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- PublicationAccès libreEarthworm communities in alluvial forests: Influence of altitude, vegetation stages and soil parametersIn many terrestrial ecosystems, soil parameters usually regulate the distribution of earthworm communities. In alluvial ecosystems, few studies have investigated the impact of periodic floods and alluvium deposition on soil fauna. In this context, we assumed that earthworm communities may vary depending on altitude (alpine, subalpine, mountain and hill levels), forest successional stage (post-pioneer to mature forests) and some soil parameters. Our results demonstrated that the composition of earthworm communities differed depending on altitudinal gradients. No earthworm was found at the alpine level while maximum density and biomass were observed at the hill level mainly due to the contribution of anecic species. A total of 27 species and subspecies were found over the three sampling sites, and Lumbricus moliboeus was discovered for the first time in carbonated soils. Soil texture had a major effect on epigeics that were often associated with coarse sandy texture in contrast to anecics which preferred deep soils and mature forest stages, which in combination provided the highest carbon content and the finest soil texture. In our study, carbonated fluviosols (Fluvisols according to the World Reference Base) were recorded; fluviosols typiques with well-structured A layers were generally found in mature or intermediate forest stages while most of fluviosols juveniles with heterogeneous texture were observed principally in post-pioneer forests. We conclude that in alluvial ecosystems, earthworm communities were highly dependent first on soil parameters, then altitude and to a lesser extent forest successional stages. Changes in earthworm communities tend to reflect a gradient of alluvial dynamics thus reinforcing the potential role of earthworms as bioindicators in natural and/or semi natural alluvial ecosystems.
- PublicationMétadonnées seulementEvolution of a Swiss alpine floodplain over the last 150 years: hydrological and pedological considerations
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- PublicationAccès libreIdentification of facies models in alluvial soil formation: The case of a Swiss alpine floodplainThis paper describes different conceptual facies models intervening in alluvial soil formation in the case of the Sarine River floodplain, a partially embanked floodplain situated in the northwest of the Swiss Alps. Alluvial soils are submitted to processes of deposition and erosion and exhibit various characteristics reflecting the composition and properties of the material transported. Moreover, these processes of sedimentation and erosion vary in space and time and contribute thus to the heterogeneity of the whole floodplain system. Detailed analyses of the different soil layers permit a precise description of the variability and complexity of soil formation. In addition, the vertical succession of the horizons is useful to reconstruct the different natural or artificial events that occurred in this alluvial valley since the nineteenth century. On a larger scale, this study aims to contribute to floodplain management by identifying zones for restoration. The investigation was undertaken using data from 109 auger borings carried out in the Sarine River valley. Several morphological attributes of the different horizons and of the different profiles were first reduced in number and then grouped by a hierarchical agglomerative clustering. Profile factors were analysed by means of correlation analyses as well as other data summaries. The results showed positive correlations between several factors, particularly between the total profile thickness and the number of horizons found in the profile. Four facies models of alluvial soil formation are then proposed to illustrate and explain the variability of alluvial soil formation in the Sarine floodplain. Finally, these facies models are placed into the context of the Sarine floodplain scale case, according to the levels of organization of the alluvial system.
- PublicationAccès libreEarthworm communities as indicators for evaluating floodplain restoration success
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