References of "Gorel, Anaïs"
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See detailEcological niche divergence associated with species and populations differentiation in Erythrophleum (Fabaceae, Caesalpinioideae)
Gorel, Anaïs ULiege; Duminil, Jérôme; Doucet, Jean-Louis ULiege et al

in Plant Ecology and Evolution (2019)

Background and aims – The isolation of populations inside forest refugia during past climate changes has widely been hypothesized as a major driver of tropical plant diversity. Environmental conditions ... [more ▼]

Background and aims – The isolation of populations inside forest refugia during past climate changes has widely been hypothesized as a major driver of tropical plant diversity. Environmental conditions can also influence patterns of diversity by driving divergent selection leading to local adaptation and, potentially, ecological speciation. Genetic and phylogenetic approaches are frequently used to study the diversification of African tree clades. However, the environmental space occupied by closely related species or intra-specific gene pools is barely quantified, though needed to properly test hypotheses on diversification processes. Methods – Using species distribution models, we determined the bioclimatic constraints on the distribution of closely related species and intra-specific gene pools. Our study model, Erythrophleum (Fabaceae - Caesalpinioideae), is a tropical tree genus widespread across Africa, and vastly investigated for genetics. Here, we combined the available phylogenetic data with information on niche divergence to explore the role of ecology into diversification at the species and gene pool levels. Key results – Ecological speciation through climate has probably played a key role in the evolution of the Erythrophleum species. The differential climatic niche of the species indicated adaptive divergence along rainfall gradients, that have probably been boosted by past climate fluctuations. At the gene pool level, past climate changes during the Pleistocene have shaped genetic diversity, though within Erythrophleum suaveolens, adaptive divergence also occurred. Conclusions – We believe that ecological speciation is a key mechanism of diversification for tropical African tree species, since such climatic niche partition exist among many other genera. Modeling the environmental niche of closely related taxa, and testing for niche differentiation, combined with divergence dates offered new insights on the process of diversification. [less ▲]

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See detailTesting the divergent adaptation of two congeneric tree species on a rainfall gradient using eco-physio-morphological traits
Gorel, Anaïs ULiege; Steppe, Kathy; Beeckman, Hans et al

in Biotropica (2019)

In tropical Africa, evidence of widely distributed genera transcending biomes or habitat boundaries has been reported. The evolutionary processes that allowed these lineages to disperse and adapt into new ... [more ▼]

In tropical Africa, evidence of widely distributed genera transcending biomes or habitat boundaries has been reported. The evolutionary processes that allowed these lineages to disperse and adapt into new environments are far from being resolved. To better understand these processes, we propose an integrated approach, based on the eco-physio-morphological traits of two sister species with adjacent distributions along a rainfall gradient. We used wood anatomical traits, plant hydraulics (vulnerability to cavitation, wood volumetric water content and hydraulic capacitance) and growth data from the natural habitat, in a common garden, to compare species with known phylogeny, very similar morphologically, but occupying contrasting habitats: Erythrophleum ivorense (wet forest) and Erythrophleum suaveolens (moist forest and forest gallery). We identified some slight differences in wood anatomical traits between the two species associated with strong differences in hydraulics, growth, and overall species distribution. The moist forest species, E. suaveolens had narrower vessels and intervessel pits, and higher vessel cell-wall reinforcement than E. ivorense. These traits allow a high resistance to cavitation and a continuous internal water supply of the xylem during water shortage, allowing a higher fitness during drought periods, but limiting growth. Our results confirm a trade-off between drought tolerance and growth, controlled by subtle adaptations in wood traits, as a key mechanism leading to the niche partitioning between the two Erythrophleum species. The generality of this trade-off and its importance in the diversification of the African tree flora remains to be tested. Our integrated eco-physio-morpho approach could be the way forward. [less ▲]

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See detailBiogeography and evolutionary ecology of the woody flora in tropical Africa
Fayolle, Adeline ULiege; Gorel, Anaïs ULiege; Swaine, Michael D. et al

Conference (2019)

Tropical forest and savanna are globally critical biomes and cover the overwhelming majority of the African continent. They support the lives of nearly a billion people, store a huge amount of carbon ... [more ▼]

