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See detailFactors of Variation of Soil Chemical Properties in Metalliferous Ecosystems of Tenke-Fungurume, Katanga, D. R. Congo
Kaya Muyumba, Donato ULiege; Ilunga wa Ilunga, Edouard; Faucon, Michel-Pierre et al

in Tropicultura (in press)

Our study aimed at deepen our understanding of relationships between soil properties and vegetation distribution in metalliferous ecosystems of Tenke-Fungurume in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The ... [more ▼]

Our study aimed at deepen our understanding of relationships between soil properties and vegetation distribution in metalliferous ecosystems of Tenke-Fungurume in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The first question concerned the differences and similarities between soils of the main vegetation units and four variation factors of soil properties were summarized by multivariate analysis. They were all linked to lithology and significantly contributed to explain the distribution of vegetation units. Our result suggest that the variation of soil properties which is observed within the various vegetation units (rocky steppe savanna, sward, and steppe savannas on slope or on Dembo) should partially be attributed to differences of geochemical composition of rocks between sites but the main source of variability is to be found inside each hill. The soil contamination in Cu and Co originates from rock weathering and besides site effect and topographic distribution of the rocks, the variability of soil properties within one vegetation unit may be due to variability of soil parent material and not only to erosion. The second question dealt with the changes of soil properties at small distances. Metric variation was studied from transects between adjacent vegetation units. Our results showed that the abrupt changes of vegetation units which were clearly identified on the field were all truly explained by the variations of one or more properties linked to lithology. The key point being the Cu bioavailability. [less ▲]

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See detailSynthèse des inventaires biologiques des 24 carrières du Life in Quarries
Seleck, Maxime ULiege; Mathelart, Charlotte; Gauquie, Benoit et al

Report (2019)

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See detailInterLIFE - 09/10/2018
Mercken, Kathleen ULiege; Sneessens, Alexandre; Maebe, Laura ULiege et al

Conference given outside the academic context (2018)

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See detailLife In Quarries Project - Biological inventories - Biodiversity management implications
Seleck, Maxime ULiege; Taymans, Julien; Mathelart, Charlotte et al

Scientific conference (2018, May 03)

Throughout the life of quarries, a large diversity of temporary habitats is generated, sometimes left to evolve to more permanent ones. In urbanized and controlled landscapes, quarries are an exceptional ... [more ▼]

Throughout the life of quarries, a large diversity of temporary habitats is generated, sometimes left to evolve to more permanent ones. In urbanized and controlled landscapes, quarries are an exceptional opportunity to maintain rare and threatened transient habitats hosting fugitive species. While the extractive industry is willing to understand and manage sites’ biodiversity, lack of knowledge on the true biodiversity potential can jeopardize fugitive biodiversity installation successes and prevents an optimal restoration of ecosystem services in the post exploitation phase. A partnership build between FEDIEX, coordinating the project for Walloon quarries, University of Liège, Natagora (NGO) and Plaines de l'Escaut Nature Park allows the private and public sector to work hand in hand in the LIFE In Quarries (LiQ - LIFE14 NAT/BE/000364) in order to develop nature during the exploitation phase. Preliminary actions include the realization of initial inventories of quarries’ biodiversity in order to develop site based biodiversity management plans. 14 sites of a 1st project phase were inventoried in 2016. Habitats cartography following the WalEunis typology was realized along with standardized inventories for 5 biological groups relevant to the LiQ actions: Flora, Amphibians, Reptiles, Odonata and Birds. With occurrences of: • 82 species of the patrimonial flora; • 12 out of 13 species of Walloon Amphibians; • Six out of seven species of Walloon Reptiles; • 32 out of 64 species of dragonflies and damselflies; • 101 species of breeding birds; our inventories confirm the importance of quarries for targeted groups. We will herein further present results of quarries’ inventories as well as implications for the management of biodiversity. We will also present the process and resulting objectives of management plans concerted along with quarry operators. These management plans forecasted to be implemented between 2017 and 2019 we will finally illustrate the main project actions through concrete conservation actions realized on sites. [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 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 detailIdentification of ES in quarries, monitoring and evaluation of ES significance of quarries in the landscape
Mercken, Kathleen ULiege; Maebe, Laura ULiege; Seleck, Maxime ULiege et al

