References of "Plant Ecology and Evolution"
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See detailRemoval and predation of aril-covered seeds: the case of Afzelia bipindensis (Fabaceae - Detarioidae)
Evrard, Quentin ULiege; Hardy, Olivier; Tagg, Nikki et al

in Plant Ecology and Evolution (2019)

Background and aims – Most tree species with aril-covered seeds are assumed to be dispersed by frugivores. However, the number of studied African rainforest plant species remains low. This study focused ... [more ▼]

Background and aims – Most tree species with aril-covered seeds are assumed to be dispersed by frugivores. However, the number of studied African rainforest plant species remains low. This study focused on Afzelia bipindensis, an important timber species, which produces seeds partly covered by an aril. Specifically, this study aimed to: (1) identify the dispersers and the predators of A. bipindensis seeds, (2) characterize the role of those dispersers and predators in the regeneration process, and (3) understand the role of the aril in seed germination in relation to the feeding behaviour of the identified dispersers. Methods – The study took place in a Gabonese evergreen rainforest in 2015 and in a Cameroonian semideciduous rainforest in 2016 and 2017. We conducted more than 100 hours of direct observations, and used camera traps to monitor animal activities for 3000 hours within the canopy and 10 000 hours on the ground under fruiting trees. Key results – Three rodent taxa (Cricetomys emini, Funisciurus isabella and an undetermined species of Muridae) were mainly observed interacting with the seeds but neither birds nor monkeys were observed. Rodents removed more than 90% of the seeds, after detaching the aril, to probably cache them in burrows or superficial caches. Seeds from which we manually removed the aril (mimicking rodent behaviour) had a higher germination rate. Conclusions – Rodents may play a more important role than expected in the dynamics of tree species producing aril-covered seeds. [less ▲]

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See detailHymenochaetaceae (Basidiomycota, Hymenochaetales) from the Guineo-Congolian phytochorion: Phylloporia rinoreae sp. nov., an additional undescribed species from the Forest Global Earth Observatory Plot in Gabon
Jérusalem, Matthieu ULiege; Yombyeni, Prudence; Castillo Cabello, Gabriel ULiege et al

in Plant Ecology and Evolution (2019), 152(3), 531-538

The aim of this study is the continuation of an ongoing survey of Hymenochaetaceae (Basidiomycota, Hymenochaetales) from the lower Guinean sub-region in Central Africa. In this frame, a new species of ... [more ▼]

The aim of this study is the continuation of an ongoing survey of Hymenochaetaceae (Basidiomycota, Hymenochaetales) from the lower Guinean sub-region in Central Africa. In this frame, a new species of Phylloporia is described from Gabon, based on morphological, ecological and phylogenetic data. Methods – The species is described using morphological methods, and ecological data. DNA-based phylogenetic analysis are also used to search for affinities. Key results – A new species of Phylloporia, P. rinoreae, is described based on specimens collected on living twigs of a shrubby Rinorea species (Violaceae), occurring in the Guineo-Congolian rain forest. Phylogenetic inferences using DNA sequence data from partial nuc 28S (region including the D1/D2/D3 domains) resolved this species as a distinct clade within the Phylloporia lineage. An identification key to the species reported from the Guineo-Congolian phytochorion is provided. Conclusion – Phylloporia rinoreae is the seventh species of the genus described from and so far only known from Gabon in the Lower Guinean phytogeographical sub-region. [less ▲]

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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 detailNo evidence for genetic differentiation in juvenile traits between belgian and french populations of the invasive tree Robinia pseudoacacia
Bouteiller, Xavier; Barraquand, F; Garnier-Géré, P et al

in Plant Ecology and Evolution (2018), 151

Background – The role of evolution in biological invasion studies is often overlooked. In order to evaluate the evolutionary mechanisms behind invasiveness, both quantitative and population genetics ... [more ▼]

