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See detailRefining the outputs of a dynamic vegetation model (CARAIB):Research at ULiège, Belgium
Hambuckers, Alain ULiege; Paillet, Marc ULiege; Henrot, Alexandra-Jane ULiege et al

Scientific conference (2019, March 19)

Dynamic vegetation models (DVMs) are process-based models combining the inputs and the outputs of sub-models, possibly in feedback loops, to simulate the plant functions. The sub-models compute conditions ... [more ▼]

Dynamic vegetation models (DVMs) are process-based models combining the inputs and the outputs of sub-models, possibly in feedback loops, to simulate the plant functions. The sub-models compute conditions outside and inside the plant and physiological reactions from the environmental data (climate, light intensity, air CO2 concentration, soil properties). DVMs are tools of choice to predict the future and the past of the vegetation taking into account climatic variations. The emergence of new questions in the context of climate change, particularly on threatened species or on commercial species, compels to apply DVMs to species while the information to parameterize and validate them is largely lacking. Of particular importance are the morpho-physiological traits. These were intensively studied within the hypothesis that they could be used to predict plant performances. This hypothesis finally revealed not very suitable, but it brought to light that important traits controlling photosynthesis and water relationships could strongly vary within each species in response to environmental conditions. We studied the Atlas cedar (Cedrus atlantica (Endl.) Manetti ex Carrière), in Morocco (northern Africa). It is a threatened tree species of important economic value. We also studied the English oak (Quercus robur L.) and the sessile oak (Quercus petraea (Matt.) Liebl.) in eastern Belgium. In a series of localities, we determined several traits (specific leaf area, leaf C/N, sapwood C/N, as well as for the cedar, leaf longevity) and we assessed biomass and net primary productivity as validation data, thanks to forest inventories, dendrochronology analyses and allometric equations combined with leaf area index estimations. We compared the model simulations of the CARAIB DVM when varying the set of traits (direct site estimates or default values) to the field estimates of biomass and net primary productivity. We found that trait default values provide sufficient information for the DVM to compute mean output values but low ability to reproduce between site variations. On the contrary, the in situ traits improve drastically this ability, which indicates that the plant performances are the results of acclimation to the evolving local environmental conditions. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 30 (2 ULiège)
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See detailRefining the outputs of a dynamic vegetation model (CARAIB): the importance of plant traits to improve prediction accuracy at tree species level
Hambuckers, Alain ULiege; Paillet, Marc ULiege; Henrot, Alexandra-Jane ULiege et al

Conference (2019, March 11)

Dynamic vegetation models (DVMs) are process-based models combining the inputs and the outputs of sub-models, possibly in feedback loops, to simulate the plant functions. The sub-models compute conditions ... [more ▼]

Dynamic vegetation models (DVMs) are process-based models combining the inputs and the outputs of sub-models, possibly in feedback loops, to simulate the plant functions. The sub-models compute conditions outside and inside the plant and physiological reactions from the environmental data (climate, light intensity, air CO2 concentration, soil properties). DVMs are tools of choice to predict the future and the past of the vegetation taking into account climatic variations. The emergence of new questions in the context of climate change, particularly on threatened species or on commercial species, compels to apply DVMs to species while the information to parameterize and validate them is largely lacking. Of particular importance are the morpho-physiological traits. These were intensively studied within the hypothesis that they could be used to predict plant performances. This hypothesis finally revealed not very suitable, but it brought to light that important traits controlling photosynthesis and water relationships could strongly vary within each species in response to environmental conditions. We studied the Atlas cedar (Cedrus atlantica (Endl.) Manetti ex Carrière), in Morocco (northern Africa). It is a threatened tree species of important economic value. We also studied the English oak (Quercus robur L.) and the sessile oak (Quercus petraea (Matt.) Liebl.) in eastern Belgium. In a series of localities, we determined several traits (specific leaf area, leaf C/N, sapwood C/N, as well as for the cedar, leaf longevity) and we assessed biomass and net primary productivity as validation data, thanks to forest inventories, dendrochronology analyses and allometric equations combined with leaf area index estimations. We compared the model simulations of the CARAIB DVM when varying the set of traits (direct site estimates or default values) to the field estimates of biomass and net primary productivity. We found that trait default values provide sufficient information for the DVM to compute mean output values but low ability to reproduce between site variations. On the contrary, the in situ traits improve drastically this ability, which indicates that the plant performances are the results of acclimation to the evolving local environmental conditions. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 34 (2 ULiège)
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See detailReconstructing Early Atlantic to Early Subatlantic peat-forming conditions of the ombrotrophic Misten Bog (eastern Belgium) on the basis of high-resolution analyses of pollen, testate amoebae and geochemistry
Streel, Maurice ULiege; Paillet, Marc ULiege; Beghin, Jérémie ULiege et al

in Geologica Belgica (2018), 21(3-4),

A seven metres thick peat bog (Misten, Hautes-Fagnes, Belgium) has been studied at high resolution in order to reconstruct the conditions of peat formation and evolution on the basis of pollen, testate ... [more ▼]

A seven metres thick peat bog (Misten, Hautes-Fagnes, Belgium) has been studied at high resolution in order to reconstruct the conditions of peat formation and evolution on the basis of pollen, testate amoebae analysis, and geochemistry. The sampled section of the peat bog corresponds to the most part of the Atlantic period, all the Subboreal period and the earliest Subatlantic period, i.e. a time interval between 7300 cal BP and 2000 cal BP. The identification of tie-points in the pollen assemblages recognized in a previous work (Persch, 1950) performed in the periphery of the same peat-bog, allows accurate correlation of the two sites, 460 cm thickness of peat in the central part corresponding to 230 cm thickness of peat in the periphery. The well constrained dates of the tie-points in the present work provide a more precise chronology of the events identified in Persch’s pollen diagram. A comparison of pollen data in both sites demonstrates that, as expected, the Corylus pollen rain is proportionally more important and the Quercetum mixtum pollen rain proportionally less important in the central area of the peat bog than in the periphery. The study of the testate amoebae in the central part of the peat bog is the major contribution of the present work. A stratigraphically constrained analysis resulted in the identification of five biozones, the zonation being mainly built on the fluctuations observed between Archerella (Amphitrema) flavum and Difflugia pulex. Three transfer functions have been applied and compared. Coupled with the humification values of each level, it allows a very accurate approach of the water-table level, and hence of local climatic conditions, at the time of the peat formation. Combination of pollen results and testate amoebae zonal subdivisions allows the definition, dating and interpretation of 18 rather short time intervals with an approximate duration of 200 to 300 years each. Our results validate and expand a previously published climate interpretation that combined geochemical data and a preliminary testate amoebae analysis. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 53 (9 ULiège)