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Bede A.,Mora Ferenc Museum | Salisbury R.B.,Vienna Institute for Archaeological Science | Csatho A.I.,Institute of Ecology and Botany | Czukor P.,Mora Ferenc Museum | And 3 more authors.
Central European Geology | Year: 2015

The Ecse-halom is a burial mound (kurgan) in the Hortobágy region of Hungary. Built in the Late Copper Age/Early Bronze Age by nomadic people from the east, it now stands on the border between two modern settlements. A road of medieval origin runs along this border and cuts deeply into the body of the mound. The southern half of the mound was plowed and used as a rice field, and later a military observation tower was built on top of it. Despite this disturbance, the surface of the mound is in decent condition and provides a home for regionally significant, species-rich loess steppe vegetation. The mound comprises two construction layers as indicated by magnetic susceptibility and thin-section micro-morphological analysis. Examination of organic compounds and carbonate content at various levels showed different values, which suggest a variety of natural and anthropogenic stratigraphic layers. Mid-sized siltstone fraction is dominant in the section. The layers originate from the immediate vicinity of the mound, but have different characteristics than present-day soils. These mounds contain a valuable record of cultural and environmental conditions occurring at the time of their construction, and also serve as a refuge for ancient loess vegetation; therefore their conservation is highly recommended. © 2015 The Author(s).

Deak B.,Hortobagy National Park Direct. | Kapocsi I.,Hortobagy National Park Direct.
Journal of Landscape Ecology | Year: 2010

To increase the extension of natural grasslands by preserving their remaining stands and by creating seminatural grasslands in proper sites has high priority in nature conservation in Hungary. In the nature protectional and agricultural practice the most frequently applied methods for grassland restoration are facilitating spontaneous succession, hay removal and sowing low or high diversity seed mixtures. Facilitating spontaneous succession is cost effective and requires a low level of technical background. It should be applied on abandoned arable fields where grasslands with high natural value are present in the neighbourhood which can act as propagules donor sites for revegetation. Disadvantages of this method are that the regeneration of the vegetation is slow, and the development can stick in a weed dominated stage. Hay removal can be used for accelerating the spontaneous succession and for establishing species rich grasslands as well. Although this is one of the most expensive techniques, it requires a low level of technical background and does not need complicated preparation works. The critical point of this method is to have the proper quality and quantity of the hay. Sowing seed mixtures is an appropriate method for restoring grasslands in a landscape level. Sowing is a fast and cost effective way for establishing a closed grassland with native species. Depending on the expected results and the available budget two types of seed mixtures can be applied. Low diversity seed mixture with the propagules of several native grass species is recommended when the goal is to establish grasslands in a several hectares extension. The high diversity seed mixture containing propagules of several forb species in addition is adequate for restoring a species rich grassland. Implementation of sowing seed mixtures requires a high technical knowledge and complex machinery. The purchase of the seeds can be problematic because the adequate species are usually cannot be bought from commercial sources. For management of restored grasslands grazing, mowing and controlled burning are needed.

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