Centre for Ecological Research

Institute of Ecology and Botany

"Lendület" Landscape and Conservation Ecology

News - 2021

Publication: Our response letter with Teja Tscharntke as lead author has been published in Trends in Ecology & Evolution with the title of "Restoring biodiversity needs more than reducing pesticides". Here we emphasized the importance of landscape scale heterogeneity through promoting semi-natural habitats, small fields, and diversified cropping. December 2021.

Publication: István Kiss' paper with Borbála as a co-author has been published in Herpetological Conservation and Biology with the title of "Nesting activity and reproductive success of Emys orbicularis in Babat Valley (Gödöllő, Hungary)". We showed that a metal grid nest protection method gives 100% protection from predators. December 2021.

Publication: Riho's and his co-authors article has been published in Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment with the title of "Increasing landscape complexity enhances species richness of farmland arthropods, agri-environment schemes also abundance – A meta-analysis". The authors found that increasing landscape complexity benefitted arthropod species richness, but not their abundance, whereas agri-environment schemes supported both species richness and abundance of arthropods. December 2021.

Publication: Renáta Bocz's paper has been published in Journal of Zoology with the title of "Scent, rather than fur pattern, determines predation of mice: an in-the-wild experiment with plasticine mouse models". Here we showed that fur pattern may play a minor role in mice detection by predators, thus further studies are needed to discover its ecological function. December 2021.

Publication: Robi and co-authors' paper has been published in Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation with the title “Matrix quality and habitat type drive the diversity pattern of forest steppe fragments”. We found that increasing matrix quality is important in conserving forest steppe biota. December 2021.

Visitation: Robi visited the Department of Forest Protection and Wildlife Management and the Department of Forest Ecology of Mendel University in Brno. They discussed about future collaborations, visited field and Robi gave a presentation. December 2021.

Visiting scientist: Christine Judt, Péter's external PhD student from the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna, has visited our group for working jointly on a meta-analysis. We were happy to have you here! December 2021.

Seminar talk: Our guest researcher, Maxime Eeraerts, gave an online seminar talk in our institute about pollination ecology of cherry, apple and blueberry. December 2021.

Meeting: Péter and Riho together with Flóra and András from Ecosystem Services group joined the first annual general meeting of Showcase project at the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna, which in contrast to the challenges with pandemic, was very successful. Also a new video about the project came out. November 2021.

Visiting scientist: We would welcome Maxime Eeraerts from Michigan State University to our group for a short visit in the frame of Frontline project. Happy sciencing! November 2021

Publication: Lina Herbertsson's paper has been published in Plant Ecology and Evolution with the title of "Bees increase seed set of wild plants while the proportion of arable land has a variable effect on pollination in European agricultural landscapes". We also showed that pollen limitation due to declining bee populations in homogenized agricultural landscapes is not a universal driver causing parallel losses of bees and insect-pollinated plants. November 2021.

Publication: Balázs' paper has been published in Nature Scientific Reports with the title "Functional composition of ant assemblages in habitat islands is driven by habitat factors and landscape composition". We found that despite their small sizes, burial mounds as permanent and relatively undisturbed landscape elements could provide safe havens for diverse ant assemblages even in transformed agricultural landscapes. October 2021.

Publication: Balázs' paper has been published in Biological Conservation with the title "Different extinction debts among plants and arthropods after loss of grassland amount and connectivity". We revealed that whilst grassland specialist plants show a considerable extinction debt in terrestrial grassland islands that are embedded in a hostile matrix, specialist arthropod species with a good mobility and short life-cycle are in equilibrium with current landscape composition. November 2021.

Publication: Edina Csákvári's paper has been published in Biological Conservation with the title of "Conservation biology research priorities for 2050: A Central-Eastern European perspective". We found that solutions to conservation challenges require a multidisciplinary approach in design and a multi-actor approach in implementation. November 2021.

Publication: Lujza Keresztes's paper has been published in ZooKeys with the title of "Helen’s twins in the Balkans: discovery of two new Paraptychoptera Tonnoir, 1919 species closely related to P. helena Peus, 1958, with systematic revision of the “lacustris” group (Diptera, Ptychopteridae)". We described two new species from Albania and North Macedonia. November 2021.

Publication: Paper of Benjamin Bálint, a PhD student of Bori, has been published in European Journal of Soil Biology with the title of "Differences in the effects of sodium selenate and sodium selenite on the mortality, reproduction, lipid peroxidation and glutathione redox status of Folsomia candida Willem 1902 (Collembola)". October 2021.

Publication: Gábor Pozsgai's paper has been published in Ecology and Evolution with the title of "Irreproducibility in searches of scientific literature: A comparative analysis". Comparing major search platforms with time-synchronized searches at different institutional locations in the world, we showed substantial differences in case of Google Scholar and Web of Science, and suggest some mitigations for developers and researchers. October 2021.

