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Lukacs B.A.,Balaton Limnological Research Institute | Sramko G.,MTA ELTE MTM Ecology Research Group | Molnar V A.,Debrecen University
Biological Conservation | Year: 2013

Temporary pools are unusual habitats because they share features of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. They are habitats of community interests according to the Natura 2000 network (Natura code: 3130 and 3170), and can be found in several climatic regions where they harbours various wetland habitats. Whereas Mediterranean temporary pools are well studied, only a few papers deal with their continental counterparts, probably because they are mainly found on arable fields often displaying decades-lasting dormancy. This study aims at filling this gap in our knowledge by evaluating plant species composition, habitat types and diversity of temporary pools in a region of continental climate. We analysed data from 185 phytosociological relevés (79 historical and 106 contemporary data) from different types of waterlogged arable fields, including rice paddy fields, from the Pannonian Ecoregion. We found significant differentiations of rice paddy fields from 'other' waterlogged arable fields according to ordination, classification and regression analyses. Diversity partitioning of species abundance data showed that these habitats have a very high alpha (species number, Simpson and Shannon) and beta diversity, which means that all the sites have high importance in habitat conservation. We found many vascular plants listed in IUCN and national red lists among the indicator and characteristic species of continental temporary pools. Our results demonstrate the conservation importance of continental temporary pools in relation to habitat and biodiversity management and conservation planning. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Rozsa L.,MTA ELTE MTM Ecology Research Group | Vas Z.,Hungarian Natural History Museum
ORYX | Year: 2015

The co-extinction of parasitic taxa and their host species is considered a common phenomenon in the current global extinction crisis. However, information about the conservation status of parasitic taxa is scarce. We present a global list of co-extinct and critically co-endangered parasitic lice (Phthiraptera), based on published data on their host-specificity and their hosts' conservation status according to the IUCN Red List. We list six co-extinct and 40 (possibly 41) critically co-endangered species. Additionally, we recognize 2-4 species that went extinct as a result of conservation efforts to save their hosts. Conservationists should consider preserving host-specific lice as part of their efforts to save species. © 2014 Fauna & Flora International.

Vas Z.,Szent Istvan University | Csorba G.,Hungarian Natural History Museum | Rozsa L.,MTA ELTE MTM Ecology Research Group
Parasitology Research | Year: 2012

The taxonomic richness of lice (Phthiraptera) varies considerably among their avian and mammalian hosts. Previous studies explored some factors shaping louse diversity; however, the so-called Eichler's rule-according to which taxonomic richness of parasites co-varies with that of their hosts-has never been tested. Our study incorporates all families of birds and mammals and the whole order of lice to test this co-variation, thus we present the widest taxonomic range to test any correlates of louse richness. Louse richness data were controlled for uneven sampling effort. We used the method of independent contrasts to control for phylogenetic effects. We found a strong correlation between the species richness of avian and mammalian families and generic richness of their lice. We discuss some alternative macroevolutionary and macroecological hypotheses that may explain this phenomenon that may well be a general feature of parasitism and it seems possible that this effect contribute considerably to global biodiversity. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.

Lakos A.,Center for Tick borne Diseases | Korosi A.,MTA ELTE MTM Ecology Research Group | Foldvari G.,Szent Istvan University
Wiener Klinische Wochenschrift | Year: 2012

Tick-borne lymphadenopathy (TIBOLA) is an emerging infection caused by Rickettsia slovaca. We describe here the seasonal, age and gender characteristics as well as the association with horse contact as risk factors for acquiring TIBOLA in comparison with another, more frequent tick-borne disease, Lyme borreliosis. We analysed a dataset of 855 patients diagnosed with either Lyme (n = 805) or TIBOLA (n = 50) disease using Fisher's exact tests and generalized linear models. Then we performed a matched case-control study in which all TIBOLA patients were paired with one Lyme patient matching in age and gender. We identified the species of ticks collected from the TIBOLA patients (n = 16). We found that horse contact was significantly more frequent among TIBOLA (34/50; 68 %) than among Lyme patients (110/805; 13.7 %) (OR = 13.35, p < 0.001). The younger age and female gender associated with higher risk of acquiring TIBOLA (OR = 3.99, p < 0.001). Ten of the 16 ticks were D. marginatus, six were D. reticulatus suggesting that both species are responsible for transmitting R. slovaca. Two patients acquired the infection from male ticks. TIBOLA is a tick-borne zoonosis, which might have a specific association with horse contact. © Springer-Verlag Wien 2012.

Baldi A.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | Baldi A.,Institute of Ecology and Botany | Batary P.,University of Gottingen | Batary P.,MTA ELTE MTM Ecology Research Group | Kleijn D.,Wageningen University
Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment | Year: 2013

Agricultural intensification is a major threat to biodiversity. Agri-environment schemes, the main tools to counteract negative impacts of agriculture on the environment, are having mixed effects on biodiversity. One reason for this may be the limited number of species (groups) covered by most studies. Here, we compared species richness and abundance of 10 different species groups on extensively (0.5 cattle/ha) and intensively (1.0-1.2 cattle/ha) grazed semi-natural pastures in 42 fields in three Hungarian regions. Plants, birds and arthropods (leafhoppers, true bugs, orthopterans, leaf-beetles, weevils, bees, carabids, spiders) were sampled. We recorded 347 plant species, 748 territories of 43 bird species, and 51,883 individuals of 808 arthropod species. Compared to West European farmlands, species richness was generally very high. Grazing intensity had minor effects on α and β diversity, abundance and composition of the species assemblages. Region had significant effects on species richness and abundance of four taxa, and had strong effects on β diversity and species composition of all taxa. Regional differences therefore contributed significantly to the high overall biodiversity. We conclude that both grazing regimes deliver significant biodiversity benefits. Agri-environmental policy at the EU level should promote the maintenance of large scale extensive farming systems. At the national level, the effectiveness of agri-environment schemes should be improved via promoting and using research evidence. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

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