The Laboratory of Systems Ecology and Resource Management  (c/o Prof. Dr. Farid Dahdouh-Guebas), seeks to understand and to predict how and why spatio-temporal dynamics in vegetation and landscape occur.  The main focus lies on mangrove forests.





















It adopts a retrospective approach using relevant methods from different disciplines (botany, very high resolution sequential remote sensing and ground truth, phytosociology, socio-ecologic survey research, historic archive research,...), an integrative analysis (using geographical information systems, multivariate and multicriteria analyses,...) in order to generate outputs relevant for fundamental understanding of ecosystem functioning (status, resilience), for forecasting changes and for ecosystem management (preservation, restoration ecology).  Within this framework we also emphasize on ecological and ethological plant-animal and man-ecosystem interactions. 

The research focuses also on other (sub)tropical vegetation and is done in collaboration with the Laboratory of Plant Biology and Nature Management of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Prof. Dr. Nico Koedam).  The Laboratory of Complexity and Dynamics of Tropical Systems is the continuation of the Laboratory of Systematic Botany and Phytosociology (Prof. Dr. Jean Lejoly - ULB).

The objectives of the Mangrove Reference Database and Herbarium are :

to provide a relational database for all true mangrove plant species using an expandable taxonomic tree;

to provide a fact sheet for each mangrove plant species including basic information with descriptions, photographs, herbarium specimen scan and distribution data;

to provide a searchable online distribution map for each species based on point-locations provided by researchers world-wide through peer-reviewed papers, herbaria, personal contacts or information inserted online, in order to display historic as well as current distribution maps using a GIS-interface;

to preserve a herbarium reference specimen for each true mangrove species; and

to provide an automated determination key to identify mangroves world-wide based on a multi-access key that operates a multivariate analysis tool to compare a species to be identified with its known diagnostic characters.

MRDH WEBSITE : to be launched in 2010

MRDH PUBLICATION : Massó i Alemán et al. (in press)

Belgian herbarium partners : Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), National Botanic Garden of Belgium (BR), Herbarium and african botanical Library of the ULB (BRLU).  For al list of international herbarium partners please consult the website above.