Conference given outside the academic context (2017)

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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 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 detailLife In Quarries - Presentation of LIFE Project actions
De Coster, Kris; Seleck, Maxime ULiege; Mahy, Grégory ULiege et al

Conference given outside the academic context (2016)

Presentation of project actions associated to previous case studies from Sibelco

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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 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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See detailEdaphic niches of metallophytes from southeastern Democratic Republic of Congo: implications for post-mining restoration
Boisson, Sylvain ULiege; Monty, Arnaud ULiege; Lebrun, Julie et al

in Journal for Nature Conservation (2016)

In southeastern D. R. Congo, about 550 metallophytes grow on soils with high copper and cobalt concentrations, 57 of which are endemics to these metalliferous environments. About 70% of those endemics are ... [more ▼]

In southeastern D. R. Congo, about 550 metallophytes grow on soils with high copper and cobalt concentrations, 57 of which are endemics to these metalliferous environments. About 70% of those endemics are considered threatened by destruction of habitats through mining activities. To provide guidelines for future restoration programs, the edaphic ecological niches of eight copper endemics were studied using a pragmatic sampling method adapted for urgent conservation needs. Niches were modelled using violin plot along Cu, Co and C:N gradients representing the two main independent edaphic gradients among nine edaphic variables (C, N, C:N, K, P, pH, Co, Cu, and Mn). Copper endemics presented distinct edaphic niches along the copper and cobalt gradients, but differentiation was lower along the C:N gradient. In addition, edaphic elements presented covariations among them and metalliferous soils had higher nutrient and element content compared to the non-metalliferous soils of the region dominated by the Miombo woodland. The complexity of the soil composition and the edaphic niches of copper endemics revealed an important challenge in the implementation of the species conservation and the habitat restoration strategies of post-mining sites. [less ▲]

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See detailEtude visant à définir les intérêts, les potentialités et la faisabilité de produire une cartographie des espaces verts en Wallonie, identification de la méthodologie et application sur un/plusieurs sites pilotes
Marechal, Justine; Andre, Marie ULiege; Seleck, Maxime ULiege et al

Report (2015)

Cette étude vise à définir les intérêts, les potentialités et la faisabilité de produire une cartographie des espaces verts en Wallonie. Le premier Volet vise à faire l'état des lieux de la bibliographie ... [more ▼]

