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Mester B.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | Szalai M.,Koros Maros National Park Directorate | Mero T.O.,Nature Protection and Study Society NATURA | Puky M.,HAS CER DRI | Lengyel S.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Biological Conservation | Year: 2015

Ecosystem management often aims to maintain a diversity of habitats to benefit a large number of specieswithin a landscape. We studied the effects of wetland management by low-intensity cattle-grazing and late-summer burning on marsh vegetation and globally declining anuran amphibians (frogs and toads) in a previously homogeneous reedbed. Burning effectively removed old reed and increased the variability of reed cover and marsh vegetation by the next spring. However, reed grew back strong in areas burned 2 or 3 years before the study, indicating that fire rejuvenates reedbeds. In contrast, cattle-grazing kept reed cover homogeneously lowand created open water surfaces. The number of amphibian species and individuals decreased with mean reed cover and old reed density, and increased with variability in reed cover. Correspondingly, amphibian richness and counts were greatest in newly burned areas the next spring. In contrast, a year later, richness and counts were greatest in grazed-only areas,with large decreases in newly burned and control areas. Our results suggest that combined management with grazing and burning can create different habitat patches, some of which will be optimal for amphibians in one year, whereas other patches may become suitable in a subsequent year when successional changes alter previously optimal patches. To maximise optimal habitats, mosaic management should repeat burning once every 2 or 3 years in a rotational manner, and also maintain low-intensity cattle-grazing, which controls reeds and benefits amphibians more sustainably. Our study supports spatiotemporally varied management to facilitate habitat heterogeneity and complexity in dynamic landscapes. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.


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.


Uj B.,Szent Istvan University | Nagy A.,Szent Istvan University | Salata D.,Szent Istvan University | Laborczi A.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Maps | Year: 2016

The manuscript presents maps of internationally important wetlands located in the Kis-Sárrét (Hungary) from 1860 to 2008. The study area is located in south-east Hungary, in the Körös-Maros National Park and covers 8048 ha. For the historic map review, we used digitized data of topographic maps from the period of two military surveys and the Second World War. We also made habitat maps of the area in 2007 and 2008. Data processing, and the establishment of a database of the mapped area, was made using QuantumGIS 1.7.0 and Esri ArcView GIS 3.2. Maps were produced using Esri ArcGIS 10.0 and show where and in what ratio the once extensive wetlands occurred, how they changed and in which part of the area they survived in different mapping periods. They provide a point of reference for the monitoring of wetlands, contributing to the long-term conservation of these valuable habitats. Maps and diagrams show that between 1860 and 1944 wetland extent decreased by half. The ratio of natural, ‘purely’ wet habitats reaches only 4.67% now. Wetlands typically occur in habitat complexes, therefore not ‘purely’ wet habitats (20.77%) also have to be taken into account. Considering this, and a recent habitat reconstruction, the extent of wetlands is more favourable today than it was in 1944. However, to sustain them requires care and well-planned management to which the maps presented here provide an important basis. © 2015 Anita Nagy.


Uj B.,Szent Istvan University | Nagy A.,Szent Istvan University | Salata D.,Szent Istvan University | Laborczi A.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Maps | Year: 2015

The manuscript presents maps of internationally important wetlands located in the Kis-Sárrét (Hungary) from 1860 to 2008. The study area is located in south-east Hungary, in the Körös-Maros National Park and covers 8048 ha. For the historic map review, we used digitized data of topographic maps from the period of two military surveys and the Second World War. We also made habitat maps of the area in 2007 and 2008. Data processing, and the establishment of a database of the mapped area, was made using QuantumGIS 1.7.0 and Esri ArcView GIS 3.2. Maps were produced using Esri ArcGIS 10.0 and show where and in what ratio the once extensive wetlands occurred, how they changed and in which part of the area they survived in different mapping periods. They provide a point of reference for the monitoring of wetlands, contributing to the long-term conservation of these valuable habitats. Maps and diagrams show that between 1860 and 1944 wetland extent decreased by half. The ratio of natural, ‘purely’ wet habitats reaches only 4.67% now. Wetlands typically occur in habitat complexes, therefore not ‘purely’ wet habitats (20.77%) also have to be taken into account. Considering this, and a recent habitat reconstruction, the extent of wetlands is more favourable today than it was in 1944. However, to sustain them requires care and well-planned management to which the maps presented here provide an important basis. © 2015 Anita Nagy


Zimmermann Z.,Institute of Ecology and Botany | Szabo G.,Institute of Ecology and Botany | Csatho A.I.,Szent Istvan University | Kapocsi J.S.,Koros Maros National Park Directorate | And 9 more authors.
Applied Ecology and Environmental Research | Year: 2014

Our aim was to investigate the species richness and diversity of a loess grassland influenced by the digging of the lesser blind mole rat [Nannospalax (superspecies leucodon)] and to study the effect of this disturbance to diversity. The study was conducted in the Külso{double acute}-gulya loess grassland (Körös-Maros National Park), which is unique in Hungary due to its excellent soil quality and the large spatial extent of natural loess meadow steppe. We recorded the cover of species in 50x50 cm plots. Altogether 12 plots were sampled on mounds of mole rat and 12 plots as a control in the area with no mounds. Differences in species richness, Shannon-diversity, evenness and total cover between disturbed and control plots were tested by One-Way ANOVA. There were no significant difference neither in the number of species, nor in the Shannon-diversity and evenness. There were differences in the species composition detected by PCO ordination. We can conclude that the presence and disturbance of the mole rat influence the composition of the grassland significantly but it does not cause a difference in the species richness, diversity and total cover. Our results suggest that this grassland has adapted to these natural disturbances. © 2014, ALÖKI Kft., Budapest, Hungary.

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