Tropical forest and savanna are globally critical biomes and cover the overwhelming majority of the African continent. They support the lives of nearly a billion people, store a huge amount of carbon above- and below-ground, and host great biodiversity, including the iconic megafauna. The current extent of tropical forests and savannas, however, remains uncertain, because continental studies are based on remote-sensing products that often fail to distinguish tropical forests and savannas from intermediate vegetation states and in patchy landscapes. Here, we developed a very different approach based on the specific floristics of the forest and savanna biomes, using woody species lists from hundreds of sites scattered across Africa. We specifically propose a biome index based on species affinity to the forest or savanna biome that could be used in the future to predict the distribution of tropical forest and savanna following climate change scenario, or in the past to reconstruct past biomes using palynological or anthracological records. We additionally used the largest ever collation of georeferenced herbarium records made available by the RAINBIO project in association with our biome index, to delineate the distribution of tropical forest and savanna across Africa for circa 1400 tree and shrub species. This allowed us to propose a first map of biome specificity, entirely derived from floristic information, and that could be used as a base map for management and conservation, and specifically for the design of re- and af-forestation programs. Biome specificity was also examined across the phylogeny to identify clades associated with specific biome and environmental conditions, and clades transcending biomes. These results, combining information on species composition in specific sites and on species distribution from herbarium records, provided strong insights into the biogeography and evolutionary ecology of the woody flora in tropical Africa. [less ▲]

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See detailComparative analysis of two sister Erythrophleum species (Leguminosae) reveal contrasting transcriptome-wide responses to early drought stress
Neji, M.; Gorel, Anaïs ULiege; Ojeda, D. I. et al

in Gene (2019), 694

With the ongoing climate change, African rainforests are expected to experience severe drought events in the future. In Africa, the tropical genus Erythrophleum (Fabaceae) includes two forest sister ... [more ▼]

With the ongoing climate change, African rainforests are expected to experience severe drought events in the future. In Africa, the tropical genus Erythrophleum (Fabaceae) includes two forest sister timber tree species displaying contrasting geographical distributions. Erythrophleum ivorense is adapted to wet evergreen Guineo-Congolian forests, whereas E. suaveolens occurs in a wider range of climates, being found in moist dense forests but also in gallery forests under a relatively drier climate. This geographical distribution pattern suggests that the two species might cope differently to drought at the genomic level. Yet, the genetic basis of tolerance response to drought stress in both species is still uncharacterized. To bridge this gap, we performed an RNA-seq approach on seedlings from each species to monitor their transcriptional responses at different levels of drought stress (0, 2 and 6 weeks after stopping watering seedlings). Monitoring of wilting symptoms revealed that E. suaveolens displayed an earlier phenotypic response to drought stress than E. ivorense. At the transcriptomic level, results revealed 2020 (1204 down-regulated/816 up-regulated) and 1495 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in response to drought stress from a total of 67,432 and 66,605 contigs assembled in E. ivorense and E. suaveolens, respectively. After identifying 30,374 orthologs between species, we found that only 7 of them were DEGs shared between species, while 587 and 458 were differentially expressed only in E. ivorense or E. suaveolens, respectively. GO and KEGG enrichment analysis revealed that the two species differ in terms of significantly regulated pathways as well as the number and expression profile of DEGs (Up/Down) associated with each pathway in the two stress stages. Our results suggested that the two studied species react differently to drought. E. suaveolens seems displaying a prompt response to drought at its early stage strengthened by the down-regulation of many DEGs encoding for signaling and metabolism-related pathways. A considerable up-regulation of these pathways was also found in E. ivorense at the late stage of drought, suggesting this species may be a late responder. Overall, our data may serve as basis for further understanding the genetic control of drought tolerance in tropical trees and favor the selection of crucial genes for genetically enhancing drought resistance. © 2019 Elsevier B.V. [less ▲]

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See detailBanque de graines du sol et déterminants de la germination du tali, Erythrophleum suaveolens (Guill. & Perr.) Brenan
Douh, Chauvelin ULiege; Gorel, Anaïs ULiege; Daïnou, Kasso ULiege et al

in Bois et Forêts des Tropiques (2018), 338

Cette étude évalue l’abondance des graines d’Erythrophleum suaveolens dans la banque du sol des forêts denses humides d’Afrique centrale. Les travaux ont été menés au Nord-Congo dans deux types forestiers ... [more ▼]

