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Ecology and evolution of heavy metal tolerance and accumulation by plants

Units : Plant Ecology and Biogeochemistry | ULB159

Description :

1. Evolutionary ecology of a zinc hyperaccumulator. We address the evolutionary and adaptive significance of heavy metal
hyperaccumulation in plants. Thlaspi caerulescens, a zinc/cadmium hyperaccumulator is used as a model species. More specifically, we test
the hypothesis that hyperaccumulation may have evolved as a chemical defense against herbivores. We also examine the mechanisms by
which that species is able to cope with a broad range of soil mineral element composition (i.e. phenotypic plasticity and/or local
adaptation). 2. Ecology and evolution of copper/cobalt tolerance in the flora of Katanga (Dem Rep Congo). Natural outcrops of
rocks rich in copper/cobalt exist in Katanga. A restricted number of plant species have evolved the ability to tolerate these extreme
habitats. In particular, we investigate evolutionary and ecological significance of heavy metal accumulation in some of those
species. We also examine the possibility to use some of those plants to reclaim soils contaminated by heavy metals due to mining
activities (phytostabilization).

List of persons in charge :

  • NORET Nausicaa

List of lessors :

  • F.R.S.-FNRS et Fonds associés (hors FRIA)

  • FRIA

  • Autres ministères fédéraux

  • Initiatives ministérielles et autres Communauté française