Background – The role of evolution in biological invasion studies is often overlooked. In order to evaluate the evolutionary mechanisms behind invasiveness, both quantitative and population genetics studies are underway on Robinia pseudoacacia L., one of the worst invasive tree species in Europe. Methods – A controlled experiment was set up using 2000 seeds from ten populations in Southern France and ten populations in Belgium. Seedlings were cultivated in two climatic chambers set at 18°C and 22°C. Early development life history traits (e.g. seedling phenology) and functional traits (e.g. growth rates) were monitored. Genotyping using SNP markers was used to evaluate the genetic differentiation among the populations and a QST – FST comparison was done in order to test for the role of selection. Results – Populations exhibited a strong plasticity to temperature for all measured traits, the warmer environment being generally more suitable, irrespective of their origin. No significant departure from neutral evolution was evidenced by the QST – FST comparisons, although we found a slightly significant differentiation at the molecular level. Conclusion – Plasticity for the functional and life history traits was evidenced but no genetic interaction suggesting no possible evolution of plasticity at those traits. Moreover, no support for genetic differentiation and local adaptation was found among studied populations within invasive range, raising two main questions: first, what is the role of selection on functional and life-history traits; and second, is the elapsed time since first introduction sufficient to allow evolution and local adaptation?. © 2018 Botanic Garden Meise and Royal Botanical Society of Belgium. [less ▲]

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See detailSpecialist plant species harbour higher reproductive performances in recently restored calcareous grasslands than in reference habitats
Harzé, Mélanie ULiege; Mahy, Grégory ULiege; Bizoux, Jean-Philippe ULiege et al

in Plant Ecology and Evolution (2015), 148(2),

Background and aims_Calcareous grasslands are local biodiversity hotspots in temperate regions that suffered intensive fragmentation. Ecological restoration projects took place all over Europe. Their ... [more ▼]

Background and aims_Calcareous grasslands are local biodiversity hotspots in temperate regions that suffered intensive fragmentation. Ecological restoration projects took place all over Europe. Their success has traditionally been assessed using a plant community approach. However, population ecology can also be useful to assess restoration success and to understand underlying mechanisms. Methods_We took advantage of three calcareous grassland sites in Southern Belgium, where reference parcels coexist with parcels restored in the late twentieth century and with more recently restored parcels. We evaluated the colonization stage of three specialist species (Sanguisorba minor, Potentilla neumanniana and Hippocrepis comosa) using occurrence data. We also measured the reproductive traits of 120 individuals per species and compared components of fitness between recent restorations, old restorations and reference habitats. Key results_We found that the occurrence of H. comosa was similar in the different restoration classes, whereas both P. neumanniana and S. minor occurrences decreased from reference grasslands to recent restorations. In contrast, these two latter species exhibited a much higher reproductive output in recent restorations, thanks to an increased production of flowers and seeds. Conclusions_Our results suggest that, during colonization of recently restored calcareous grasslands, favourable environmental conditions, low competition and sufficient genetic mixing may lead to an increased fitness of individuals and a faster population growth than in the reference habitat. These results demonstrate how population processes can increase ecological resilience and highlight the interest of a population-based approach to assess the success of ecological restoration. [less ▲]

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See detailNew data on the recent history of the littoral forests of southern Cameroon: an insight into the role of historical human disturbances on the current forest composition
Biwolé, Achille ULiege; Morin-Rivat, Julie ULiege; Fayolle, Adeline ULiege et al

in Plant Ecology and Evolution (2015), 148(1), 19-28

Background and aims – Prior to European colonisation of Central Africa, human populations were dispersed through the forests, where they practiced slash-and-burn cultivation. From the 19th century they ... [more ▼]

Background and aims – Prior to European colonisation of Central Africa, human populations were dispersed through the forests, where they practiced slash-and-burn cultivation. From the 19th century they were progressively concentrated in villages along roads, leaving large areas of forest derelict. In south-western Cameroon, and elsewhere in Central Africa, forest canopy is dominated by long-lived lightdemanding tree species, suggesting a possible role of human disturbance. The aim of this study was to bring new insights into the possible effect of historical human disturbances in terms of timing and spatial extent on the current forest composition. Location – Wet evergreen littoral forest in south-western Cameroon. Methods and key results – A combined vegetation sampling and archaeobotanical survey were conducted. Potsherds, oil-palm endocarps, and charcoal were found throughout the study area, suggesting generalised human occupation and anthropogenic fire. Human occupancy occurred in two periods: between 2200 and 1500 BP, and, more recently, beginning three centuries ago. High frequency of fire and the presence of Elaeis guineensis both dated recently (between 260 and 145 BP) suggest slash-and-burn shifting cultivation practices. These human-induced disturbances may coincide with the age of the current emergent lightdemanding species, the age of which can be estimated around 200 years, or with the phases of drying climate recorded in the Central African forest in the early 18th century. Conclusions – These results support the idea that historical human disturbances are one of the major factors that shaped the current forest composition in Central Africa. [less ▲]