Publication: Robi's and his co-authors paper has been published in Journal of Applied Ecology with the title of "Turning old foes into new allies—Harnessing drainage canals for biodiversity conservation in a desiccated European lowland region". We highlighted the role of hidden biodiversity of a secondary habitat, namely canals traversing semi-natural grasslands and agricultural land.

Conference: Our group (Péter, Dávid and Robi ) organized the 2. Hungarian Urban Ecological Conference in Győr, where we spent a great time together. At the conference, Bori and Tamás gave talks and Dávid presented a poster. October 2021.

Event: Finally, we could organize an in-person kick-off meeting of our Frontline project in Győr, where we discussed and demonstrated the survey and collection methods with our cooperation partners from Debrecen, Kolozsvár (Cluj), Pécs and Veszprém. October 2021

Meeting: Hardeep participated in an EU COST training school about "Assessing multi-taxon diversity in forest ecosystems" in Arezzo, Italy. October 2021.

Event: Edina participated the Family Day and Market event entitled "Ecosystem Goods on the Table" in the National Botanical Garden, in Vácrátót, Hungary, where she gave a talk about less-known pollinators and importance of biodiversity. October 2021.

Publication: An article about Eurasian curlew (Numenius arquata) migration by Riho and his co-authors has been published in Biology Letters with the title of "Timing of spring departure of long distance migrants correlates with previous year's conditions at their breeding site". We showed that long-distance migrants may be able to adjust their migration timing to advancing spring dates in the context of climate change. September 2021.

Conference: Bori participated at the Humboldt Virtual Colloquium as an early carrier researcher with a poster about meta-analysis on urbanization effects on soil fauna. She won the bake your science challenge. September 2021.

Writing retreat: We retreated to spend four days in Bátaapáti (Southern Hungary) and the surrounding area with working and having fun with our research group. We could visit the wonderful Gemenc forest, some future sampling points in nearby villages and a local vinery as well. We had a great time together! September 2021.

Guest scientist: We welcome Tomáš Hamřík, from Mendel University, Brno, Czech Republic! Tomáš spends one month with us via Erasmus+ program and collaborates with Robi in spider researches. September 2021.

Conference: Edina participated online at the 50th GfÖ Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of Germany, Austria and Switzerland (Germany), where she gave a talk in the session of Agrobiodiversity and Ecosystem Services. August 2021.

Event: Edina participated in the Rátótikum children's camp in Vácrátót, Hungary, where she taught children about the importance of pollinators with various games. August 2021

Conference: Our whole group participated at the 12th Congress of the Hungarian Ecological Society, where we presented eight talks (Péter the opening plenary) and five posters. Tamás won with two other participants the best poster price. August 2021.

Publication: Teja's paper has been published in Trends in Ecology & Evolution with the title of "Beyond organic farming – harnessing biodiversity-friendly landscapes". We showed that achieving a landscape level mosaic of natural habitat patches and fine-grained cropland diversification in both conventional and organic agriculture is key for promoting large-scale biodiversity. August 2021.

Fieldwork: We continued our study on the effect of highly invasive milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) on pollinator communities in replicated forest-steppe fragments of Kiskunság, Central Hungary. June 2021.

Publication: Edina's paper has been published in the Journal of Applied Ecology with the title of "Organic farming supports lower pest infestation, but fewer natural enemies than flower strips". We investigated and evaluated two popular agri-environment schemes, organic farming and flower strips, and showed their different benefits for biological pest control. A short overview of our results is included in the accompanying blog post. August 2021.

Field work: Botanical sampling was performed in the frame of our Frontline pilot project in eight villages around two Hungarian cities to study the effect of various landscape factors. Next year, this sampling will be performed around 18 towns with our partner research groups. May-June 2021.


Conference: Tamás, Dávid and Péter participated online at the 3rd World Conference of the Society for Urban Ecology (Poznan, Poland), where they gave talks on birds in urban ecosystems. July 2021.

PhD defense: Dávid successfully defended his PhD thesis with the title: "Changes in arthropod communities of maple trees (Acer spp.) along stress gradients in urban environment". July 2021.

Conference: Riho participated online at the 3rd Ecosystem Services Partnership Conference (Tartu, Estonia), where he gave talks on the effectiveness of agri-environmental management on pollinators species richness . June 2021.

Fieldwork: As a pilot study of the Frontline project, we performed arthropod collections using pitfall traps and the suction sampling method (D-Vac) in eight villages around the cities of Salgótarján and Tatabánya. June 2021.

