Balaton Limnological Research Institute

Tihany, Hungary

Balaton Limnological Research Institute

Tihany, Hungary

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Podani J.,A.P.S. University | Schmera D.,University of Basel | Schmera D.,Balaton Limnological Research Institute
Oikos | Year: 2011

A conceptual framework is proposed to evaluate the relative importance of beta diversity, nestedness and agreement in species richness in presence - absence data matrices via partitioning pairwise gamma diversity into additive components. This is achieved by calculating three complementary indices that measure similarity, relative species replacement, and relative richness difference for all pairs of sites, and by displaying the results in a two-dimensional simplex diagram, or ternary plot. By summing two terms at a time, three one-dimensional simplices are derived correspondig to different contrasts: beta diversity versus similarity, species replacement versus nestedness and, finally, richness difference versus richness agreement. The simplex diagrams can be used to interpret underlying data structures by showing departure from randomness towards well-interpretable directions, as demonstrated by artificial and actual examples. In particular, one may appreciate how far data structure deviates from three extreme model situations: perfect nestedness, anti-nestedness and perfect gradient. Throughout the paper, we pay special attention to the measurement and interpetation of beta diversity and nestedness for pairs of sites, because these concepts have been in focus of ecological reseach for decades. The novel method can be used in community ecology, conservation biology, and biogeography, whenever the objective is to recover explanatory ecological processes behind patterns conveyed by presence-absence data. © 2011 The Authors.

Eros T.,Balaton Limnological Research Institute | Campbell Grant E.H.,U.S. Geological Survey
Freshwater Biology | Year: 2015

While there is an increasing emphasis in terrestrial ecology on determining the influence of the area that surrounds habitat patches (the landscape 'matrix') relative to the characteristics of the patches themselves, research on these aspects in running waters is still rather underrepresented. Here we outline conceptual foundations of matrix ecology for stream and river ecosystems ('riverscapes'). We discuss how a hierarchical, patch-based perspective is necessary for the delineation of habitat patches and the surrounding matrix, through which we may identify two classes of habitat edges in riverscapes (i.e. edges between the terrestrial-aquatic interface and edges within streams). Under this conceptual framework, we discuss the role of the matrix in influencing between-patch movement, and resource quality and quantity within and among habitat patches in riverscapes. We also review types of empirical and modelling approaches which may advance our understanding of fragmentation effects in these systems. We identify five key challenges for understanding fragmentation and matrix effects more completely: (i) defining populations and their status (i.e. quantifying the demographic contribution of habitat patches to metapopulation dynamics), (ii) scaling from metapopulations to metacommunities (particularly searching for generalities in species responses to landscape heterogeneity), (iii) scaling from metacommunities to metaecosystems (i.e. exploring the interactive role of the terrestrial-aquatic and within-stream matrix effects on the flow of material and energy at the network scale), (iv) understanding temporal dynamics in matrix permeability and (v) revealing the utility of different patch and matrix representations for modelling connectivity relationships. Fragmentation of habitats is a critical issue in the conservation and management of stream networks across spatial scales. Although the effects of individual barriers (e.g. dams) are well documented, we argue that a more comprehensive patch-matrix landscape model will improve our understanding of fragmentation effects and improve management in riverscapes. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Podani J.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | Schmera D.,University of Basel | Schmera D.,Balaton Limnological Research Institute
Ecography | Year: 2012

