Bukk National Park Directorate

Eger, Hungary

Bukk National Park Directorate

Eger, Hungary
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Taborska J.,Eszterházy Károly College | Vojtko A.,Eszterházy Károly College | Dulai S.,Eszterházy Károly College | Schmotzer A.,Bukk National Park Directorate
Thaiszia Journal of Botany | Year: 2015

The Aegilops cylindrica Host (jointed goatgrass) is the only native Aegilops species in Hungary. Its native area runs continuously from the Mediterranean region to Western Asia, while the northern part of the western border proceeds through the Carpathian Basin. A complete census and analysis of Aegilops cylindrica occurrence data in Hungary has not yet carried out. The objectives of this study were to (i.) collect all accessible floristic (herbarium, published and unpublished) data of this species, (ii.) to present it’s current distribution, and (iii.) to evaluate it’s distribution in relation to recent climatic conditions. The historical and recent occurrences have been collated and interpreted in a Geographical Information System (GIS), while the large dataset was suitable for different analysis. The first grid-based distribution map of the species is presented. Altogether 748 floristic records were gathered during the study. Of these, 296 herbarium and 218 literature data have been processed and interpreted in the geographical information system, which was further supplemented with 234 unpublished floristic data. During the evaluation 365 aggregated locations were generated for further analysis. Detailed evaluation of the distribution was presented in the context of phytogeographical regions, showing that 84.1% of localities lay in the forest-steppe belt. During the data evaluation a high degree of heterogeneity was found between the recent and the published data, and herbarium data as well. The main character of the distributional pattern was analyzed in relation to climatic maps. It was found that 81.9% of the species occurrences correlated with the 550 mm or lower annual rainfall isohyet line value, and 75.3% of its localities overlap the <10-11 °C or higher isotherm line value. With the application of this dataset a predictive map of the full occurrence was also carried out. © 2015, Pavol Jozef Safarik University. All rights reserved.

Deak B.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | Valko O.,Debrecen University | Torok P.,Debrecen University | Vegvari Z.S.,Hortobagy National Park Directorate | And 4 more authors.
Applied Ecology and Environmental Research | Year: 2014

Fire as a natural disturbance has been present in most European grasslands. Controlled burning was also an important component of the traditional landscape management for millennia. It was mainly used to reduce litter and woody vegetation and to maintain open landscapes suitable for farming. Due to socio-economical changes traditional and sustainable use of fire was ceased and replaced by arsons and technical fires in Europe. Despite its wide application in the past and the considerable extension and frequency of current grassland fires, the impact of fire on the grassland biodiversity is still scarcely documented in Europe. The aim of this study is to offer a perspective on the issue of fire impact on grasslands, by overviewing published information and practical experiences from Hungary. Our results suggest that fire can be detrimental for several taxa (e.g. insects or ground-dwelling birds), but can also promote population growth of several endangered species by reducing litter or by creating and maintaining open habitats. We also found that fire may be effective in controlling invasive plant species. The effect of fire on grassland biodiversity may be rather context-dependent. There is a critical need for developing robust evidences on the context-dependence of fire effect on biodiversity. For this, well designed prescribed burning experiments are crucial. © 2014, AL#x00D6;KI Kft., Budapest, Hungary.

Mihok B.,Center forEcological Research | Kovacs E.,Szent Istvan University | Kovacs E.,Environmental Social Science Research Group ESSRG | Balazs B.,Szent Istvan University | And 35 more authors.
Journal for Nature Conservation | Year: 2015

Halting biodiversity loss is a critical aim for the forthcoming decades, but is hindered by the gap between research and practice. Bridging this gap is a significant challenge in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, where, compared to Western European countries, biodiversity is higher but the research budget is lower. Approaches to address bridging this gap include participatory research prioritizing exercises. These demand-driven collaborative ranking processes have proven to be a useful tool in providing a research agenda derived from a review of critical challenges based on stakeholder engagement. However, for research agendas to be effectively realized, they are best developed and implemented at the operative level of research financing and implementation. This paper shows the process and the outcome of an exercise conducted in Hungary aiming to compile the most important conservation research questions at the country-level and outlines a set of further measures and tools required for dissemination and advocacy for the research agenda. During the process 792 research questions were collated from conservation practitioners and natural resource managers based on interviews and via an online questionnaire; the final 50 most important questions were identified by practitioners and policy makers during an expert workshop. Questions are embedded in global and EU biodiversity targets and imply a pragmatic approach with the aim of identifying research that supports policy- and decision-making regarding habitat management, land-use and regional development, while also focussing on conflicting issues. The outcome of the process includes the potential for lobbying, therefore post-publication activities and dissemination strategies are outlined as an integrated part of the exercise. © 2015 Elsevier GmbH.

