|Auteur||Amani Ya Igugu, Aimé-Christian (email@example.com)|
|Titre||Vegetation patterns and role of edaphic heterogeneity on plant communities in semi-deciduous forests from the Congo Basin|
|Département||F408 - Faculté des sciences - Sciences biologiques|
|Intitulé du diplôme||Doctorat en Sciences|
|Date de défense||2011-09-08|
Colinet, Gilles (Membre du jury/Committee Member)
Dessein, Steven (Membre du jury/Committee Member)
Lejoly, Jean (Membre du jury/Committee Member)
Noret, Nausicaa (Membre du jury/Committee Member)
Nyakabwa, Mutabana (Membre du jury/Committee Member)
Mardulyn, Patrick (Président du jury/Committee Chair)
Meerts, Pierre (Promoteur/Director)
|Mots-clés||phylogenetic structure, distance decay, forest layer, toroidal randomisation|
|Résumé||Contrary to the other forest ecosystems in the Democratic Republic of Congo (D.R. Congo), semi-deciduous forests have so far attracted little attention and studies regarding their ecological aspects remain sketchy. Yet semi-deciduous forests are among the most important non-flooded ecosystems in the Congo Basin and their importance is high, both ecologically and economically. They are home to a variety of species, some of them being exploited for timber by forest companies acting in the region. There is a constant need to focus on their composition and diversity, and to understand factors shaping their communities.
Using a sampling method broadly inspired from the synusial phytosociology approach, we examined plant communities within each of the forest layers composing the overstorey (canopy and emergent trees) and the understorey (shrub and herbaceous layers).
The role of edaphic heterogeneity on plant communities in the considered semi-deciduous forests was examined. We mainly focused on:
- Floristic parameters within these ecosystems;
- Spatial structure of edaphic variables;
- Species responses to edaphic heterogeneity;
- Distance decay in the considered ecosystems;
- Phylogenetic patterns within plant communities.
Some of the species found in the considered semi-deciduous forests are more related to a type of soil than another, defining some “edaphic specialists” species while many others can be considered “generalists”. Spatial distance effect in the considered plant communities is marked by a decrease of floristic similarity with the geographical distance and all the forest layers showed a pattern of spatial phylogenetic clustering meaning that species cohabiting within a same plot are more related than species from distant plots.