Cette étude vise à définir les intérêts, les potentialités et la faisabilité de produire une cartographie des espaces verts en Wallonie. Le premier Volet vise à faire l'état des lieux de la bibliographie en vue de rendre compte de la diversité des définitions et des concepts ainsi que des méthodes de cartographie existantes. Pour cela, les littératures scientifique et grise ont été explorées sur différents concepts tels que les définitions d'espace vert, d'infrastructure vert et de typologies d'espaces verts. Les résultats de ce Volet ont montré qu'il n'existe pas de définition universelle de la notion d'espace vert et d'infrastructure verte, mais que deux critères font cependant l'objet d'un large consensus pour définir un espace vert, il s'agit des termes 'végétation' et 'zone urbaine'. Il a été également été conclu que pour la mise en place d'un projet de cartographie des espaces verts, il faudra être attentif à la définition d'un seuil de végétalisation d'un espace vert mais aussi à la définition d'une zone urbaine. Le deuxième Volet consiste à identifier les attentes et besoins des acteurs et gestionnaires en Wallonie en termes de cartographie des espaces verts, via une approche participative de "Focus Group". Une sélection de représentants des pouvoirs publics et des acteurs socio-économiques et locaux a participé à cette consultation. Ces représentants ont ainsi été interrogés sur différents points tels que les définitions d'espace vert, les ressources et outils utilisés actuellement en termes de cartographie ainsi que le potentiel intérêt d'un telle cartographie des espaces verts en Wallonie. Les résultats de cette partie ont montré que les critères principaux d'une définition d'espace vert d'après les acteurs régionaux sont : 'verdurisé', 'rend des services écosystémiques culturels' et 'accessible'. Ce dernier critère est cependant interprété de façon très différente en fonction des acteurs. Ces Focus Group ont également permis de mettre en évidence le caractère indispensable d'une cartographie des espaces verts en Région wallonne. Une telle cartographie doit cependant présenter une base commune forte. Cette cartographie permettrait : (1) faire un état des lieux des espaces verts, (2) servir d’aide à la décision et (3) faciliter la communication à ce sujet. Le troisième Volet vise à faire le lien entre l’étude bibliographique (Volet 1) et l’identification des besoins des acteurs (Volet 2) ainsi qu’à en proposer une synthèse, via la réalisation d’une analyse Atouts-Faiblesses-Opportunités-Menaces (AFOM). Cette analyse AFOM a été menée à deux niveaux : le niveau méthodologique, en reprenant les différentes possibilités inventoriées lors des Volets 1 et 2, et le niveau relatif aux acteurs. L'analyse montre que certains critères d'une définition d'espace vert ressortent de l'analyse combinée du Volet 1 (état bibliographique) et du Volet 2 (besoins des acteurs) : 'vert/végétalisé', 'zone urbaine', 'loisirs/récréation' et 'accessibilité'. De plus, les analyses AFOM montrent que c'est la cartographie interactive qui permet de réduire au maximum les risques et les menaces liées à la mise en place d'une cartographie d'espaces verts en Région wallonne. Une demande forte des acteurs pour la mise en œuvre d’une telle démarche est la mise à disposition d’un fond cartographique commun et d’une base commune définissant au minimum les périmètres de cartographie au sein desquels la définition d’espace vert s’applique. Les quatrième et cinquième Volets consistent à tester la possibilité de proposer une enveloppe maximale de cartographie réduisant le territoire total en ciblant les zones où les espaces verts pourront être cartographiés via l'approche de cartographie interactive. Pour cela, deux sources de données existantes ont été testées, il s'agit du COSW et du Top10V. La possibilité de définir un périmètre de cartographie à partir des critères principaux d'une définition d’un espace vert a ainsi été testée. Les résultats montrent que pour Gembloux, la surface représentée par le critère 'vert/végétalisé' varie de ~ 83% à ~ 95% de la surface totale du territoire communal en fonction des sources de données. Pour Liège, les résultats sont beaucoup plus variés, allant de ~ 34% à plus de 62% de la surface du territoire communal. Concernant le critère 'zone urbaine', le pourcentage de la surface du territoire communal mis en évidence par ce critère varie de ~ 2% à ~ 8% pour Gembloux, et de ~ 15% à ~ 25% pour Liège. On constate donc que la variabilité de la mise en évidence de différents critères d'une définition d'espace vert est plus grande pour un territoire communal fortement urbanisé que pour un territoire communal moins urbanisé. Les résultats ont montré que l'établissement d'une enveloppe maximale de cartographie est peu discriminante en l'état au vu des couches de données cartographiques accessibles et des critères de définition d’un espace vert retenus. Toutefois, une meilleure sélection du territoire à cartographier est possible sous réserve de l'établissement d'une définition du critère zone urbaine. Le sixième Volet a pour objectif de proposer un programme de travail en vue de l'implémentation d'un module de cartographie interactive pour la cartographie des espaces verts en Région wallonne sous forme d'un cahier des charges simplifié. La finalité de cette application du point de vue de la DEV est de disposer d'un outil permettant (1) un état des lieux des espaces verts des différentes communes wallonnes, (2) le développement d'une politique relative aux espaces verts. Du point de vue des utilisateurs, à savoir les communes, la finalité de cette application est de disposer d'un outil simple de visualisation et de suivi des espaces verts propres à chaque territoire communal, mais également d'utiliser cette plateforme comme un outil de communication simplifié avec la DEV en vue par exemple de disposer de subventions. Une liste des outils que doit proposer l'application est ainsi dressée, les contraintes sont identifiées et une estimation grossière du temps de développement pour une application web est proposée. Les trois possibilités principales pour le développement du module de cartographie interactive des espaces verts en Région wallonne sont détaillées. [less ▲]

