Pascal Boeckx

Pascal Boeckx
Ghent University | UGhent · Department of Green Chemistry and Technology

PhD

About

586
Publications
224,855
Reads
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19,573
Citations
Additional affiliations
December 1992 - present
Ghent University
Position
  • Professor (Full)
Description
  • www.isofys.be
Education
December 1992 - November 1998
Ghent University
Field of study
  • Biogeochemistry (CH4 emission and oxidation)

Publications

Publications (586)
Article
Forest fragmentation increases the proportion of edge area and this, in turn, induces changes in forest structure, species composition and microclimate. These factors are also strongly determined by the forest management regime. Although the interactive effects of edges and density on forest plant communities have been extensively studied, little i...
Article
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Secondary forests constitute an increasingly important component of tropical forests worldwide. Although cycling of essential nutrients affects recovery trajectories of secondary forests, the effect of nutrient limitation on forest regrowth is poorly constrained. Here we use three lines of evidence from secondary forest succession sequences in cent...
Article
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The soil nitrogen (N) cycle in cold terrestrial ecosystems is slow and organically bound N is an important source of N for plants in these ecosystems. Many plant species can take up free amino acids from these infertile soils, either directly or indirectly via their mycorrhizal fungi. We hypothesized that plant community changes and local plant com...
Article
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Rationale: Stable isotope approaches are increasingly applied to better understand the cycling of inorganic nitrogen (Ni ) forms, key limiting nutrients in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. A systematic comparison of the accuracy and precision of the most commonly used methods to analyze δ15 N in NO3 - and NH4 + and inter-laboratory comparison t...
Article
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Aquatic losses of nutrients are important loss vectors in the nutrient budgets of tropical forests. Traditionally, research has focused mainly on losses of inorganic nutrient forms, whereas the potential contribution of organic and particulate losses to the total nutrient export budget is much less constrained. In this study, we quantified full aqu...
Article
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Agricultural intensification and forest conservation are often seen as incompatible. Agricultural interventions can help boost food security for poor rural communities but in certain cases can exacerbate deforestation, known as the rebound effect. We tested whether coupling agricultural interventions with participatory forest zoning could improve f...
Article
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The Congo basin is home to the second-largest tropical forest in the world. Therefore, it plays a crucial role in the regional water cycle, the global carbon cycle and the continental greenhouse gas balance. Yet very few field-based data on related processes exist. In the wake of global change, there is a need for a better understanding of the curr...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The net primary productivity (NPP) of tropical forests is an important component of the global terrestrial carbon (C) cycle. The lack of field-based data, however, limits our mechanistic understanding of the drivers of NPP and C allocation. In consequence, the role of local edaphic factors for forest growth and C dynamics is unclear and introduces...
Article
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Background Across the tropics, the share of secondary versus primary forests is strongly increasing. The high rate of biomass accumulation during this secondary succession relies on the availability of essential nutrients, such as nitrogen (N). Nitrogen primarily limits many young secondary forests in the tropics. However, recent studies have shown...
Article
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Rivers act as a natural source of greenhouse gases (GHGs). However, anthropogenic activities can largely alter the chemical composition and microbial communities of rivers, consequently affecting their GHG production. To investigate these impacts, we assessed the accumulation of CO2, CH4, and N2O in an urban river system (Cuenca, Ecuador). High var...
Article
Montane forests are characterized by high biodiversity, endemism, and strong elevational environmental gradients. The latter attribute makes them also suitable as a “natural laboratory” for studying the effects of environmental parameters on ecosystem functions. To provide better insight into the carbon cycle of Afromontane ecosystems, we used an e...
Article
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Research in global change ecology relies heavily on global climatic grids derived from estimates of air temperature in open areas at around 2 m above the ground. These climatic grids do not reflect conditions below vegetation canopies and near the ground surface, where critical ecosystem functions occur and most terrestrial species reside. Here, we...
Article
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Aims This study has been carried out to determine the spatial variability of faba bean seed Fe, Zn and Se content across agro-ecological zones in central and southwestern Ethiopia, where it is an important source of protein in the diet. The study assessed whether soil properties, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), faba bean characteristics and gen...