Cette étude évalue l’abondance des graines d’Erythrophleum suaveolens dans la banque du sol des forêts denses humides d’Afrique centrale. Les travaux ont été menés au Nord-Congo dans deux types forestiers : la forêt à Celtis sur des sols argilo-sableux à sablo-argileux et la forêt à Manilkara sur des sols sableux. Les tiges d’E. suaveolens (dhp ≥ 10 cm) ont été inventoriées dans deux parcelles de 400 ha, et les structures diamétriques de leurs populations ont été comparées. En outre, 80 fosses (2 x 40 fosses par type de forêt) ont été creusées aux pieds de 20 arbres (10 par forêt), sur trois couches contiguës de 10 cm chacune, soit à une profondeur totale de 30 cm, et l’abondance des graines dans la banque du sol a été évaluée. La dormance des graines récoltées a été testée par des essais de germination après traitement au H2SO4 et cinq graines prélevées jusqu’à une profondeur de 20 cm dans la forêt à Celtis ont été utilisées pour estimer leur âge par Spectroscopie de Masse par Accélérateur (SMA). La comparaison des structures diamétriques indique une plus grande proportion de tiges de faible diamètre dans la forêt à Celtis. Alors que les densités de tiges (dhp ≥ 10 cm) sont proches, avec 0,85 et 1,05 tige/ha respectivement, dans la forêt à Celtis et la forêt à Manilkara, les densités de graines sont significativement plus élevées dans la forêt à Celtis (8,55 graines/m2) que dans la forêt à Manilkara (0,15 graine/m2). Le pourcentage maximum de germination obtenu était de 19,1 % pour des graines n’ayant subi aucun traitement. Les lots traités à l’acide ont présenté de moindres taux de germination. Ces graines pourraient se conserver une dizaine d’années dans la banque du sol. Les facteurs pouvant influencer les variations de densité des graines sont discutés et des recommandations sylvicoles sont formulées. [less ▲]

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See detailIntroduction générale à QGIS
Lejeune, Philippe ULiege; Gorel, Anaïs ULiege; Dupuis, Chloé ULiege

Learning material (2018)

Exercices d'introduction au logiciel QGIS - Système d'information géographique Opensource

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See detailUnderstanding the recruitment response of juvenile Neotropical trees to logging intensity using functional traits
Hogan, JA; Hérault, B; Bachelot, B et al

in Ecological Applications (2018)

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See detailHow do tropical trees cope with drought: the case of Erythrophleum species
Gorel, Anaïs ULiege; Fayolle, Adeline ULiege

Poster (2018)

Understanding the mechanisms used by tropical tree species to cope with drought will be central in predicting forest responses to climate change. The study of plant traits, as wood anatomy and hydraulics ... [more ▼]

Understanding the mechanisms used by tropical tree species to cope with drought will be central in predicting forest responses to climate change. The study of plant traits, as wood anatomy and hydraulics, holds promise for capturing response to drought with the major aim of informing projections of climate impacts. However, the links between wood anatomy, plant hydraulics and species fitness in a given environment are still barely understood for the majority of tropical trees. We proposed to use hydraulics and wood traits to examine adaptation to water availability among congeneric tropical tree species in Africa. We hypothesized that wood anatomy determines tree hydraulics and drought responses which, in turn, influence individual tree performance and fitness. We specifically focused on two congeneric species, Erythrophleum ivorense and Erythrophleum suaveolens, with known phylogeny and occupying contrasting habitats. In the natural habitat of each species, we quantified vulnerability to cavitation, volumetric water content and capacitance and the underlying wood traits in branch and stem. Growth was also examined. A common garden in the natural habitat of E. suaveolens was specifically used to confirm that the observed differences in wood traits and growth are largely genotypic in origin rather than environmentally plastic. While the two species broadly share the same general wood anatomical features (Inside Wood 2004) and are hard to distinguish in the field, we identified some but slight differences in wood traits, particularly in vessel-associated traits, that resulted in strong differences in tree hydraulics, performance and overall distribution. Specifically, the wet forest species, E. ivorense, had wider vessels, lower vessel cell-wall reinforcement and wider intervessel pits than E. suaveolens. These traits allow a high hydraulic conductivity and the fast growth of E. ivorense, but confer high vulnerability to cavitation. [less ▲]

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See detailA sharp floristic discontinuity revealed by the biogeographic regionalization of African savannas
Fayolle, Adeline ULiege; Swaine, Michael D.; Aleman, Julie et al

in Journal of Biogeography (2018)

Aim: In tropical Africa, savannas cover huge areas, have high plant species richness and are considered as a major natural resource for most countries. There is, however, little information available on ... [more ▼]