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See detailDeveloping biodiversity indicators on a stakeholders' opinions basis: the gypsum industry Key Performance Indicators framework.
Pitz, Carline ULiege; Mahy, Grégory ULiege; Vermeulen, Cédric ULiege et al

in Environmental Science and Pollution Research (2015)

Aims: To establish a common Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) framework for reporting about the gypsum industry biodiversity at the European level. Methods: In order to integrate different opinions and to ... [more ▼]

Aims: To establish a common Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) framework for reporting about the gypsum industry biodiversity at the European level. Methods: In order to integrate different opinions and to reach a consensus framework, an original participatory process approach has been developed among different stakeholder groups: Eurogypsum, European and regional authorities, universities scientists, consulting offices, European and regional associations for the conservation of nature and the extractive industry. The strategy is developed around four main steps: (i) building of a maximum set of indicators to be submitted to stakeholders based on the literature (Focus Group method); (ii) evaluating the consensus about indicators through a policy Delphi survey aiming at the prioritization of indicator classes using the Analytic Hierarchy Process method (AHP) and of individual indicators; (iii) testing acceptability and feasibility through analysis of Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) and visits to three European quarries; (iv) Eurogypsum final decision and communication. Results: The resulting framework contains a set of 11 indicators considered the most suitable for all the stakeholders. Conclusions: Our KPIs respond to European legislation and strategies for biodiversity. The framework aims at improving sustainability in quarries and at helping to manage biodiversity as well as to allow the creation of coherent reporting systems. The final goal is to allow for the definition of the actual biodiversity status of gypsum quarries and allow for enhancing it. The framework is adaptable to the local context of each gypsum quarry. [less ▲]

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See detailChallenges for the restoration of dry calcareous grasslands in quarries: does nature need help?
Pitz, Carline ULiege; Piqueray, Julien; Harzé, Mélanie ULiege et al

Conference (2015, August 26)

In order to maximize the biodiversity potential of dry calcareous grasslands in former quarries two options are available to managers: (i) allow species to spontaneously recolonize the site, (ii ... [more ▼]

In order to maximize the biodiversity potential of dry calcareous grasslands in former quarries two options are available to managers: (i) allow species to spontaneously recolonize the site, (ii) implement technical support for ecosystem restoration. This study aimed at characterizing the spontaneous communities established in dry area of unexploited quarries and at comparing communities encountered to the succession panel of dry grasslands. To evaluate the ecological succession in quarries, three successional stages where defined: (i) less than three years; (ii) three to 20 years; and (iii) more than 20 years after exploitation. For each successional stage, six parcels were selected and 20 1m2 plots were randomly marked in each parcel. All selected parcels presented dry grasslands abiotic conditions: filtering and stony soils and south orientation. During the 2014 vegetation period, percentage cover of higher plant species was recorded in each plot. Explaining environmental variables including coordinates, altitude, slope (degrees), soil depth, exposure, maximum vegetation height, bare ground cover, moss cover, and shrub cover (%) were measured. Our main results showed that, over decades of time, the ecological succession in dry area of unexploited quarries does not approach a typical formation of dry calcareous grassland. Most recolonizations tended to form meadows communities, except for three sites belonging to a specific landscape context. Potential implications for future quarries restoration will be discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailPromoting quarries biodiversity through partnerships: a Belgian case study
Seleck, Maxime ULiege; Harzé, Mélanie ULiege; Pitz, Carline ULiege et al

Conference (2015, August 25)

Throughout the life cycle of quarries, a large diversity of temporary habitats is generated, sometimes left to evolve to more permanent ones. In many cases, the biological roles of quarries are neglected ... [more ▼]

