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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.


Mero T.O.,Debrecen University | Zuljevic A.,Nature Protection and Study Society NATURA
Acta Zoologica Bulgarica | Year: 2014

The migration of tits has been the subject of a number of studies, whereas very little is known as concerns their movements in their wintering areas in urban habitats. This study presents the effects of weather variables (the air temperature, the number of days with a snow cover and the amount of precipitation) on the distances moved by the Great Tit Parus major and the Blue Tit Cyanistes caeruleus in an urban habitat during autumn and winter. Ringing data from 32 successive years (1981-2013) in Sombor, Serbia, were used. The Great Tits proved to move larger distances, searching the entire town, while the Blue Tits rather moved only within particular areas of the town. The female Great Tits moved significantly larger distances than the males, while such a difference between the sexes was not observed in the Blue Tits. Neither the number of days with a snow cover nor the air temperature affected the distances moved in either species, whereas a higher amount of precipitation led to shorter distances moved in the Great Tits but not in the Blue Tits. The movement activities of the Great Tits were lower in periods when precipitation was frequent.


Mero T.O.,Debrecen University | Zuljevic A.,Nature Protection and Study Society NATURA | Varga K.,Debrecen University | Bocz R.,Hortobagy National Park Directorate | Lengyel S.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Turkish Journal of Zoology | Year: 2014

In this study, we present the effects of reed burning and precipitation on the breeding success of Great Reed Warblers on a mining pond (2008-2011). Breeding success, i.e. the probability that an egg would produce a fedgling, was 0.43. Clutch survival was lowest in 2010, due to the precipitation and high water level during the season. Breeding success was higher in the second half of the breeding season, although in 2008 and 2011 precipitation was also higher in the second half than in the first half of the breeding season. During the first half of the breeding season, daily egg and nestling survival did not differ. However, in the second half of the breeding season, daily egg survival was higher than daily chick survival. In years when reed was burned, breeding density varied between 7.7 and 12.3 pairs ha-1, which was not significantly lower than in years when reed was not managed (average: 13.2 pairs ha-1). Despite the availability of fresh reed in large areas, birds placed their nests mainly in mixed reed stands. Breeding success in fresh and mixed reed did not differ. Generally, breeding success and density were not affected by reed burning, but water level affected breeding success and density. © TÜBİTAK.


Mero T.O.,Debrecen University | Zuljevic A.,Nature Protection and Study Society NATURA
Acta Zoologica Bulgarica | Year: 2014

The effects of physical variables of the reed (e.g. the diameter and density of the reed stems) on the breeding success of the Great Reed Warbler were studied in the cases of the nest-supporting reed stems and the stems in the surroundings of 124 nests in three different reed habitats (mining ponds, small canals and large canals). The mean diameter of the nest-supporting stems correlated positively with the mean diameter of the stems in the surroundings. The diameters of both the nest-supporting reed stems and the stems in the surroundings varied significantly between the three reed habitats, whereas the density of the stems in the surroundings did not. We subdivided the reed densities into three categories: "sparse" (50-160 stems/m2), "intermediate" (160-270 stems/m2) and "dense" (270-380 stems/m2). The Great Reed Warbler significantly preferred the intermediate reed density for breeding, while the highest breeding success was recorded in the dense reed. However, the clutch survival did not differ between the three reed density categories. Whereas the intermediate reed density was mostly used by the Great Reed Warbler for nesting, this was not the subgroup with the highest breeding success, probably because of the different predation types.


In the spring of 2011,an individual of the rotan, Perccottus glenii Dybowski 1877, was found in the stomach of a European perch, Perca fluviatilis L., captured in a drainage-irrigation channel in eastern Hungary. This is the first recording of the rotan found in the diet of the European Perch in Central Europe. © 2016, Croatian Natural History Museum. All rights reserved.

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