Aim: In tropical Africa, savannas cover huge areas, have high plant species richness and are considered as a major natural resource for most countries. There is, however, little information available on their floristics and biogeography at the continental scale, despite the importance of such information for our understanding of the drivers of species diversity at various scales and for effective conservation and management. Here, we collated and analysed floristic data from across the continent in order to propose a biogeographical regionalization for African savannas. Location: We collated floristic information (specifically woody species lists) for 298 samples of savanna vegetation across Africa, extending from 18° N to 33° S and from 17° W to 48° E. Taxa: We focused on native woody species. Methods: We used ordination and clustering to identify the floristic discontinuities and gradual transitions across African savannas. Floristic relationships, specificity and turnover, within and between floristic clusters, were analysed using a (dis‐)similarity‐ based approach. Results: We identified eight floristic clusters across African savannas which in turn were grouped into two larger macro‐units. Ordinations at species and genus levels showed a clear differentiation in woody species composition between the North/ West macro‐unit and the South/East macro‐unit. This floristic discontinuity matches to the High (i.e. N&W) and Low (S&E) division of Africa previously proposed by White (1983) and which tracks climatic and topographical variation. In the N&W savannas, the floristic gradient determined by rainfall was partitioned into the Sudanian (drier) and Guinean (wetter) clusters. Within the highly heterogeneous S&E savannas and woodlands, six clusters were identified: Ugandan, Ethiopian, Mozambican, Zambezian, Namibian and South African. Main conclusions: The proposed pan‐African classification of savannas and woodlands might assist the development of coordinated management and conservation policies. [less ▲]

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See detailHydraulic and wood traits of two congeneric tropical tree species in their core habitat
Gorel, Anaïs ULiege; Steppe, kathy; Beeckman, Hans et al

Conference (2017, February 06)

Background: Strong niche partitioning across rainfall gradients has been identified for several tropical tree genera. The link between hydraulic and wood anatomical traits, associated with drought ... [more ▼]

Background: Strong niche partitioning across rainfall gradients has been identified for several tropical tree genera. The link between hydraulic and wood anatomical traits, associated with drought tolerance, however remains to be explored, in order to identify the mechanisms shaping the range limits of tropical tree species. Aim: In this study, we aimed to identify the differences in hydraulic and wood traits between two congeneric tree species with contrasting distributions in moist and wet tropical forests. Location: Central African moist and wet forests Methods: In the core habitat of Erythrophleum ivorense (wet forest) and of E. suaveolens (moist), we collected branches to construct vulnerability curves and measure hydraulic capacitance, and both stem and branch wood samples to link the hydraulic traits to wood anatomy. Major results: E. suaveolens, which is characteristic of drier forests, is clearly more resistant to cavitation than E. ivorense, and also possess a greater hydraulic capacitance (i.e. the capacity that species have to mitigate periods of water storage by using internally stored water). In agreement with this great drought tolerance for E. suaveolens, wood anatomy revealed a high number of small vessels associated with small intervessel pits, features minimizing cavitation risk but also reducing water transport. Main conclusions: Drought tolerance, as indicated by both hydraulic and wood traits, strongly differed between the closely related species and explained their contrasting distribution, and affinity for moist (E. ivorense) and wet (E. suaveolens) forests. However, phenotypic plasticity in hydraulic and wood traits remained to be addressed to examine the extent of water use differences between the two species. [less ▲]

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See detailThe influence of spatially structured soil properties on tree community assemblages at a landscape scale in the tropical forests of southern Cameroon
Vleminckx, Jason; Doucet, Jean-Louis ULiege; Morin, Julie ULiege et al

in Journal of Ecology (2016)

Species distribution within plant communities results from both the influence of deterministic processes, related to environmental conditions, and neutral processes related to dispersal limitation and ... [more ▼]

Species distribution within plant communities results from both the influence of deterministic processes, related to environmental conditions, and neutral processes related to dispersal limitation and stochastic events, the relative importance of each factor depending on the observation scale. Assessing the relative contribution of environment necessitates controlling for spatial dependences among data points. Recent methods, combining multiple regression and Moran's eigenvectors maps (MEM), have been proved successful in disentangling the influence of pure spatial processes related to dispersal limitation, pure environmental variables (not spatially structured) and spatially structured environmental properties. However, the latter influence is usually not testable when using advanced spatial models like MEM. To overcome this issue, we propose an original approach, based on torus-translations and Moran spectral randomizations, to test the fraction of species abundance variation that is jointly explained by space and seven soil variables, using three environmental and tree species abundance data sets (consisting of 120, 52 and 34 plots of 0·2 ha each, located along 101-, 66- and 35-km-long transect-like inventories, respectively) collected in tropical moist forests in southern Cameroon. The overall abundance of species represented by ≥30 individuals, and 27% of these species taken individually, were significantly explained by fine-scale (<5 km) and/or broad-scale (5–100 km) spatially structured variations in soil nutrient concentrations (essentially the concentration of available Mn, Mg and Ca) along the 120-plots area. The number of significant tests considerably decreased when investigating the two smaller data sets, which mostly resulted from low statistical power rather than weaker floristic and/or edaphic variation captured among plots. Synthesis. Our results provide evidence that tree species turnovers are partly controlled by spatially structured concentrations in soil nutrients at scales ranging from few hundreds of metres to c. 100 km, a poorly documented subject in Central African forests. We also highlight the usefulness of our testing procedure to correctly interpret the space-soil fraction of variation partitioning analyses (which always accounted here for the most important part of the soil contribution), as this fraction was sometimes relatively high (R2 values up to c. 0·3) but nearly or not significant. [less ▲]

