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Kiss O.,University of Szeged | Tokody B.,BirdLife Hungary | Ludnai T.,Kiskunsag National Park Directorate | Moskat C.,Eötvös Loránd University
Acta Zoologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae | Year: 2017

Provisioning of artificial nest-boxes proved to be an effective method to make suitable breeding sites for secondary cavity nester birds due to the lack of natural hollows. The European roller (Coracias garrulus) is a threatened bird species in Europe, which suffered a serious decline throughout its breeding range. Changing agricultural practices seem to be the main causes attributed to the shortage of suitable breeding sites. in this study we aimed to investigate which factors affect the occupancy rate of newly provided nest-boxes. Four-year rollers' occupancy data were analysed by generalized linear models. Our results showed that nest-box characteristics (holder type and height above ground) and the presence of conspecifics significantly influenced rollers' nest-box occupancy. We conclude that nest-box visibility, height and the presence of conspecifics should also be considered when starting a nest-box supplementation program to ensure an effective method for the conservation of rollers.


Halmos G.,U For Life | Karcza Z.S.,U For Life | Nemeth A.,Kiskunsag National Park Directorate | Csorgo T.,Eötvös Loránd University
Acta Zoologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae | Year: 2010

Studies conducted within the framework of the EURING Swallow Project in the Mediterranean area pointed out that the fattening of Barn Swallows is dependent on the distance they need to cover to pass over ecological barriers, such as sea and desert via their migration route. Our study was conducted at inland sites and we analysed the data in comparison to results previously obtained in the western Mediterraneum. Barn Swallows were captured at two roosting sites in Hungary: Ócsa peat bog and Izsák, at Lake Kolon between 2000-2002 with tape-luring set up each day one and a half hours before sunset. During the study period 7000 adult and 36000 juvenile Barn Swallows were caught. Wing length, 3rd primary length, tail length, body mass and fat score were measured for all adults and for the first 100 juveniles birds each night. Based on the dynamics of fat accumulation the study period was separated to a post-breeding, a transitional and a pre-migratory phase. The observed pattern between years and sites were similar, and there were recaptures during the same autumn between the two roosting sites (60 km from each other) to north and to south direction as well. Our results can not exclude one of the two alternative hypotheses on Barn Swallow migration strategy that is: (1) Barn Swallows build up their fat reserves in Hungary and afterwards they maintain it while slowly reaching the ecological barriers, and (2) Barn Swallows capable of a non-stop migration from Hungary to the southern edge of the Sahara. Efforts to find important refuelling sites in the eastern Mediterranean are needed to support any of the hypotheses.


Horvath Z.,Eötvös Loránd University | Vad C.F.,Eötvös Loránd University | Toth A.,Balaton Limnological Research Institute | Zsuga K.,Facan sor 56 | And 4 more authors.
Oikos | Year: 2014

Salinity represents a major structuring factor in aquatic habitats which strongly affects species richness. We studied the relationships among species richness, density and phylogenetic diversity of zooplankton communities along a natural salinity gradient in astatic soda pans in the Carpathian Basin (Hungary, Austria and Serbia). Diversity and density showed opposing trends along the salinity gradient. The most saline habitats had communities of one or two species only, with maximum densities well above 1000 ind l-1. Similarity of communities increased with salinity, with most of the highly saline communities being dominated by one highly tolerant calanoid copepod, Arctodiaptomus spinosus, which was at the same time the only soda-water specialist. Salinity obviously constrained species composition and resulted in communities of low complexity, where few tolerant species ensure high biomass production in the absence of antagonistic interactions. The pattern suggests that environmental stress may result in highly constrained systems which exhibit high rates of functioning due to these key species, in spite of the very limited species pool. © 2013 The Authors.