Fieldwork: We started to study the effect of the highly invasive milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) on plant and invertebrate diversity in replicated forest-steppe fragments of Kiskunság, Central Hungary. June 2021.

Fieldwork: We joined the BugNet global collaborative research network and assessed the impact of invertebrate herbivores and pathogenic fungi on plant communities and ecosystems on saline and sandy grasslands. June 2021.

Fieldwork: In cooperation with the Körös–Maros National Park Directorate, we established unmoved refuge strips on Csanádi-puszták protected meadow complex in order to test how their effectiveness depends on amount and width for arthropod conservation. June 2021.

Publication: Fabio and Tamás' paper has been published in Global Ecology and Conservation with the title of "Fragment connectivity shapes bird communities through functional trait filtering in two types of grasslands". Our study provides conservation implications for enhancing grassland specialist bird communities, which consist of preservation of large, well-connected grassland fragments within production landscapes and through reconsideration of the currently used intensive forestry. June 2021.

Fieldwork: Last week, we successfully sampled the canopy dwelling herbivorous and predatory arthropods of hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) in the forest-steppes using the beating method. May 2021.

Fieldwork: Last week, when the hawthorns started to bloom, we went out to the forest-steppes of Kiskunság, looking for pollinators! May 2021.

Publication: Borbála's paper has been published in Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety with the title of "The inter-individual variance can provide additional information for the ecotoxicologists beside the mean". Our results show that the variance of first clutch size of a collembolan changes with pesticide application in contrast to mean, thus focusing only on mean is not enough. April 2021.

Publication: Riho's paper has been published in Basic and Applied Ecology with the title of "Environmentally-friendly and organic management practices enable complementary diversification of plantbumblebee food webs". Our results show that for supporting bumblebees in the agricultural landscapes, avoiding resource limitation is important and this can be secured with a combination of agri-environment schemes management practices. April 2021.

Publication: Christoph's paper has been published in Journal of Applied Ecology with the title of "Flowering fields, organic farming and edge habitats promote diversity of plants and arthropods on arable land". Our results show that a mosaic of non-productive and productive measures such as conventional flowering fields, organic crops and field edge habitats might be the most appropriate to support farmland biodiversity in arable-dominated landscapes. March 2021.

Publication: Paper of Balázs entitled "Ancient burial mounds provide safe havens for grassland specialist plants in transformed landscapes – A trait-based analysis" has been published in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. We explored the functional and phylogenetic diversity of terrestrial habitat islands compared to linear landscape elements and extensive grasslands. March 2021.

Publication: Julia Piko's paper has been published in Basic and Applied Ecology with the title of "Effects of three flower field types on bumblebees and their pollen diets". Our results indicate that both annual and mixed flower fields provide attractive food resources, whereas perennial flower fields offer the poorest foraging habitats. March 2021.

New group member: We would welcome Borbála Szabó as junior researcher to our group. Happy sciencing!
March 2021

Publication: Niki's and Robi's paper has been published in European Journal of Forest Research with the title of "Tree species and microhabitat affect forest bog spider fauna". Our paper explores the role of microhabitat diversity in maintaining the cold-adapted spiders. February 2021.

Publication: Christoph's paper has been published in Insect Conservation and Diversity with the title: "Organic winter cereals benefit bumblebee colonies in agricultural landscapes with mass-flowering crops". Our study showed that bumblebee populations in landscapes with mass-flowering crops benefited from less intensive farming practices with high flowering wild plant diversity of organic winter cereals. February 2021.

Publication: Kornélia's and Péter's paper has been published in Global Ecology and Conservation with the title: "Urbanization shapes bird communities and nest survival, but not their food quantity". Our study showed that shrub-nesting in urban habitats may be safer, probably due to lower predation pressure and/or favourable nesting sites for shrub nesters. February 2021.

Publication: Balázs' paper has been published in Basic and Applied Ecology with the title: "Acceptance of near-natural greenspace management relates to ecological and socio-cultural assigned values among European urbanites". Our study explores the attitude of urban citizens towards intensively used short-cut lawns vs. tall-grass meadows by assessing both functional use and personal perceptions in urban green spaces. February 2021.

Editorial membership: Along with several other researchers, Péter became an associate editor of Journal of Applied Ecology. January 2021.

Publication: Rita Földesi's and Péter's paper has been published in the Journal of Applied Ecology with the title: "Larger pollinators deposit more pollen on stigmas across multiple plant species — a meta-analysis". Our meta-analysis highlights the breadth of wild pollinators that contribute to pollination effectiveness via their delivery of pollen to many crop and non-crop plant species. January 2021.

New group member: We would welcome Katalin Szitár as junior researcher to our group. Happy sciencing! January 2021

New group member: We would welcome Melinda Kabai as technical staff to our group. Happy sciencing! January 2021