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See detailUsing herbarium records to explore the ecological differentiation between closely‐related tree species in tropical Africa
Gorel, Anaïs ULiege; Duminil; Doucet, Jean-Louis ULiege et al

Poster (2016, June 20)

Background: Tree hypothesis are invoked to explain species distribution and evolutionary history of tree clades in tropical Africa: 1) The forest refuge hypothesis postulates that contractions of lowland ... [more ▼]

Background: Tree hypothesis are invoked to explain species distribution and evolutionary history of tree clades in tropical Africa: 1) The forest refuge hypothesis postulates that contractions of lowland forests during the climatic oscillations of the Pleistocene could have driven allopatric speciation between fragmented populations; 2) The ecological gradient hypothesis states that environmental gradients promote parapatric speciation; 3) The vanishing refuge hypothesis reconciles the two previous hypotheses and postulated a diversification process through climate-driven habitat fragmentation and exposure to new environments. Disentangling the respective influence of environmental and historical factors requires information on phylogeny, as well as information on geography and the environmental space used by species. In this study, we aimed to determine the environmental factors constraining the distribution of African tree species in order to explore ecological divergence and speciation processes. Method: We focused on three African Erythrophleum species (Fabaceae, Caesalpinioideae) that are economically and socially important, providing timber and non-timber resources. Erythrophleum ivorense, Erythrophleum suaveolens and Erythrophleum africanum also show contrasted distributions in Africa. To determine species climatic niche, we used a combination of species presence data gathered from 606 herbarium records and environmental factors (19 BIOCLIM variables). We used Species Distribution Models (SDM, MaxEnt algorithm) in combination with similarity metrics to quantify the degree of niche divergence between species. Results: We showed that the distribution of Erythrophleum species are substantially determined by climate (especially annual rainfall and temperature range) and support the ecological gradient hypothesis. Moreover, the main traits (e.g. wood density and leaf area) and growth rates previously reported among Erythrophleum species confirmed a differential adaptation to drought. Conclusion: Herbarium data provide valuable information on the distribution of species over the whole range. In tropical regions where extensive inventories data are extremely rare, herbarium records in combination with presence-only SDM offer opportunities to explore speciation processes. [less ▲]

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See detailHigh spatial resolution of late-Holocene human activities in the moist forests of central Africa using soil charcoal and charred botanical remains
Morin, Julie ULiege; Biwolé, Achille; Gorel, Anaïs ULiege et al

in Holocene (2016), 26(12), 1954-1967

Palaeoecological and archaeological studies have demonstrated that human populations have long inhabited the moist forests of central Africa. However, spatial and temporal patterns of human activities ... [more ▼]

Palaeoecological and archaeological studies have demonstrated that human populations have long inhabited the moist forests of central Africa. However, spatial and temporal patterns of human activities have hardly been investigated with satisfactory accuracy. In this study, we propose to characterize past human activities at local scale by using a systematic quantitative and qualitative methodology based on soil charcoal and charred botanical remains. A total of 88 equidistant test-pits were excavated along six transects in two contrasting forest types in southern Cameroon. Charred botanical remains were collected by water-sieving and sorted by type (wood charcoals, oil palm endocarps, and unidentified seeds). A total of 50 Accelerator Mass Spectrometry 14C dates were also obtained. Results showed that charred macroremains were found at multiple places in the forest, suggesting scattered human activities, which were distributed into two main periods (Phase A: 2300-1300 BP – Phase B: 580 BP to the present). Charred botanical remains indicated two types of land use: (i) domestic, with oil palm endocarps most often associated with potsherds (villages) and (ii) agricultural, with charcoal as probable remnant of slash-and-burn cultivation (fields). Oil palm endocarp abundance decreased with distance from the identified human settlements. Our methodology allowed documenting, at high resolution, the spatial and temporal patterns of human activities in central African moist forests and could be applied to other tropical contexts. [less ▲]