Takacs A.,Debrecen University | Schmotzer A.,Bukk National Park Directorate | Jakab G.,Szent Istvan University | Deli T.,Bekes County Museums | And 9 more authors.
Preslia | Year: 2013

Elatine hungarica Moesz is a small wetland ephemerophyte that occurs and is classified as extinct, data deficient or a very rare and endangered taxon in most countries in eastern and central Europe. Based on literature and herbarium data, supplemented by 160 field records collected between 1998 and 2011, we present the currently known distribution of this species in the Pannonian Basin, which mostly but not exclusively includes Hungary. Within the Pannonian Basin this species is distributed throughout Hungary, with sporadic occurrences in Romania, Serbia and Slovakia. The temporal distribution of floristic records is very uneven. This species was recorded only in 27 years during the last 213 years (1798-2011). When examining presence/absence data for most of the 20th century, we found a significant correlation between the number of records of this species in a given year and two key, but not independent, environmental variables: rainfall and the extent of the area inundated in the same year. In the more intensively documented period between 1998 and 2010, there is only a significant correlation between the numbers of records of this species and the extent of flooding, which is because there is a delay in the effect of an increase in rainfall. The peak occurrence of records in the 1940s and 1950s is associated with extensive rice production in Hungary. Today, most records are for agricultural fields that are subject to flooding and becoming temporary wetlands. The comparison of recent and past distributions of E. hungarica reveals a consistent and marked regional difference; whereas this species is not rare along the Tisza river and its tributaries, it is markedly scattered in similar habitats near the Danube.

Horvath M.,MME BirdLife Hungary | Demeter I.,MME BirdLife Hungary | Fater I.,MME BirdLife Hungary | Firmanszky G.,Aggtelek National Park Directorate | And 6 more authors.
Acta Zoologica Bulgarica | Year: 2011

The Eastern Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca Savigny 1809) reaches the western border of its range in the Carpathian Basin, which is the largest known population outside Russia and Kazakhstan. An increasing trend of this population in Hungary and also in the nearby areas of Slovakia has been reported since the 1980's, when the number of breeding pairs supposedly reached the historical minimum. In this study we evaluated the dynamics of the Hungarian Imperial Eagle population between 2001 and 2009. As a result of the continuous increase of the population the monitoring program revealed 105 nesting pairs by 2009. While an expansion of the breeding area towards lowland agricultural habitats was observed, the ratio of pairs inhabiting the historical mountainous breeding habitats decreased from 50 % to only 15 % during the study period. The frequency of the two- and three-chick broods in respect to single-chick broods increased in comparison to the 1980-2000 period showing a higher average annual productivity of the population (1.15 fledglings per nesting pair). Besides the favourable changes in population trend and productivity, the area expansion in the recently occupied lowland habitats also raised several new threats to the population, such as the increased number of illegal poisoning incidents and more frequent collisions with vehicles.

Pinke G.,University of West Hungary | Kiraly G.,University of West Hungary | Barina Z.,Hungarian Natural History Museum | Mesterhazy A.,University of West Hungary | And 5 more authors.
Plant Biosystems | Year: 2011

In the present study, species were selected from the new Red List of the vascular flora of Hungary which can be regarded as a weed. For each species, current conservation status and the most important traits were assessed. Altogether 149 weed species were found to be at risk according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) categories: 11 species are extinct, 11 are critically endangered, 27 are endangered, 26 are vulnerable, 62 are near threatened and 12 are data deficient. These species belong to 37 plant families, from which the most important are Caryophyllaceae, Brassicaceae, Asteraceae, Scrophulariaceae, Chenopodiaceae, Poaceae and Fabaceae. The most significant chorological elements are Mediterranean (28%) and Eurasian (27%); endemic (Pannonian) taxa constitute only 5.4%. Over 90% of these species are of native or archaeophyte origin, according to their residence time. Considering the main habitat types, 46% of the species are originated from dry habitats, 23% from arable lands, 17.5% from wet habitats and 13.5% from ruderal habitats. In the life form spectra, a pronounced dominance of therophytes (81%) is represented. The factor that currently offers the greatest conflict to the conservation of endangered weed species in Hungary are side effects of strong eradication campaigns against the invasive Ambrosia artemisiifolia. © 2011 Società Botanica Italiana.