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See detailThe phycologist Pierre Compère: his contribution to cyanobacterial studies
Golubic, Stjepko; Wilmotte, Annick ULiege

in Plant Ecology and Evolution (2014), 147(3), 307-310

At the occasion of the 80th birthday of Pierre Compère, his rich career as a phycologist and cyanobacteriologist is placed in the context of the advances of the scientific theories, the evolution of the ... [more ▼]

At the occasion of the 80th birthday of Pierre Compère, his rich career as a phycologist and cyanobacteriologist is placed in the context of the advances of the scientific theories, the evolution of the cyanobacterial taxonomy and the nomenclatural discussions linked to the utilization of two different Codes of nomenclature. [less ▲]

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See detailAssessment of the functional role of tree diversity: the multi-site FORBIO experiment
Verheyen, Kris; Ceunen, Kris; Ampoorter, Evy et al

in Plant Ecology and Evolution (2013), 146(1), 26-35

Context – During the last two decades, functional biodiversity research has provided strong support for the hypothesis that more biodiverse ecosystems have the potential to deliver more and better ... [more ▼]

Context – During the last two decades, functional biodiversity research has provided strong support for the hypothesis that more biodiverse ecosystems have the potential to deliver more and better services. However, most empirical support for this hypothesis comes from simple structured communities that are relatively easy to manipulate. The impact of forest biodiversity on forest ecosystem functioning has been far less studied. Experiment design – In this paper, we present the recently established, large-scale FORBIO experiment (FORest BIOdiversity and Ecosystem Functioning), specifically designed to test the effects of tree species diversity on forest ecosystem functioning. FORBIO’s design matches with that of the few other tree diversity experiments worldwide, but at the same time, the FORBIO experiment is unique as it consists of a similar experimental set-up at three sites in Belgium (Zedelgem, Hechtel-Eksel and Gedinne) with contrasting edaphic and climatological c haracteristics. This design will help to provide answers to one of the most interesting unresolved questions in functional biodiversity research, notably whether the effects of complementarity on ecosystem functioning decrease in less stressful and more productive environments. At each site, FORBIO consists of 41 to 44 plots (127 plots in total) planted with monocultures and mixtures up to four species, selected from a pool of five site-adapted, functionally different tree species. When allocating the treatments to the plots, we maximally avoided any possible covariation between environmental factors. Monitoring of ecosystem functioning already started at the Zedelgem and Gedinne sites and will start soon in Hechtel-Eksel. Multiple processes are being measured and as the trees grow older, we plan to add even more processes. Expected results – Not only basic science, but also forest management will benefit from the results coming from the FORBIO experiment, as FORBIO is, for instance, also a test case for uncommon, not well-known tree species mixtures. To conclude, FORBIO is an important ecosystem experiment that has the potential to deliver badly needed insights into the multiple relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, which will be valuable for both science and practice. [less ▲]

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See detailSmall-scale diversity of plant communities and distribution of species niches on a copper rock outcrop in Upper Katanga, D.R.Congo
Ilunga wa Ilunga, Edouard; Seleck, Maxime ULiege; Colinet, Gilles ULiege et al

in Plant Ecology and Evolution (2013), 146(2), 173-182

Background and aims – In Katanga (D. R. Congo), outcrops of bedrocks naturally enriched in Cu and Co ("copper hills"), host unique plant communities. The spatial variation of vegetation has long been ... [more ▼]

