola was higher at the greatest copper concentration (125 μM Cu2+). Conclusions. Even if C. cobalticola presented better growth at highest Cu concentrations, it appeared that C. cobalticola and C. peschiana do not require copper for their early stages of development and could thus be conserved in non-contaminated substrate. Crotalaria cornetii seemed to present a physical seed dormancy. © 2016, FAC UNIV SCIENCES AGRONOMIQUES GEMBLOUX. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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See detailPotential of copper-tolerant grasses to implement phytostabilisation strategies on polluted soils in South D. R. Congo: Poaceae candidates for phytostabilisation
Boisson, Sylvain ULiege; Le Stradic, Soizig ULiege; Collignon, Julien et al

in Environmental Science and Pollution Research (2016)

Phytostabilisation (i.e. using plants to immobilise contaminants) represents a well-known technology to hamper heavy metal spread across landscapes. In Katanga (D. R. Congo), Microchloa altera, a tolerant ... [more ▼]

Phytostabilisation (i.e. using plants to immobilise contaminants) represents a well-known technology to hamper heavy metal spread across landscapes. In Katanga (D. R. Congo), Microchloa altera, a tolerant grass from the copper hills, was recently identified as a candidate species to stabilise copper in the soil. More than 50 grasses compose this flora, which may be studied to implement phytostabilisation strategies. However, little is known about their phenology, tolerance, reproductive strategy or demography. The present study aims to characterize the other Poaceae that may be used in phytostabilisation purposes based on the following criteria: their ecological distribution, seed production at two times, abundance, soil coverage and the germination percentage of their seeds. We selected seven perennial Poaceae that occur on the copper hills. Their ecological distributions (i.e. species response curves) have been modelled along copper or cobalt gradients with generalized additive models using logic link based on 172 presence/absence samples on three sites. For other variables, a total of 69 quadrats (1 m2) were randomly placed across three sites and habitats. For each species, we compared the number of inflorescence-bearing stems (IBS) by plot, the percentage of cover, the number of seeds by IBS and the estimated number of seeds by plot between sites and habitat. Three species (Andropogon schirensis, Eragrostis racemosa and Loudetia simplex) were very interesting for phytostabilisation programs. They produced a large quantity of seeds and had the highest percentage of cover. However, A. schirensis and L. simplex presented significant variations in the number of seeds and the percentage of cover according to site. [less ▲]

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