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See detailÉcologie et gestion des espèces multi-usages du genre Erythrophleum (Fabaceae-Caesalpinioideae) en Afrique (synthèse bibliographique)
Gorel, Anaïs ULiege; Fayolle, Adeline ULiege; Doucet, Jean-Louis ULiege

in Biotechnologie, Agronomie, Société et Environnement (2015), 19

Littérature. Erythrophleum ivorense, E. suaveolens, E. africanum et E. lasianthum diffèrent morphologiquement et sont présentes dans des aires climatiques distinctes. Elles sont héliophiles non pionnières ... [more ▼]

Littérature. Erythrophleum ivorense, E. suaveolens, E. africanum et E. lasianthum diffèrent morphologiquement et sont présentes dans des aires climatiques distinctes. Elles sont héliophiles non pionnières (E. ivorense et E. suaveolens) ou pionnières (E. africanum). La dispersion primaire est ballochore. Les graines présentent une période de dormance et peuvent rester plusieurs années dans le sol. La phénologie est régulière et annuelle. La croissance annuelle moyenne varie entre les espèces, de la plus élevée pour E. ivorense (0,65 cm par an) à la plus faible pour E. africanum (0,16 cm par an). Elles sont largement utilisées dans la médecine traditionnelle. Seules E. ivorense et E. suaveolens sont exploitées pour le bois d’oeuvre et soumises à des normes d’exploitation et des tests sylvicoles. Conclusions. Les données sur l’écologie des espèces du genre Erythrophleum sont globalement mieux renseignées pour E. ivorense et E. suaveolens en raison de leur importance économique. Cette synthèse a permis de mettre en évidence certains manques de connaissances notamment sur la phénologie (relation avec le climat, périodes de fructifications), les diamètres minimums de fructification et les mécanismes de levée de dormance naturelle des graines. Remédier à ces lacunes contribuerait notablement à améliorer les méthodes de gestion des populations de ces espèces. [less ▲]

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See detailLate-Holocene tropical moist-forests of southeastern Cameroon: some insight from soil charcoal analysis
Morin, Julie ULiege; Biwolé, Achille; Bourland, Nils et al

Conference (2015, August)

Tropical forests of Central Africa constitute the second most important block of moist forest of the world. Little is known, however, about past vegetation in this region that remains underexplored ... [more ▼]

Tropical forests of Central Africa constitute the second most important block of moist forest of the world. Little is known, however, about past vegetation in this region that remains underexplored (Vleminckx et al. 2014; Morin-Rivat et al. 2014). Determining the past specific composition of these forests could allow bringing insights into their evolution over time and providing data about their resilience capacity facing global change. We performed a pedoanthracological analysis in the semi-deciduous forests of southeastern Cameroon. We excavated 53 test pits of 53 50 × 50 × 60 cm in plots of botanical inventory along a NS 80-km long mega-transect that followed a vegetation gradient. We sorted and quantified charred macrobotanical remains by layers of 10 cm, then identified species from wood charcoals. We used the InsideWood database, implemented with 163 new anatomical descriptions of woods present in the study area by using the reference collection of African woods of the Royal Museum for Central Africa (Belgium). Finally, we obtained 25 radiocarbon dates on charcoals and oil palm endocarps. Results showed that repeated fire events occurred across the study area during the last 2500 years, soon after the well-documented “rainforest crisis” (e.g. Lézine et al. 2013). The analyzed charcoals are likely human-induced regarding evidence of associated human settlements (e.g. potsherds). Aged were distributed into two time periods: the Early Iron Age (2300-1300 BP) and the Late Iron Age (700-100 BP) with an intermediate hiatus in human occupation (see e.g. Wotzka 2006; Morin-Rivat et al. 2014). Specific composition during both periods did not strongly differ from current composition, which is now dominated by light-demanding canopy trees belonging to old-growth semi-deciduous Celtis forests (Gond et al. 2013; Fayolle et al. 2014). This argues in favor of the maintenance of light-demanding tree species by anthropogenic activities, such as slash-and-burn shifting cultivation. We conclude that moist forests have a good resilience capacity regarding moderate and scattered disturbances. These forests can nonetheless be deeply impacted by land-use intensification (e.g. degraded forests along roads and close to cities; Gond et al. 2013). [less ▲]

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See detailHigh spatial resolution of late-Holocene human activities in the moist forests of Central Africa using soil charcoal and charred botanical remains
Morin, Julie ULiege; Biwolé, Achille; Gorel, Anaïs ULiege et al

Conference (2015, April 27)

Palaeoecological and archaeological studies have demonstrated that human populations have long inhabited the moist forests of central Africa. However, spatial and temporal patterns of human activities ... [more ▼]

