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Role of organic matter and soil biota on first steps of soil structuring. The case of alluvial soils from alpine to plain levels

English title Role of organic matter and soil biota on first steps of soil structuring. The case of alluvial soils from alpine to plain levels
Applicant Le Bayon Claire
Number 116825
Funding scheme Project funding
Research institution Laboratoire d'Écologie Végétale Institut de Botanique Université de Neuchâtel
Institution of higher education University of Neuchatel - NE
Main discipline Ecology
Start/End 01.10.2007 - 31.05.2011
Approved amount 227'000.00
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Keywords (5)

soil structuring; soil biota; organic matter; european floodplains; field and laboratory experiments

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary
Floodplains are known to be areas of extraordinary biodiversity with a mosaic of shifting habitats with high interdependency. Regarding pedology, floodplains contain a wide pattern of all steps of soil evolution, i.e. from a new sediment deposition to stable soils after several hundred years. In our project, we aim to understand the processes and the mechanisms of soil structuring, in particular the role of organic matter and soil fauna.Then, two types of questions are raised, concerning at the same time basic mechanisms and external regulation:1- In soils, how is organic matter involved in soil structure? Internal mechanisms in relation to soil biota are needed to be understood. 2- Which external constraints may regulate soil structuring? Fluvial dynamics and particularly punctual floods have to be taken into consideration. Within the framework of a functional approach, two main hypothesis could be stated:1- at the alpine level, pedogenesis processes are assumed to be slower than at the plain level. So, the pioneer stages would be clearly visible as intermediate steps near the headwaters at the opposite from the plains where the soil structural stability is more strongly established.2- the vegetation and the soil diversity as well as biological activities, are supposed to differ in relation to climatic constraints ; separated effects at the alpine level could be combined at the plain level and the same tendency could be observed at a lateral distance from the river.To assess these assumptions, we propose to study physico-chemical and biological variables : 1- along the river, from the headwaters to the plains liable to flooding.2- perpendicular to the river, from the river itself to far away from it, until reaching the climax stage of the vegetation.We choose to combine manipulated laboratory and field studies, the first ones giving information about key processes, the second ones allowing the understanding of the whole ecosystem and its regulation factors. For our purpose, we need to use descriptors which are able to highlight, in a very detailed way, the first steps of soil aggregates formation. Thus, the main variables chosen in our project are, according to a gradient of size: i) organic matter, both autochtonous and allochtonous,ii) soil biota,iii) humiferous episolum (humus forms),iv) soil types,v) vegetation, especially riparian vegetation types.Chosen as the key process in our research project, the formation of the soil structure gathers and integrates all of these five themes.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Functional responses of multi-taxa communities to disturbance and stress gradients in a restored floodplain
Fournier B., Gillet F., Le Bayon R.C., Mitchell E., Moretti M. (2015), Functional responses of multi-taxa communities to disturbance and stress gradients in a restored floodplain, in Journal of Applied Ecology, 52, 1364-1373.
Carbon storage and soil organic matter stabilisation in near-natural, restored and embanked Swiss floodplains.
Bullinger-Weber Géraldine, Le Bayon R.C., Thébault A., Schlaepfer R., Guenat C. (2014), Carbon storage and soil organic matter stabilisation in near-natural, restored and embanked Swiss floodplains., in Geoderma, 228-229, 122-131.
Earthworm communities as indicators for evaluating floodplain restoration success
Le Bayon R.C. (2013), Earthworm communities as indicators for evaluating floodplain restoration success, in NOVA Science Publisher (ed.), NOVA Science Publisher, New York, 47-68.
Biodiversité du sol en zones alluviales subalpines : Lombriciens et Collemboles.
Le Bayon R.C., Bullinger-Weber G., Salomé C., Zigerli D., Amstutz R., Gobat J.-M., Guenat C. (2012), Biodiversité du sol en zones alluviales subalpines : Lombriciens et Collemboles., in Bulletin du groupe de travail « Biologie du sol- Application », 15, 8-12.