DeaK B.,Hortobagy National Park Directorate | Valko O.,Debrecen University | Schmotzer A.,Bukk National Park Directorate | Kapocsi I.,Hortobagy National Park Directorate | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Landscape Ecology | Year: 2012

The aim of our study was to summarize published results and gather practical knowledge and experiences from Hungary concerning the effects of fire on grasslands. We sent questionnaires to experts from Hungarian national park directorates to gather unpublished data and field observations concerning the effects of burning on grasslands. According to the questionnaire survey, the effects of fire are largely dependent on fire characteristics (e.g. timing, frequency and extension) and on the subjected grassland types. Uncontrolled burning has serious negative effects on air quality, human life and property, and can also cause detrimental effects in grassland ecosystems. After huge uncontrolled fires, the cover of noxious competitor species can increase and the population of many endangered species, especially invertebrates or ground-dwelling birds can decrease. Conversely, fire can have some positive impacts from a nature conservation point of view as it controls the spread of some nonnative tree species in grasslands, reduces accumulated litter and increases the availability of suitable microsites for several endangered species. our present knowledge on the effects of fire in Hungarian grasslands is based on the experiences of wildfires and arsons and only a few documented studies. Given the fact that the findings of prescribed burning studies from other geographical regions can only partly be adapted to the Hungarian conditions, there is an increasing need to summarize evidence-based knowledge and to design prescribed burning experiments, because it can be a promising conservation measure in several Hungarian grasslands.

Molnar V A.,Debrecen University | Tokolyi J.,Debrecen University | Vegvari Z.,Debrecen University | Sramko G.,MTA ELTE MTM Ecology Research Group | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Ecology | Year: 2012

Herbarium collections contain long-term data for a wide range of taxa and provide unique opportunities to evaluate the importance of life-history components in driving species-specific responses to climate change. In this paper, we analyse the relationships between change in flowering dates and life-history traits within a phylogenetic framework. The study is based on an extensive data set of herbarium specimens of orchids collected in Hungary between 1837 and 2009, supplemented by recent field observations (1980-2011). Of the 39 taxa investigated, 31 (79%) showed apparent advancement in mean flowering time. Among these, advancement was statistically significant in nine taxa. The rest (eight taxa) showed non-significant delays in flowering. Averaging across all taxa, flowering time advanced by 3 days (3.8% of flowering period) during the last 50 years compared with the period before 1960. In taxa showing significant advancement, flowering times advanced by 7.7 days (8.6% of the flowering period). The most extreme advancement was 13.9 days. Multivariate models were used to evaluate ways in which life history may affect phenological responses to climate change. Pollination mode (i.e. deceptive vs. rewarding vs. autogamous), life span (i.e. short-lived vs. long-lived), biogeographical distribution type (i.e. Mediterranean vs. non-Mediterranean) and flowering time (i.e. mean date of blooming) emerged as important factors that influence changes in flowering through time. Phylogenetic relatedness did not predict phenological response. The strongest response was observed in orchids that flower relatively early in spring, exhibit an autogamous or deceptive pollination mechanism, have a long life span and possess a Mediterranean centre of distribution. Synthesis. Our investigation demonstrates that the majority of Hungarian orchids have shifted their yearly mean flowering to earlier dates during the past 50 years. Certain life-history traits, but not phylogenetic relatedness, were found to be important in predicting climatic responsiveness in European terrestrial orchids. Our investigation demonstrates that the majority of Hungarian orchids have shifted their yearly mean flowering to earlier dates during the past 50 years. Certain life-history traits, but not phylogenetic relatedness were found to be important in predicting climatic responsiveness in European terrestrial orchids. © 2012 British Ecological Society.

Horvath M.,MME BirdLife Hungary | Szitta T.,Bukk National Park Directorate | Firmanszky G.,Aggtelek National Park Directorate | Solti B.,Matra Muzeum | And 2 more authors.
Acta Zoologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae | Year: 2010

Reproductive success of raptor species is significantly affected by the quantity and/or quality of available prey. In our study we analysed prey composition of breeding imperial eagles (Aquila heliaca) in East Hungary, where 434 nesting events in 81 different territories had been monitored between 1995 and 2004. We identified 1297 prey items originating from 43 bird and 16 mammalian species (532 and 764 specimens, respectively). Three prey species, the brown hare (Lepus europaeus), the hamster (Cricetus cricetus) and the pheasant (Phasianus colchicus), seem to have especially important role in the diet of imperial eagles in Hungary, although their relative frequencies varied greatly among different regions. We found that eagles were less productive in a region where hamster was the main prey (West Zemplén Mts) as compared to a recently colonized hare-dominated region (Heves Plain), suggesting that hares may provide a better food source than hamsters. The increase of game species in the diet of imperial eagles could generate hostility in hunters. Possible conflict between nature conservation and small-game management may be resolved by raising public awareness and by common projects to improve hare and pheasant habitats.

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