Palaeoecological and archaeological studies have demonstrated that human populations have long inhabited the moist forests of central Africa. However, spatial and temporal patterns of human activities have hardly been investigated with satisfactory accuracy. In this study, we propose to characterize past human activities at local scale by using a systematic quantitative and qualitative methodology based on soil charcoal and charred botanical remains. A total of 88 equidistant test-pits were excavated along six transects in two contrasting forest types in southern Cameroon. Charred botanical remains were collected by water-sieving and sorted by type (wood charcoals, oil palm endocarps, and unidentified seeds). A total of 50 Accelerator Mass Spectrometry 14C dates were also obtained. Results showed that charred macroremains were found at multiple places in the forest, suggesting scattered human activities, which were distributed into two main periods (Phase A: 2300-1300 BP – Phase B: 580 BP to the present). Charred botanical remains indicated two types of land use: (i) domestic, with oil palm endocarps most often associated with potsherds (villages) and (ii) agricultural, with charcoal as probable remnant of slash-and-burn cultivation (fields). Oil palm endocarp abundance decreased with distance from the identified human settlements. Our methodology allowed documenting, at high resolution, the spatial and temporal patterns of human activities in central African moist forests and could be applied to other tropical contexts. [less ▲]

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See detailNiche modeling within and between species in the genus Erythrophleum : integrating phylogenetic data and environmental niche models to explore speciation mechanisms
Gorel, Anaïs ULiege

Poster (2015, March 21)

In this study we investigated the climatic niche between and within closely related tropical tree species of the Erythrophleum genus (Fabaceae, Caesalpinioideae): E. ivorense, E. suaveolens and E ... [more ▼]

In this study we investigated the climatic niche between and within closely related tropical tree species of the Erythrophleum genus (Fabaceae, Caesalpinioideae): E. ivorense, E. suaveolens and E. africanum. Two major hypotheses, the refuge theory and the ecological gradient hypothesis, have been developed to explain the current distribution of tree clades across tropical Africa. To identify the speciation mechanisms, we used a combination of geographic data and environmental factors to quantify the degree of niche conservatism (or divergence). We used two sets of distribution data for the purpose of this study. Species distribution data for the whole of tropical Africa was gathered from herbarium records. Distribution data of the two sister species E. ivorense and E. suaveolens assigned to genetic cluster were available for the lowland tropical forests of western and central Africa. Using a Species Distribution Model approach based on MaxEnt algorithm we tested for the environmental differences between species and genetic clusters within species. At species level, the climatic niche significantly differed and only slightly overlapped, suggesting a parapatric speciation along a climatic gradient. Within the two sister species, the niche of the parapatric central African genetic clusters suggests mostly a secondary contact following the recolonization from different forest refugia. [less ▲]

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See detailIdentification of charred botanical remains provides more accurate information on past history in Central Africa
Morin, Julie ULiege; Biwolé, Achille; Bourland, Nils et al

Poster (2015, January 30)

In palaeoenvironmental studies, charred botanical remains have rarely been identified to the species level before being sent to radiocarbon dating. Moreover, the age of most tropical spp. and thereby the ... [more ▼]

In palaeoenvironmental studies, charred botanical remains have rarely been identified to the species level before being sent to radiocarbon dating. Moreover, the age of most tropical spp. and thereby the age of the carbon sequestered during plant growth is not known. Dating unidentified charred wood in the tropics should be thus treated with caution because the accuracy of the dates is not guaranteed. Here we present 71 dates obtained on charred endocarps and wood charcoals sampled in soil pits in Cameroon and in the Rep. of the Congo. We taxonomically identified 43 samples then selected both identified and unidentified individual fragments for radiocarbon dating. We performed summed probability distributions of the dates calibrated in BP for the 43 identified and the 28 unidentified samples separately then for the whole dates. Results showed that the dates obtained on unidentified samples better fit the established chronology for Central Africa but that they also presented less precise standard deviations than the dates obtained on identified short-lived material, and that the dates on identified samples provide more detailed trends about the phases of human occupation in Central Africa after 2,500 BP. We can assume that dating unidentified material may introduce some blur into chronologies and that the selection of identified charred botanical remains should be systematically applied for palaeoenvironmental reconstructions in tropical contexts to refine the chronologies. [less ▲]

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See detailLe genre Erythrophleum (Fabaceae) en Afrique, un modèle pour l’étude des mécanismes de différenciation de niches climatiques
Gorel, Anaïs ULiege; Duminil, Jérôme; Doucet, Jean-Louis ULiege et al

