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Lamto savanna soil known to have low agronomic value paradoxically has one of the highest grasses biomass productions in the world. During recent surveys, ant nest were encountered under some grass tufts and it as suggested that ants are able to influence the availability of resources for these grasses and also other organisms. An interaction is suspected between these savanna grass tufts and their associated ants. Three grasses species Andropogon schirensis, Hyparrhenia diplandra and Loudetia simplex were chosen to inventory ant communities associated with grass tufts and to assess the influence of ant communities on growth and productivity of perennial grasses. Three study sites were chosen and each was subdivided in two experimental plots of 2500 m². By systematic digging out method we were collected 38 ant species under grass tufts. They belong to 19 genera and 7 sub-families. Lamto herbaceous stratum was dominated by Camponotus acvapinensis. Diameter measures of grass tufts base at ground level, have allowed establishing the link between the size of ant nest and grass tufts size. Pearson coefficient r ranged no correlation between the size of ants nest and grass tufts size. The association rate with ants of one of the grasses Hyparrhenia diplandra was greater than for two other grasses studied Andropogon schirensis and Loudetia simplex (54.208 % versus 49.433 %, and 38.496 % respectively). Parameters such as grasses height, diameter (at ground level, and 10 cm above), dry biomass and seeds production were assessed. The results showed that Hyparrhenia diplandra with ant nest recorded the best results of growth and productivity. Association with ants nest is beneficial for the growth and productivity of Lamto perennial grasses.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2018
Article Reference Do private coffee standards ‘walk the talk’ in improving socio-economic and environmental sustainability?
Private sustainability standards cover an increasingly large production area and involve an increasing number of farmers worldwide. They raise expectations among consumers about the economic, ethical and environmental implications of food production and trade; and attract donor funding to certification schemes. The sustainability impact of standards remains unclear as research focuses on either economic or environmental implications. We analyze both the socio-economic and environmental impacts of coffee standards in Uganda and show that these are not in line with expectations created towards consumers. We find that standards improve either productivity and farm incomes or biodiversity and carbon storage but fail to eliminate trade-offs between socioeconomic and environmental outcomes, even when combined in multiple certification. Our analysis is based on a unique combination of economic survey data and ecological field inventory data from a sample of certified and noncertified coffee farms. Our findings are relevant for farmers, food companies, policy-makers, donors and consumers. They imply that combining different standards in multiple certification is counterproductive; that the design of standards could improve to mitigate observed trade-offs between economic and environmental outcomes; and that this requires increased productivity within ecological boundaries, rather than a price premium and added control mechanisms through multiple certification
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2018
Article Reference Étude ostéologique de deux crémations provenant du site de Postel (Province d'Anvers, âge du Bronze)
Two cremations dating from the Bronze Age were discovered in the 1950s in a burial mound in Postel in the province of Antwerp. The colour of the skeletal remains indicates a homogeneous cremation with a temperature of at least 800°C. The most ancient individual (dated to phase I of the construction of the burial mound) is the most complete: about ¾ of its remains, which belong to all anatomical categories, were transferred from the pyre to the grave. The osteological study reveals that it was probably an adult male who was at least 25 years of age. The second subject is more recent (dated to Phase III) and is thought to have been an individual of undetermined sex, under 20 years old. The smaller quantity of remains and the absence of some anatomical categories, including fragile and small bones, that this was a deliberate sorting made by the cremation officiant. This type of selection has already been seen in other Belgian sites dating from the Bronze Age and later.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2023
Article Reference First records of a supercolonial species of the Tapinoma nigerrimum complex in Belgium (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)
In the summer of 2014, a highly supercolonial Tapinoma was discovered in Ostend, Belgium. This was the first time a Tapinoma species with an invasive behaviour was discovered outdoors in Belgium. The ant belongs to the most widely distributed of four recognized species of the Tapinoma nigerrimum complex and is the only known species being invasive in areas north of the Mediterranean zone. In a first attempt to eliminate the species, a Demand 10CS insecticide solution treatment was initiated in 2015. First results illustrate that this treatment might be efficient, however a long-term monitoring of the site and its neighbourhood are suggested.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications
Article Reference First observations in Belgium of the introduced ‘minute hooded beetle’ Arthrolips fasciata (Erichson, 1842) (Coleoptera: Corylophidae)
In September 2020 a specimen of the Corylophidae Arthrolips fasciata (Erichson, 1842) was discovered in mushrooms on decaying beech in a garden in Sint-Denijs-Westrem. In October 2020 a second specimen of this species was discovered in Beisbroek Sint-Andries Bruges also on decaying beech. These are the first records of the species in Belgium. Hence, we expect more Belgian records of this species in the near future. A species list of the Corylophidae known to occur in Belgium is given.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2020
Article Reference Soil‑litter arthropod communities under pasture land use in southern Rwanda