Article
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The individual and interaction effects of elevation, production system (PS), shade and postharvest processing (PHP) on the ratio of dry beans to red cherries and the green bean physical quality features and defects of arabica coffee in southwestern Ethiopia were evaluated. The results showed that, with increasing elevation, the proportions of the t...
Article
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A coupled methodology of nitrogen isotopes, hydrogeochemical characterization, multivariate statistical analysis, and SIAR Bayesian modeling has been employed to identify the sources of NO3⁻ and N transformation processes in three alluvial aquifers (Schinos, Thiva, and Central Evia) located in central Greece where geogenic Cr(VI) co-occurs with agr...
Article
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Rationale: Information on the isotopic composition of nitrous oxide (N2 O) at natural abundance supports the identification of its source and sink processes. In recent years, a number of mass spectrometric and laser spectroscopic techniques have been developed and are increasingly used by the research community. Advances in this active research ar...
Preprint
Background Across the tropics, the share of secondary versus primary forests is strongly increasing. The high rate of biomass accumulation during this secondary succession relies on the availability of essential nutrients, such as nitrogen (N). Nitrogen primarily limits many young secondary forests in the tropics. However, recent studies have shown...
Article
Full-text available
NASAs Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) is collecting space-borne full waveform lidar data with a primary science goal of producing accurate estimates of forest aboveground biomass density (AGBD). This paper presents the development of the models used to create GEDIs footprint-level (~25 m) AGBD (GEDI04_A) product, including a descript...
Article
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Carbon (C) mineralization and turnover in soil rely on complex interactions among environmental variables that differ along latitudinal gradients. This study aims to quantify the relationship between the variation in δ13C signature with soil depth (∆δ13C) and soil C turnover across a large geo-climatic gradient. Thirteen grassland sites were sample...
Preprint
Tropical montane forest store high amounts of soil organic carbon. However, global warming may affect these carbon stocks by enhancing soil organic carbon respiration. Better insight into temperature response of soil organic carbon respiration can be obtained from in and ex situ warming studies. In situ warming via translocation of intact soil meso...
Article
The aim of this research was to evaluate the relevance of using deuterium oxide (2H2O) and bio-impedance analysis (BIA) to assess size and function of the interstitium for urological research. Nineteen volunteers were recruited to this prospective trial combining ingestion of 2H2O and BIA. Blood samples were obtained every 10 min after ingestion of...
Article
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Globally, tropical forests are assumed to be an important source of atmospheric nitrous oxide (N 2 O) and sink for methane (CH 4). Yet, although the Congo Basin comprises the second largest tropical forest and is considered the most pristine large basin left on Earth, in situ N 2 O and CH 4 flux measurements are scarce. Here, we provide multi-year...
Article
is collecting spaceborne full waveform lidar data with a primary science goal of producing accurate estimates of forest aboveground biomass density (AGBD). This paper presents the development of the models used to create GEDI's footprint-level (~25 m) AGBD (GEDI04_A) product, including a description of the datasets used and the procedure for final...
Article
Coffee is an important crop in the global south. However, ongoing changes in the climate system reinforce the need to quantify coffee plants' ecological and eco-physiological traits to assure coffee production in the future. One way to assess how environmental changes affect coffee performance is via leaf traits, most notably leaf carbon and nitrog...
Preprint
Anthropogenic nitrogen inputs cause major negative environmental impacts, including emissions of the important greenhouse gas N2O. Despite their importance, changes in terrestrial N loss pathways driven by global change and spatial redistribution of N inputs are highly uncertain. We present a novel coupled soil-atmosphere isotope model (IsoTONE) to...
Article
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The role of soil in the global carbon cycle and carbon–climate feedback mechanisms has attracted considerable interest in recent decades. Consequently, development of simple, rapid, and inexpensive methods to support the studies on carbon dynamics in soil is of interest. Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) has emerged as a rapid and cost-effective me...
Article
Studies on sediment export from tropical forest watersheds are scarce. Of the assessments that do exist, most are of larger rivers or are model-based and lack validation with measured data. Understanding the mechanisms of sediment export dynamics in forested headwaters is important for assessing downstream effects and as a baseline for net impacts...