Throughout the life cycle of quarries, a large diversity of temporary habitats is generated, sometimes left to evolve to more permanent ones. In many cases, the biological roles of quarries are neglected though they are playing a significant role as stepping-stones and regulating green infrastructure in landscapes. In highly urbanized and controlled landscapes, quarries are an exceptional opportunity to maintain rare and threatened transient habitats hosting fugitive species. Such ephemeral biodiversity is hard to manage through a site legal protection status. As exploitation progresses, more permanent, biodiverse habitats settle in abandoned areas but the biologic potential could also be maximized by optimized groundwork through the whole exploitation process. Exploitation plans taking into consideration biodiversity could allow maximizing quarry biodiversity hosting capacity during the exploitation phase and in further rehabilitation schemes. Since 2012 Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech (University of Liège) provides support to FEDIEX - the Belgian federation of extractive industries – in its implementation of a sectorial charter on “Quarries and Biodiversity” that aims at i) raising members’ awareness; ii) promoting the integration of practical recommendations for the protection and management of biodiversity in exploitation plans; iii) quarries’ personnel trainings. Our presentation will trace realizations undertaken under this collaboration, among which the “Mr/Ms Biodiversity” training organized in 2013, 2014 and 2015, the publication of folders popularising the management and enhancement of nature in active quarries and the collaboration in the redaction of a “LIFE in Quarries” project (LIFE Biodiversity) submitted for the 2014 LIFE call. [less ▲]

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See detailPromoting quarries biodiversity through partnerships: a Belgian case study
Seleck, Maxime ULiege; Lussis, Benoit; Harzé, Mélanie ULiege et al

Conference (2015, June 17)

Throughout the life cycle of quarries, a large diversity of temporary habitats is generated, sometimes left to evolve to more permanent ones. In many cases, the biological roles of quarries are neglected ... [more ▼]

Throughout the life cycle of quarries, a large diversity of temporary habitats is generated, sometimes left to evolve to more permanent ones. In many cases, the biological roles of quarries are neglected though they are playing a significant role as stepping-stones and regulating green infrastructure in landscapes. In highly urbanized and controlled landscapes, quarries are an exceptional opportunity to maintain rare and threatened transient habitats hosting fugitive species. Such ephemeral biodiversity is hard to manage through a site legal protection status. As exploitation progresses, more permanent, biodiverse habitats settle in abandoned areas but the biologic potential could also be maximized by optimized groundwork through the whole exploitation process. Exploitation plans taking into consideration biodiversity could allow maximizing quarry biodiversity hosting capacity during the exploitation phase and in further rehabilitation schemes. In 2012, FEDIEX - the Belgian federation of extractive industries - committed itself to a sectorial charter on “Quarries and Biodiversity”. The charter defines an action plan based on three main axes: i) raising members’ awareness; ii) promoting the integration of practical recommendations for the protection and management of biodiversity in exploitation plans; iii) quarries’ personnel trainings. Since 2012 FEDIEX engaged in a partnership with Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech (University of Liège). Our presentation will trace realizations undertaken under this collaboration, among which the “Mr/Ms Biodiversity” training organized in 2013, 2014 and 2015, the publication of folders popularising the management and enhancement of nature in active quarries and the collaboration in the redaction of a “LIFE in Quarries” project (LIFE Biodiversity) submitted for the 2014 LIFE call. [less ▲]

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See detailCopperflora – an online species-level database of biology, ecology, geography of the flora from the Katangan Copperbelt (D.R. Congo) to manage their conservation
Boisson, Sylvain ULiege; Seleck, Maxime ULiege; Le Stradic, Soizig ULiege et al

Poster (2015, May 21)

Storage and accessibility to structured data are essential in all fields of scientific research. In ecology, conservation managers regularly use thousands qualitative and quantitative data from different ... [more ▼]

Storage and accessibility to structured data are essential in all fields of scientific research. In ecology, conservation managers regularly use thousands qualitative and quantitative data from different partners and studies. In recent years, online databases concerning climate, species traits and distribution have been developed but few offer a comprehensive tool for the management of species conservation at several steps. The Copperflora database was created in order to include a diversity of informations about species (taxonomy, habitats, phenology, pictures, distribution, etc.) but also information concerning seeds collection, conservation, monitoring and tests applied to target species. Copperflora is meant to be an interactive and a dynamic project enhancing the exchange of data. Our project also contributes to the advance in the understanding of metallophyte communities’ conservation and restoration projects. Our database structure is expected to be easily transferable to other conservation actions. [less ▲]

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