This paper deals with nestedness measures that are based on pairwise comparisons of sites, evaluates their performance and suggests improvements and generalizations. There are several conceptual and technical criteria to judge their ecological applicability. It is of primary concern whether the measures 1) have a clear mathematical definition, 2) are influenced by the ordering of the data matrix, 3) incorporate similarity alone or similarity together with a dissimilarity component, 4) consider site pairs with identical species number negatively or positively, 5) show sensitivity to small changes in the data, and 6) are not vulnerable to type I and type II error rates. We performed a detailed comparison of the nestedness metric based on overlap and decreasing fill (NODF), the percentage relativized nestedness and the percentage relativized strict nestedness functions (PRN and PRSN, respectively), based on analytical results as well as on artificial and actual examples. We show that NODF is in fact the average Simpson similarity of sites with different species totals, and that its value depends on how the matrix is actually ordered. NODF is modified to always produce the maximum possible result (NODF max), independently of the order of columns and rows. Being based on similarities, NODF and NODF max overemphasize the overlap component of nestedness and underrate richness difference which is also an important constituent of nested pattern in meta-community data. This latter feature is reflected adequately by PRN and PRSN. However, PRSN is similar to NODF and NODF max in sharing the disadvantages that 1) complete agreement and segregation in species composition are not distinguished, 2) a random matrix can have a higher value than truly nested patterns, and 3) they are ill-conditioned statistically. These problems are rooted mostly in that site pairs with tied totals affect the result negatively. We emphasize that PRN is free from these difficulties. PRN, PRSN, and NODF max, together with mean Simpson similarity exhibit highly similar statistical performance: they are resistant to type I and type II errors for the less constrained null models, although there are subtle differences depending on matrix fill and algorithm of randomization. The most constrained null model, with all marginal totals fixed, makes all statistics more sensitive to type I errors, although vulnerability depends greatly on matrix fill. © 2012 The Authors.

Hernadi L.,Balaton Limnological Research Institute | Teyke T.,Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
Cell and Tissue Research | Year: 2013

The location of cerebral neurons innervating the three recently described flexor muscles involved in the orientation of the posterior tentacles was investigated by applying parallel retrograde Co- and Ni-lysine tracing via the olfactory and the peritentacular nerves. Their innervation patterns in the flexor muscles were studied by applying anterograde neurobiotin tracings via these nerves. The labeled neurons are clustered in eight groups in the cerebral ganglion. They send both common and distinct innervation pathways to the flexor and the tegumental muscles and to the tentacular retractor muscle. The common pathway reaches the muscles via the olfactory nerve, whereas the distinct pathways innervate via the internal and external peritentacular nerves. The three anchoring points of the three flexor muscles at the base of the tentacle outline the directions of three force vectors generated by the contraction of the muscles and enable the protracted tentacle to bend around a basal pivot. In the light of earlier physiological and the present anatomical findings, we suggest that the common innervation pathway to the muscles is required for tentacle withdrawal and the retractor mechanism, whereas the distinct pathways primarily serve the bending of the protracted posterior tentacles during foraging. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Eros T.,Balaton Limnological Research Institute | Schmera D.,Balaton Limnological Research Institute | Schmera D.,University of Basel | Schick R.S.,Duke University
Biological Conservation | Year: 2011

Graph theoretic approaches have received increased interest recently in landscape planning and conservation in the terrestrial realm, because these approaches facilitate the effective modelling of connectivity among habitats. We examined whether basic principles of graph theory can be extended to other ecosystems. Specifically, we demonstrate how a network-based context can be used for enhancing the more effective conservation of riverine systems. We first show how to use graph theoretic techniques to model riverscapes at the segment level. Then we use a real stream network (Zagyva river basin, Hungary) to examine the topological importance of segments in maintaining riverscape connectivity, using betweenness centrality, a commonly used network measure. Using the undirected graph model of this riverscape, we then prioritize segments for conservation purpose. We examine the value of each of the 93 segments present in the Zagyva river basin by considering the conservation value of local fish assemblages, connectivity and the size of the habitat patches. For this purpose we use the 'integral index of connectivity', a recently advocated habitat availability index. Based on the results the selection of the most valuable habitat segments can be optimized depending on conservation resources. Because of their inherent advantage in the consideration of connectivity relationships, we suggest that network analyses offer a simple, yet effective tool for searching for key segments (or junctions) in riverscapes for conservation and environmental management. Further, although the joint consideration of aquatic and terrestrial networks is challenging, the extension of network analyses to freshwater systems may facilitate the more effective selection of priority areas for conservation in continental areas. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Kiss T.,Balaton Limnological Research Institute
General and Comparative Endocrinology | Year: 2011

Neuropeptides, the most diverse group of signaling molecules, are responsible for regulating a variety of cellular and behavioral processes in all vertebrate and invertebrate animals. The role played by peptide signals in information processing is fundamentally different from that of conventional neurotransmitters. Neuropeptides may act as neurotransmitters or neuromodulators and are released at either synaptic or non-synaptic sites. Peptide signals control developmental processes, drive specific behaviors or contribute to the mechanisms of learning and memory storage. Co-transmission within or across peptide families, and between peptide and non-peptide signaling molecules, is common; this ensures the great versatility of their action. How these tasks are fulfilled when multiple neuropeptides are released has become an important topic for peptide research. Although our knowledge concerning the physiological and behavioral roles of most of the neuropeptides isolated from molluscs is incomplete, this article provides examples to address the complexity of peptide signaling. © 2011.