Article
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Information on soil properties is crucial for soil preservation, the improvement of food security, and the provision of ecosystem services. In particular, for the African continent, spatially explicit information on soils and their ability to sustain these services is still scarce. To address data gaps, infrared spectroscopy has achieved great succ...
Article
Abiotic fixation and defixation of ammonium (NH4+) in silicate interlayers are common processes in paddy soils, owing to their often high levels of 2:1 type clay minerals. Fixed NH4+ hence forms a buffer during the supply and loss of plant-available N. The soil redox potential (Eh) is suspected to influence NH4+ (de)fixation by its impact on the ne...
Article
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Tropical forests are a key component of the global carbon cycle and climate change mitigation. Field- or LiDAR-based approaches enable reliable measurements of the structure and above-ground biomass (AGB) of tropical forests. Data derived from digital aerial photogrammetry (DAP) on the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) platform offer several advantages...
Article
Anaerobic decomposition of organic carbon (OC) in submerged rice paddies is coupled to the reduction of alternative soil electron acceptors, primarily Fe3+. During reductive dissolution of Fe3+ from pedogenic oxides, previously adsorbed native soil organic carbon (SOC) could be co-released into solution. Incorporation of crop residues could hence i...
Article
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The Congo Basin's rapidly growing population still largely depends on shifting cultivation for both energy and food security. This nexus of population growth and ecological impact will continue to exacerbate landscape degradation in the coming decades. To quantify the effects of land-use intensity on soil nutrient stocks and the functional composit...
Article
Soil quality is indicated by the interaction of physical, chemical and biological soil properties. The importance of physical properties, for example soil structure, lies in the fact that they enhance chemical and biological soil functions. Consequently, periodic assessment of structural quality is an important aspect of soil quality management. Qu...
Article
Aim Elevational gradients provide excellent opportunities to explore long-term morphological and physiological responses of plants to environmental change. We determined the difference in the elevational pattern of foliar carbon isotope composition (δ¹³C) between lianas and trees, and assessed whether this difference arises from changes in photosyn...
Article
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Tropical forests store 40-50% of terrestrial vegetation carbon. Spatial variations in aboveground live tree biomass carbon (AGC) stocks remain poorly understood, in particular in tropical montane forests. Because of climatic and soil changes with increasing elevation, AGC stocks are lower in tropical montane compared to lowland forests. Here we ass...
Article
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Central African tropical forests face increasing anthropogenic pressures, particularly in the form of deforestation and land-use conversion to agriculture. The long-term effects of this transformation of pristine forests to fallow-based agroecosystems and secondary forests on biogeochemical cycles that drive forest functioning are poorly understood...
Article
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Soil resources in parts of Tanzania are rapidly being depleted by increased rates of soil erosion and downstream sediment transport, threatening ecosystem health, water- and livelihood security in the region. However, incomplete understanding to what effect the dynamics of soil erosion and sediment transport are responding to land use changes and c...
Article
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Water bodies in Tanzania are experiencing increased siltation, which is threatening water quality, ecosystem health, and livelihood security in the region. This phenomenon is caused by increasing rates of upstream soil erosion and downstream sediment transport. However, a lack of knowledge on the contributions from different catchment zones, land u...
Article
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Human disturbance is increasingly affecting forest dynamics across the tropics. Forests can recover via natural secondary succession to pre‐disturbance levels of biodiversity, species composition, and ecosystem carbon stocks. Central Africa will be subject to increasingly high shifting cultivation pressure in the next decades, but succession trajec...
Article
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The vertical distribution of absorbing roots is one of the most influential plant traits determining plant strategy to access below ground resources. Yet little is known of natural variability in root distribution since collecting field data is challenging and labor-intensive. Studying stable water isotope compositions in plants could offer a cost-...
Article
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The African Tropics are hotspots of modern-day land-use change and are, at the same time, of great relevance for the cycling of carbon (C) and nutrients between plants, soils and the atmosphere. However, the consequences of land conversion on biogeochemical cycles are still largely unknown as they are not studied in a landscape context that defines...