Toth A.,Balaton Limnological Research Institute | Horvath Z.,WasserCluster Lunz | Vad C.F.,Eötvös Loránd University | Zsuga K.,Facan sor 56 | And 2 more authors.
International Review of Hydrobiology | Year: 2014

Despite the high conservation value of intermittent soda pans, these habitats were mostly targeted by small-scale studies and little is known about their microscopic fauna. We sampled all the remaining 110 representatives of this habitat type (including recently restored ones) in Europe in an area covering approximately 125000km2. We analyzed spring and summer zooplankton species composition including rotifers, copepods, and cladocerans. We found 105 Rotifera, 26 Cladocera, and 26 Copepoda taxa, with local species richness ranging between 1 and 38 taxa. Alpha diversity was comparable in the two main groups (Rotifera, Crustacea), while beta and gamma diversity was higher in rotifers. The most frequently occurring zooplankters were crustaceans, while rotifer taxa were rarer as the most frequent species inhabited less than half of the pans. Dominance of the natronophilic Arctodiaptomus spinosus proved to be a reliable indicator for high quality soda pans. We concluded that the most typical soda pan zooplankton communities developed by early summer, in the concentrated pans, thus we would suggest considering this period as a reference for ecological state monitoring, and especially for evaluating the success of soda pan rehabilitations or reconstructions with the help of zooplankton. Based on these criteria, restorations could be considered only moderately successful. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Horvath Z.,Eötvös Loránd University | Vad C.F.,Eötvös Loránd University | VOroS L.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | Boros E.,Kiskunsag National Park Directorate
Journal of Limnology | Year: 2013

The distribution of Branchinecta orientalis, B. ferox and Chirocephalus carnuntanus was assessed in the natural and semi-natural astatic soda pans of the Carpathian basin. In Europe, these habitats are exclusively restricted to Hungary (Great Hungarian Plain), Austria (Seewinkel) and Serbia (Vojvodina). The present research is the first comprehensive large-scale study - covering an area of approximately 125,000 km2 - on these three fairy shrimp species in the region, and it is important especially in the case of Branchinecta spp., due to former taxonomical uncertainties. The local, land use and spatial effects on the species distribution were also analysed. The three anostracans were found to adopt different strategies, mainly according to the salinity of the pans. The apparently halophilous B. orientalis tolerated higher salinities than the other species, which can be regarded as habitat-generalist halotolerants, showing a high preference for soda waters in Central Europe. The density of the species was significantly affected only by local factors, while their occurrence was influenced also by pan isolation. Land use did not explain a significant amount of variation in either case. In conclusion, soda pans with a wide range of different salinities constitute a suitable habitat for all the three species. Also, protected areas with high number of pans - as Seewinkel (in Austria) or Kiskunság (in Hungary) - can play an essential role in the long-term conservation of these anostracans. Finally, we suggest that these species should be legally protected, primarily because the number of their habitats in the basin is seriously declining. mercial use.


Horvath R.,Debrecen University | Magura T.,Debrecen University | Szinetar C.,University of West Hungary | Eichardt J.,University of West Hungary | And 2 more authors.
Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment | Year: 2015

Previous studies reported that landscape-level factors are vital to support diversity of spiders in strongly modified arable lands and disturbed habitats such as managed semi-natural grasslands. Cropland management (ploughing, fertilization, and pest management) and agricultural practices (mowing and grazing) destroy and/or modify regularly the spider assemblages; thus, continuous recolonization from the surrounding landscape is vital to sustain the species pool. On the contrary, we hypothesized that in unmanaged grasslands, the spider assemblages are stable and the importance of recolonization is limited, the local factors become much more important drivers in shaping spider assemblages than landscape-level factors. We tested the importance of local and landscape-level factors on the abundance and species richness of spiders in unmanaged grasslands. At the landscape-level, we found that only the isolation had significant effect on the total abundance, on the abundance of hunting and habitat specialist species, and on the abundance of a frequent species (. Gnaphosa mongolica). At the local scale, however, four out of five studied factors influenced significantly the species richness and abundance of spider assemblages and the abundance of two frequent species (. Alopecosa psammophila, Berlandia cinerea). Species richness and abundance increased by plant cover, litter cover, and patch size, while decreased by bare ground cover. We found that in unmanaged grasslands, the local factors had vital role in maintaining the spider species richness; this is just the opposite conclusion that was earlier reported for agricultural ecosystems, where landscape-level effects had crucial role providing the species for continuous recolonization. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.


The landfill of Nemesnádudvar has been recultivated in 2010. The planning process of the construction works had been significantly influenced by the discovery of a huge population of the endemic long lasting pink (Dianthus diutinus) in 2009. My article aims to explain the nature conservation interventions due to the relevation of the endemic plant.