Krajcs N.,Balaton Limnological Research Institute
Acta biologica Hungarica | Year: 2012

Bending, twitching and quivering are different types of tentacle movements observed during olfactory orientation of the snail. Three recently discovered special muscles, spanning along the length of superior tentacles from the tip to the base, seem to be responsible for the execution of these movements. In this study we have investigated the ultrastructure, contractile properties and protein composition of these muscles. Our ultrastructural studies show that smooth muscle fibers are loosely embedded in a collagen matrix and they are coupled with long sarcolemma protrusions. The muscle fibers apparently lack organized SR and transverse tubular system. Instead subsarcolemmal vesicles and mitochondria have been shown to be possible Ca2+ pools for contraction. It was shown that external Ca2+ is required for contraction elicited by high (40 mM) K+ or 10-4 M ACh. Caffeine (5 mM) induced contraction in Ca2+-free solution suggesting the presence of a substantial intracellular Ca2+ pool. High-resolution electrophoretic analysis of columellar and tentacular muscles did not reveal differences in major contractile proteins, such as actin, myosin and paramyosin. Differences were observed however in several bands representing presumably regulatory enzymes. It is concluded that, the ultrastructural, biochemical and contractile properties of the string muscles support their special physiological function.

Prey size and species selection of pikeperch Sander lucioperca and Volga pikeperch Sander volgensis were investigated in relation to predator size in the shallow Lake Balaton, Hungary. Although their gape sizes were similar, S. lucioperca shifted to piscivory earlier and consumed fewer, but larger, prey than S. volgensis. Prey species preference of the two piscivores also differed. A bimodal prey size distribution resulted in a reclining sigmoid curve for the life span predator size to prey size relationship with inflexion points between 266 and 284 mm predator standard length (L S) in S. lucioperca. In S. volgensis, as well as in S. lucioperca L S≤ 350 mm, prey size increased monotonically with predator L S, following a power trend for all prey size variables. Prey depth to predator L S relationship varied significantly with prey species and prey number in both piscivores, and prey depth tended to be smaller in predators consuming more than one prey. Both predator species characteristically selected less active, benthic prey fishes in spite of their spiny fin rays, and small- and mid-sized predators selected for small prey. Relatively large prey were also eaten, however, especially by the smallest and largest S. lucioperca. © 2011 The Author. Journal of Fish Biology © 2011 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

Hernadi L.,Balaton Limnological Research Institute
Acta biologica Hungarica | Year: 2012

The anatomy of three novel flexor muscles in the posterior tentacles of Helix pomatia is described. The muscles originate from the ventral side of the sensory pad and are anchored at different sites in the base of the tentacle stem. The muscles span the tentacle and always take the length of the stem which depends on the rate of tentacle protrusion indicating that the muscles are both contractile and extremely stretchable. The three anchoring points at the base of the stem determine three space axes along which the contraction of a muscle or the synchronous contraction of the muscles can move the tentacle in space.

Kiss T.,Balaton Limnological Research Institute
Apoptosis | Year: 2010

Programmed cell death leading to apoptosis is essential for normal development and homeostasis in plants and throughout the animal kingdom. Although there are differences in apoptotic mechanisms between lower animals and vertebrates, crucial biochemical components of the programmed cell death pathways remained remarkably conserved throughout evolution. Despite decades of studies on the neurobiology and development of mollusks, comparatively little is known about the mechanisms of apoptosis in this phylum. In this review, an attempt is made to summarize data obtained on mollusks so far, and to discuss the molecular mechanisms, the functional and ecological significance of apoptosis and the advantages of snail preparations as tools for programmed cell death research. A definitive comparison of the data obtained on mollusks with those obtained on the more widely studied vertebrates, will contribute to the better understanding of the apoptotic process in general and of its evolutionary development. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

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