Background and aims – In Katanga (D. R. Congo), outcrops of bedrocks naturally enriched in Cu and Co ("copper hills"), host unique plant communities. The spatial variation of vegetation has long been attributed almost exclusively to variation in Cu concentration in the soil, but this assumption has not been experimentally tested. We analysed the variation in plant communities and the niches of selected species in relation to edaphic factors within a copper hill. Methods – Forty-eight 1 m2 plots were sampled for plant community and soil mineral element composition, and classified with Unweighted Pair Group Method with Arithmetic mean (UPGMA) using the Bray-Curtis distance. Plant-edaphic relationships were examined using a Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA). Species niches were modelled with Generalized Additive Model (GAM). Mean edaphic factors between the soil of plant communities were compared with one-way Kruskal-Wallis non-parametric ANOVA. Key results – The diversity of communities at the site scale was higher than observed in previous studies at a larger scale. Cu was the most discriminating edaphic factor of plant communities. However, detailed comparisons of mean edaphic factors among communities revealed individual combinations of edaphic parameters for each community, as well as differences in soil Cu content. High covariation appears to be an essential trait of the edaphic factor variation of Katangan Cu-rich soils. This makes it difficult to examine separately the effect of these factors on plant community structures. A bimodal pattern of niche distribution was found for Cu and pH. For physical parameters, niche optima were normally distributed. Conclusions – Global variation in edaphic factors associated with variation in combinations of edaphic parameters generates a highly heterogeneous environment favourable to a high diversity of plant communities over limited areas. Conservation strategies or restoration actions to limit the impact of mining activities on Cu-enriched ecosystems should pay special attention to recreate heterogeneity, taking into account the covariation of edaphic factors. [less ▲]

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See detailA commented checklist of woody plants in the Northern Republic of Congo
Gillet, Jean-François ULiege; Doucet, Jean-Louis ULiege

in Plant Ecology and Evolution (2012), 145(2), 258-271

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See detailPatterns of hybridization and hybrid survival in the invasive alien Fallopia complex (Polygonaceae)
Saad, Layla ULiege; Tiébré, Marie-Solange; Hardy, Olivier et al

in Plant Ecology and Evolution (2011), 144(12-18),

Background -- Hybridization and polyploidization are considered important driving forces of invasive processes. In the invasive Fallopia spp. complex, hybridization between taxa of various ploidy levels ... [more ▼]

Background -- Hybridization and polyploidization are considered important driving forces of invasive processes. In the invasive Fallopia spp. complex, hybridization between taxa of various ploidy levels has been experimentally demonstrated. Extensive genetic variation has also been observed among hybrids in the field. However, what makes a certain hybridization event of evolutionary importance is still the subject of speculation considering the invasive potential of hybrid Fallopia. Aims -- The present study examined landscape scale patterns of interspecific hybridization within the alien invasive Fallopia complex, and tested whether cold winter might act as selective agent for hybrid survival. Methods -- Eighty seeds per clone were collected from four taxa (F. japonica, F. sachalinensis, F. aubertii, and F. xbohemica) and sown in greenhouse and outdoor conditions. Ploidy levels of the resulting seedlings were determined by flow cytometry at early stages of seedling growth and compared to those of mature clones present in the same landscapes. Key results -- The four studied taxa were involved in interspecific hybridization patterns. Seedlings resulting from hybridization had a large range of ploidy levels, including aneuploid and euploid progeny, and polyploid levels that were not observed in mature clones. Cold winter had a negative effect on germination success. However, a comparison of ploidy levels of seedlings that survived the cold winter with those grown under greenhouse conditions indicated that cold winter was not a significant selection agent for particular ploidy levels. Conclusions -- Our results stress the importance of interspecific hybridization and polyploidization events in generating invasive hybrids in the alien Fallopia spp complex. Cold winter represents a selection agent for the survival of early stages of progeny but does not explain the discrepancies in ploidy levels between produced seedlings and currently occurring mature clones. [less ▲]

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See detailCopper endemism in the Congolese flora: a database of copper affinity and conservational value of cuprophytes.
Faucon, Michel-Pierre; Meerseman, A.; Shuta, A. et al

in Plant Ecology and Evolution (2010), 143

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See detailLes indicateurs de la dynamique post-culturale de la végétation des jachères dans la partie savane de la réserve naturelle forestière de Kigwena (Burundi).
Bangirinama, F; Bigendako, M J; Lejoly, J et al

in Plant Ecology and Evolution (2010), 143(2), 1-10

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