Palffy K.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | Felfoldi T.,Eötvös Loránd University | Mentes A.,Eötvös Loránd University | Horvath H.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | And 4 more authors.
Extremophiles | Year: 2014

Winter phytoplankton communities in the shallow alkaline pans of Hungary are frequently dominated by picoeukaryotes, sometimes in particularly high abundance. In winter 2012, the ice-covered alkaline Zab-szék pan was found to be extraordinarily rich in picoeukaryotic green algae (42-82 × 106 cells ml-1) despite the simultaneous presence of multiple stressors (low temperature and light intensity with high pH and salinity). The maximum photosynthetic rate of the picoeukaryote community was 1.4 μg C μg chlorophyll a-1h-1 at 125 μmol m-2 s-1. The assimilation rates compared with the available light intensity measured on the field show that the community was considerably light-limited. Estimated areal primary production was 180 mg C m-2 d-1. On the basis of the 18S rRNA gene analysis (cloning and DGGE), the community was phylogenetically heterogeneous with several previously undescribed chlorophyte lineages, which indicates the ability of picoeukaryotic communities to maintain high genetic diversity under extreme conditions. © 2013 Springer Japan.


Vadasz C.,Kiskunsag National Park Directorate | Mate A.,Dorcadion Kft | Kun R.,Szent Istvan University | Vadasz-Besnyoi V.,Szent Istvan University
Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment | Year: 2016

The differential effect of main grassland management types (primarily grazing and mowing) on plant species richness has been discussed in many papers. In-depth investigations, focusing on the effects of particular management attributes (herbage removal intensity, timing, etc.) are less frequent. We propose a new, evidence-based conceptual model for quantifying the specific effects of particular management attributes on the richness and diversity of plant species. The applicability of the model was tested in Central-Hungarian species-rich meadow-steppe grasslands, characterised by different management regimes. Two management attributes involved in this study (herbage removal intensity and spatio-temporal complexity of management regime) significantly affected both the diversity and the plant species richness at a 1m2 spatial scale, whereas management type had a significant effect on species richness only. With regard to the overall variance in species richness, none of the single attributes (without combining with other ones) had considerable explanatory power; for making precise predictions, all the management attributes must have been considered. The "dichotomous effect" of grazing (i.e. both the highest and the lowest levels of plant species richness were observed at pastures) could be quantitatively explained by the model. Grazing at low or medium intensity (less than 0.5 animal unit/ha), with an annually varying rotation sequence of pasture units, led to a much higher, whereas permanent overgrazing resulted in a much lower, level of plant species richness than traditional mowing (conducted once a year during midsummer). Generalisation of the proposed model can be used to predict the potential overall effect of particular management systems on the plant species richness of other grassland types. For the potential overall effect of management, a new term has been introduced: the diversifying potential. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.


Horvath Z.,Eötvös Loránd University | Vad C.F.,Eötvös Loránd University | Voros L.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | Boros E.,Kiskunsag National Park Directorate
Freshwater Biology | Year: 2013

1.The European soda pans of the Carpathian Basin provide important stopover sites for several waterbird species. We studied the effect of different invertebrate food types and other characteristics on the habitat choice and distribution of birds on 82 pans (in Hungary, Austria and Serbia) during spring migration. 2.Only three environmental variables proved to be significant determinants of the waterbird communities: pan density (spatial effect) along with the density of Arctodiaptomus spp. and anostracans (local effect). Variance partitioning of the data revealed that aquatic invertebrate food supply (Arctodiaptomus and anostracans) had a greater effect than pan density on the 10 investigated bird species, suggesting a dominant role of species sorting in structuring the communities. Pied avocets (Recurvirostra avosetta) and northern shovelers (Anas clypeata) differed from the other species in their strong association with densities of anostracans (avocet) and Arctodiaptomus (shoveler). 3.Anostracans and microcrustaceans, especially the most frequent Branchinecta orientalis, Arctodiaptomus spinosus and Arctodiaptomus bacillifer, can be regarded as keystone elements of this soda pan habitat because of their bottom-up role in structuring waterbird assemblages during spring migration. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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