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Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium

Cerdan O.,Bureau de Recherches Geologiques et Minieres | Govers G.,Catholic University of Leuven | Le Bissonnais Y.,IRD Montpellier | Van Oost K.,University of Leuven La Neuve | And 14 more authors.
Geomorphology | Year: 2010

An extensive database of short to medium-term erosion rates as measured on erosion plots in Europe under natural rainfall was compiled from the literature. Statistical analysis confirmed the dominant influence of land use and cover on soil erosion rates. Sheet and rill erosion rates are highest on bare soil; vineyards show the second highest soil losses, followed by other arable lands (spring crops, orchards and winter crops). A land with a permanent vegetation cover (shrubs, grassland and forest) is characterised by soil losses which are generally more than an order of magnitude lower than those on arable land. Disturbance of permanent vegetation by fire leads to momentarily higher erosion rates but rates are still lower than those measured on arable land. We also noticed important regional differences in erosion rates. Erosion rates are generally much lower in the Mediterranean as compared to other areas in Europe; this is mainly attributed to the high soil stoniness in the Mediterranean. Measured erosion rates on arable and bare land were related to topography (slope steepness and length) and soil texture, while this was not the case for plots with a permanent land cover. We attribute this to a fundamental difference in runoff generation and sediment transfer according to land cover types.On the basis of these results we calculated mean sheet and rill erosion rates for the European area covered by the CORINE database: estimated rill and interrill erosion rates are ca. 1.2tha-1year-1 for the whole CORINE area and ca. 3.6tha-1year-1 for arable land. These estimates are much lower than some earlier estimates which were based on the erroneous extrapolation of small datasets. High erosion rates occur in areas dominated by vineyards, the hilly loess areas in West and Central Europe and the agricultural areas located in the piedmont areas of the major European mountain ranges. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Trachte S.,University of Leuven La Neuve | Salvesen F.,AsplanViak AS
Energy Procedia | Year: 2014

Building renovation is a real opportunity to meet current challenges of primary energy reduction and global warming. But it is not sufficient in terms of sustainable development and sustainable retrofitting of buildings. Sustainable building renovation is primarily an opportunity to improve comfort, wellbeing and quality of life of users while lowering environmental impact of buildings. This contribution, studied in one of the subtasks in IEA SHC Task 47 - Solar Renovation of Non-Residential Buildings - Subtask D; "Environmental and Health Impact Assessment ", aims to broaden the vision of designers and building owners to other environmental and health issues in the context of advanced renovation of nonresidential buildings.

Billieux J.,University of Leuven La Neuve | Billieux J.,University of Geneva | Lagrange G.,Aix - Marseille University | Lagrange G.,Marseille University Hospital Center | And 6 more authors.
Psychiatry Research | Year: 2012

Numerous studies have shown that problem gambling is characterised by lack of impulse control. However, they have often been conducted without considering the multifaceted nature of impulsivity and related psychological mechanisms. The current study aims to disentangle which impulsivity facets are altered in pathological gambling. Twenty treatment-seeking pathological gamblers (PGs) and 20 matched control participants completed a self-reported questionnaire measuring the various facets of impulsive behaviours (UPPS Impulsive Behaviour Scale), as well as two laboratory tasks assessing inhibitory control (the go-stop task) and tolerance for delayed rewards (single key impulsivity paradigm). Compared with matched controls, PGs exhibited higher urgency, lower premeditation, impairment in prepotent inhibition, and lower tolerance towards delayed rewards. Nevertheless, complementary profile analyses showed that impulsivity-related deficits found in PGs are highly heterogeneous, and that some PGs are neither impulsive in the impulsivity facets assessed nor impaired in the cognitive mechanisms measured. These findings underscore (1) the necessity to disentangle the construct of impulsivity into lower-order components and (2) that further studies should take into account, in addition to impulsivity-related mechanisms, other psychological factors potentially involved in pathological gambling. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Powell B.,McGill University | Hall J.,McGill University | Hall J.,University of Leuven La Neuve | Johns T.,McGill University
International Forestry Review | Year: 2011

Food insecurity and malnutrition in local populations both result from and drive deforestation. This paper examines the relationships between diet of local people and measures of forest cover and use in the East Usambara Mountains, Tanzania. Data on dietary diversity and intake were collected for 270 children and their mothers. Area of tree cover within the vicinity of each household was examined in relation to forest use and diet. Individuals using foods from forest and other non-farm land had higher dietary diversity, consumed more animal source foods and had more nutrient dense diets. They also had more tree cover in a close proximity to the home, suggesting a relationship between tree cover and forest food use. Households reporting trips to the forest had lower area of tree cover within close proximity, suggesting that land close to the home with tree cover such as agroforest and fallow is important for obtaining subsistence products. Although historically there has been little motivation for local people to participate in forest conservation in the East Usambaras, the maintenance of tree cover in the landscape around the home, especially on agricultural and village land, may be important in ensuring continued access to the health benefits potentially available in wild and forest foods.

After more than 10 years of a careful examination of the publications dedicated to both gerontology and geriatrics, the authors have tried to sum up the most salient progress in that field. Taken as a whole, the major role of people's way of life to preserve all the main body functions, namely metabolism, cardiovascular, mobility and cognitive functions, has been confirmed. Primary and secondary prevention, whatever the age, is thus confirmed to be of major importance. Indeed, a positive behaviour, even in the oldest old people, always appears beneficial for health, wellbeing or even life expectancy. These healthy behaviours include: a regular physical activity, no smoking, eating large amounts of fruits and vegetables as well as polyunsaturated fats but low quantities of trans fatty acids as well as rapidly assimilated sugar, a moderate alcool consumption and social activities. More and more cohort studies including octogenarians or even nonagenarians were published during the last ten years bringing important pieces of information about ageing and associated pathologies. Several studies have objectively confirmed the benefit for patients of geriatric evaluation in terms of improvement of treatment, recovery and slowing down of functional decline. For many investigators, age must not be the sole parameter to be considered in a patient's care decision, whatever the illness. A real improvement in therapeutic attitude has been observed, in particular for cardiovascular pathologies, for the aged patients as compared to middle aged patients. © La Revue de Gériatrie.

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