Article
Full-text available
A Compound Specific Stable Isotope (CSSI) sediment tracing approach is applied for the first time in a Mediterranean mountain agroforestry catchment subjected to intense land use changes in the past decades. Many Mediterranean mountain environments underwent conversion of rangelands into croplands during the previous centuries to increase agricultu...
Article
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Conservation Agriculture (CA) and Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM) have been promoted in Sub Saharan Africa as a means to improve soil quality. A four season research (March, 2017 to March, 2019) was conducted to evaluate CA-based treatment, no tillage with residue retention (NTR), ISFM-based treatment, conventional tillage with use of m...
Article
Long-term field experiments have confirmed belowground plant carbon (C) to be two to three times more efficient precursor of soil organic carbon (SOC) than aboveground plant residues. But it remains elusive just when this belowground biomass is relatively stabilized against mineralization: during the initial fast degradation, or on the longer term?...
Preprint
Full-text available
The release of legacy fallout radionuclides (FRNs) in response to glacier retreat is a process that has received relatively little attention to date, yet may have important consequences as a source of secondary contamination as glaciers melt and down-waste in response to a warming climate. The prevalence of FRNs in glacier-fed catchments is poorly...
Article
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The responses of tropical forests to environmental change are critical uncertainties in predicting the future impacts of climate change. The positive phase of the 2015–2016 El Niño Southern Oscillation resulted in unprecedented heat and low precipitation in the tropics with substantial impacts on the global carbon cycle. The role of African tropica...
Article
Enhanced use efficiency of fertilizer nitrogen (N) is paramount for sustainable pear fruit production. Sufficient fruit N content is a major factor for pear fruit storage potential, but fertilizer N use efficiency in pear fruit trees is generally low. The objective of this work was to test a methodology to quantify N uptake, partitioning and leachi...
Article
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Primary tropical forests generally exhibit large gaseous nitrogen (N) losses, occurring as nitric oxide (NO), nitrous oxide (N2O) or elemental nitrogen (N2). The release of N2O is of particular concern due to its high global warming potential and destruction of stratospheric ozone. Tropical forest soils are predicted to be among the largest natural...
Preprint
Full-text available
The African Tropics are hotspots of modern-day land-use change and are, at the same time, of great relevance for the cycling of carbon (C) and nutrients between plants, soils and the atmosphere. However, the consequences of land conversion on biogeochemical cycles are still largely unknown as they are not studied in a landscape context that defines...
Article
Determining the fate of CO2 respired in woody tissues is necessary to understand plant respiratory physiology and to evaluate CO2 recycling mechanisms. An aqueous ¹³C‐enriched CO2 solution was infused into the stem of 3‐4 m tall trees to estimate efflux and assimilation of xylem‐transported CO2 via cavity ring down laser spectroscopy and isotope ra...
Article
Full-text available
Nitrogen (N) availability can be highly variable in tropical forests on regional and local scales. While environmental gradients influence N cycling on a regional scale, topography is known to affect N availability on a local scale. We compared natural abundance of 15N isotopes of soil profiles in tropical lowland forest, tropical montane forest, a...
Preprint
Full-text available
Research in environmental science relies heavily on global climatic grids derived from estimates of air temperature at around 2 meter above ground1-3. These climatic grids however fail to reflect conditions near and below the soil surface, where critical ecosystem functions such as soil carbon storage are controlled and most biodiversity resides4-8...
Article
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In the Lake Kivu region, water erosion is the main driver for soil degradation, but observational data to quantify the extent and to assess the spatial-temporal dynamics of the controlling factors are hardly available. In particular, high spatial and temporal resolution rainfall data are essential as precipitation is the driving force of soil erosi...
Article
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Remediation of nitrate pollution of Earth's rivers and aquifers is hampered by cumulative biogeochemical processes and nitrogen sources. Isotopes (δ 15 N, δ 18 O) help unravel spatio-temporal nitrogen(N)-cycling of aquatic nitrate (NO 3 −). We synthesized nitrate isotope data (n =~5200) for global rivers and shallow aquifers for common patterns and...