Community ecology of earthworms in a restored floodplain and potential as bioindicators of river restoration.
Fournier B., Samaritani E., Shrestha J., Mitchell E., Le Bayon R.C. (2012), Community ecology of earthworms in a restored floodplain and potential as bioindicators of river restoration., in Applied Soil Ecology, (59), 87-95.
Impact of flood deposits on earthworm communities in alder forests from a subalpine floodplain (Kandersteg, Switzerland).
Bullinger-Weber Géraldine, Guenat Claire, Salomé Clémence, Gobat Jean-Michel, Le Bayon R.-Claire (2012), Impact of flood deposits on earthworm communities in alder forests from a subalpine floodplain (Kandersteg, Switzerland)., in European Journal of Soil Biology, 49, 5-11.
Earthworm communities in alluvial forests: influence of altitude, vegetation stages and soil parameters.
Salomé Clémence, Guenat Claire, Bullinger-Weber Géraldine, Gobat Jean-Michel, Le Bayon Claire (2011), Earthworm communities in alluvial forests: influence of altitude, vegetation stages and soil parameters., in Pedobiologia, 54, 89-98.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
UMR 5245 CNRS/UPS/INPT Laboratoire d'Ecologie Fonctionnelle (ECOLAB)Toulouse France (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
INRA AgroCampus Rennes France (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
European Geosciences Union General Assembly Poster Structure formation in carbonate-rich alluvial soils along an altitudinal gradient: roles of lithogenic characteristics and biological agent 04.05.2011 Vienne, Autriche, Austria Le Bayon Claire; Gobat Jean-Michel; Verrecchia Eric; Salome Clémence; Guenat Claire;
Latsis Symposium - Research in Environment and Sustainability Poster Effects of river restoration on soil diversity and terrestrial communities 01.11.2010 Zürich, Germany Le Bayon Claire;
8th Swiss Geosciences meeting Poster Emme River restoration project: how to evaluate its success using soil parameters? 01.11.2010 Fribourg, Switzerland Le Bayon Claire; Salome Clémence;
International Symposium on Earthworm Ecology Talk given at a conference Effects of Aporrectodeagiardion geogenicarsenic in the swissJura Mountains. 06.09.2010 Jalapa, Mexique, Mexico Le Bayon Claire; Salome Clémence;
Fourth International Oligochaete Taxonomy Meeting Talk given at a conference Earthworm communities and soil structure in alluvial river ecosystems 20.04.2010 Diyarbakir, Turquie, Turkey Le Bayon Claire;
Congrès de la Société Suisse de Pédologie, 2010, 2011 Talk given at a conference Diversité et distribution pédofaunistique en milieu alluvial à l’étage subalpin. 01.02.2010 Fribourg (2010) Frauenfeld (2011), Switzerland Guenat Claire; Le Bayon Claire; Gobat Jean-Michel; Salome Clémence;
Journée Sols de montagnes Poster L’épisolum humifère en milieu alluvial carbonaté subalpin. Que nous révèle-t-il ? 01.09.2009 Chambéry, France, France Le Bayon Claire; Salome Clémence;
Journée sur l’Etude des Sols Talk given at a conference Populations lombriciennes et structuration des sols en forêts alluviales 01.04.2009 Strasbourg, France, France Gobat Jean-Michel; Salome Clémence; Le Bayon Claire;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
Fifth International Oligochaete Taxonomy Meeting 10.04.2011 Beatenberg, Suisse, Switzerland
Congrès de la Société Suisse de Pédologie 02.02.2009 Neuchâtel, Switzerland

Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
Colloque Sol-Plantes-Climat Talk 19.10.2011 Château d'Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland Le Bayon Claire;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Talks/events/exhibitions Fête de la Nature Western Switzerland 2011
Talks/events/exhibitions Fête de la Terre, Cernier Western Switzerland 2011
Media relations: radio, television Journée WSL "Explique-moi la forêt" RSR - Emission Les Zèbres Western Switzerland 2011
Talks/events/exhibitions Fête du jardin Botanique, Neuchâtel Western Switzerland 2010
Talks/events/exhibitions Journée de la Biodiversité - Parc naturel régional de Gruyère Western Switzerland 2009
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) En vers et drilosphère blog créé par Claire Le Bayon Western Switzerland 2007

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
141186 Effect of climate on coarse woody debris decay dynamics and incorporation into the soils of forested Alpine areas (Decalp) 01.12.2012 Project funding
121345 Mineral Phase Determination & In-situ X-ray Structure Analysis 01.07.2008 R'EQUIP
141188 The effect of cadavers on soil ecology: biotic and functional responses (CADAVER) 01.08.2012 Project funding
153460 Ecosystem engineers' contribution to soil structure formation in floodplains (FloodSTRESS) 01.01.2015 Project funding

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