Land use change caused by human activities is the main driver of biodiversity loss and changes in ecosystem functioning. However, less is known about how the conversion of a natural to pasture land favour the biological diversity of soil-litter arthropods to advance efective conservation plans and management systems. To fll the gap, this study focussed on soil-litter arthropod communities under a pasture land use in southern Rwanda. Data have been collected using pitfall traps and hand collection between April and June 2021. Sampled specimens of soil-litter arthropods have been identifed to order and family levels by using dichotomous keys. Further, the species name was given when the identifcation key was available, while the morphological description was provided in absence of the identifcation keys. Results indicated a total of 3013 individuals of soil-litter arthropods grouped into 3 classes, 13 orders, 46 families and 87 morpho-species. Coleoptera showed a high number of families, while higher abundance and the number of morpho-species were found for ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Higher abundance of sampled soil-litter arthropods is a sign that the studied area ofers suitable habitat for soil-litter arthropods. However, less abundance found for some groups of soil-litter arthropods might be infuenced by the used sampling techniques which were not appropriate for them. We recommend surveys using multiple sampling techniques to maximize chances of capturing a wide range of soil-litter arthropods
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2022
Article Reference Faunistic survey of myrmecophilous and other ant-associated beetles and spiders in the Belgian province of Limburg (Araneae, Coleoptera, Hymenoptera: Formicidae)
Many researchers have been fascinated by the social organisation within an ant colony. They have noticed that several other invertebrates are found in or near the ants’ nests, notably a variety of Coleoptera and to a lesser extent, some spiders. Many of these observations have been written down, some just as a brief statement but sometimes a detailed report of these interactions as a result of accurate and prolonged monitoring was published. All this information allowed us to make a comparison with the ant species associated with beetles and spiders in the Belgian province of Limburg. We will discuss a large number of species within their respective families and mention in particular a certain connection between the guest and its host, a relationship which cannot necessarily be called myrmecophilous
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2023
Book Reference 30 Years of Belgian North Sea Aerial Surveillance – Evolution, Trends, and Developments.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2023
Article Reference Assessing the influences of bee’s (Hymnoptera: Apidae) floral preference on cashew (Anacardiacae) agronomics performances in Côte d’Ivoire.
This study aimed to assess the influence of bees’ floral preference on cashew agronomics performances in Côte d’Ivoire. Therefore, a sampling design with a total of 40 cashew trees preferred by bees and 40 trees that were not preferred by bees was established in 4 main producing regions. In addition, bees’ foragers and agronomics performances of trees were sampled. As results, a total of 46 bee’ species with a foraging activity of 4±0.32 visits per minute were observed. Apis mellifera (60% of visits, with 2.27±0.17 of visitors per minute) followed by Meliponula bocandei (23% of visits with 0.91±0.18 of visits per minute) contributes significantly to the reproduction of cashew trees, compare to the 44 other bees’ species (17% of visits; with an activity of 0.69±0.03 of visitors per minute). The preferred trees recorded 40.54±0.57 kg of nuts per tree, with 18.39±0.48 fruits per inflorescence, including 37.12±0.4% of useful kernel per raw nut (yield ratio of 65.45±0.66 pound of useful kernel). Conversely, the non-preferred trees obtained 5.24±0.44kg of nuts per tree, with 1.7±0.21 fruits per inflorescence, including 28.69±0.65% of useful kernel per raw nut (50.6±1.15 pound of useful kernel). Hence, the foraging preference of these two Apidae significantly increased the fruiting rate (83.7±0.01%), the yields (87.08±0.0%), and the kernel rate (22.68±1.76%) in raw cashew nuts. Based in these results, we suggest the foraging preference of Apis mellifera as good indicator of high-yielding cashew plants. Moreover, we suggests combination of apicultural and meliponicultrual in cashew farming to boost the yields and farmers livelihoods.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2022
Article Reference Ocean acidification modifies behaviour of shelf seabed macrofauna: A laboratory study on two ecosystem engineers, Abra alba and Lanice conchilega
The feeding activity and burrow ventilation by benthic invertebrates importantly affect the biodiversity and functioning of seafloor sediments. Here we investigated how ocean acidification can modify these behavioural activities in two common and abundant macrofaunal ecosystem engineering species in temperate continental shelf communities: the white furrow shell Abra alba and the sand mason Lanice conchilega. Using time-lapse imagery and sediment porewater hydraulic signatures we show that both species adapt their behaviour in response to predicted future pH conditions (-0.3 units). During a three-week laboratory experiment, A. alba reduced the duration per feeding event when suspension and deposit feeding (by 86 and 53%, respectively), and almost completely ceased suspension feeding under reduced seawater pH in comparison to ambient seawater pH (pH ~ 8.2). This behavioural change reduces the intake of low pH water during feeding and respiration. L. conchilega increased its piston-pumping frequency by 30 and 52%, respectively, after one and two weeks of exposure to future pH conditions (-0.3 units) relative to ambient conditions. This change in irrigation activity suggests higher metabolic demands under low seawater pH, and also extended low water column pH conditions deeper into the seafloor. Because the distribution of other populations depends on the physicochemical setting by our focal species, we argue that the demonstrated behavioural plasticity will likely have cascading effects on seafloor diversity and functioning, highlighting the complexity of how ocean acidification, and climate change in general, will affect seafloor ecology.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2023