Conference (2014, December 16)

Comprendre l’origine des patrons de diversité est un défi en écologie des communautés et en écologie évolutive, notamment dans le contexte du futur changement climatique. Ce poster aura deux objectifs : i ... [more ▼]

Comprendre l’origine des patrons de diversité est un défi en écologie des communautés et en écologie évolutive, notamment dans le contexte du futur changement climatique. Ce poster aura deux objectifs : i) présenter pourquoi le genre Erythrophleum en Afrique est un modèle d’étude idéal à la compréhension des mécanismes de différenciation de niche et de spéciation au sein d’une lignée d’arbre en région tropicale; ii) mettre en lumière les démarches statistiques et expérimentales permettant de valider et de comprendre ces mécanismes. Le genre Erythrophleum, largement distribué en Afrique, est représenté par quatre espèces d’arbre : E. ivorense, E. suaveolens, E. africanum et E. lasianthum. Ces espèces morphologiquement très proches, présentent des aires de distribution géographiques et climatiques adjacentes. Elles sont distribuées de façon parapatrique sur un gradient pluviométrique, du plus humide pour E. ivorense ou plus sec pour E. lasianthum. Ce mode de distribution apparent, combiné à des données issues d’études phylogénétiques, suggère un rôle majeur des gradients climatiques comme pilotes des différenciations spécifiques du genre et pourrait donc confirmer l’hypothèse du gradient écologique (« The ecological gradient hypothesis » suppose que des gradients environnementaux peuvent induire des spéciations parapatriques sans que les populations ne soient isolées géographiquement. Néanmoins, des études sur les niches climatiques et leurs degrés de conservatisme sont indispensables pour valider cette hypothèse. Aujourd’hui, ces études sont rendues plus aisées grâce au développement de nouvelles techniques de modélisation des niches environnementales (Species Distribution Model ou SDM) et de tests statistiques de quantification du conservatisme/divergence de niche (voire Warren et al., 2008). En complément de la modélisation des niches observées (c.à.d. niches réalisées selon la définition de Hutchison (1957)), il est intéressant de comprendre les stratégies fonctionnelles sous-jacentes aux différenciations de niche. Les différenciations de niche au sein des espèces du genre sont probablement issues d’une distinction de leurs stratégies d’utilisation des ressources (lumière/eau) et de leurs différents positionnements au sein du slow-fast continuum (sensu Reich, 2014). Cette hypothèse peut être testée par la mise en place d’expériences en milieu contrôlé mesurant les réponses des individus à des stress environnementaux. [less ▲]

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See detailIntegrating phylogenetic and environmental niche models to explore speciation mechanisms in the Erythrophleum genus in tropical Africa
Gorel, Anaïs ULiege; Fayolle, Adeline ULiege; Doucet, Jean-Louis ULiege et al

Conference (2014, December 10)

In the context of global climate change, it is of primary importance to understand the species response to climate (habitat tracking or adaptation). In this study we investigated the evolutionary history ... [more ▼]

In the context of global climate change, it is of primary importance to understand the species response to climate (habitat tracking or adaptation). In this study we investigated the evolutionary history of the climatic niche between and within closely related tropical tree species of the Erythrophleum genus (Fabaceae, Caesalpinioideae): E. ivorense, E. suaveolens and E. africanum. Two major hypotheses, the refuge theory and the ecological gradient hypothesis, have been developed to explain the current distribution of tree clades across tropical Africa. To identify the speciation mechanisms, we used a combination of geographic data and environmental factors to quantify the degree of niche conservatism (or divergence). We used two sets of distribution data for the purpose of this study. Species distribution data for the whole of tropical Africa were gathered from herbarium records. Distribution data of the two sister species E. ivorense and E. suaveolens assigned to genetic cluster were available for the lowland tropical forests of western and central Africa. Using a Species Distribution Model (SDM) approach based on MaxEnt algorithm, we tested for the environmental differences (BIOCLIM data) between species and genetic clusters within species. We developed SDMs for each of the three Erythrophleum species (over the whole range) and for each of the five genetic clusters. We quantified the niche overlap using new niche similarity metrics. At species level, the climatic niches differed significantly and overlapped only sligthly, suggesting a parapatric speciation along a climatic gradient. Within the two sister species, the niche of the parapatric central African clusters strongly overlapped, suggesting a secondary contact following the recolonization from different forest refugia. The west African cluster however showed contrasted climatic niches possibly due to either recent (< 100 yrs) climate change in west Africa, or ongoing differentiation on the dry part of the climatic gradient. [less ▲]

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