Centre for Ecological Research

Institute of Ecology and Botany

"Lendület" Landscape and Conservation Ecology

News - 2022

Publication: The first paper has been published from the FunProd Biodiversa project with Péter and Robi as co-authors in People and Nature with the title "From biodiversity to health: Quantifying the impact of diverse ecosystems on human well-being". Here we proposed a conceptual framework that links different aspects of diversity to ecosystem functioning, ecosystem services and disservices, and different aspects of well-being. December 2022.

Seminar talks: Péter held invited seminar talks at the Department of Botany and Biodiversity Research, University of Vienna about meta-analysis techniques, at the Institute of Geography, Technical University of Dresden and at the Department of Zoology, University of Halle-Wittenberg about landscape-scale agroecology and urban ecology. December 2022.

Farewell: Gábor Lövei spent three months in our group as a guest professor of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences focusing on ecosystem disservices. He catalyzed the scientific and social life of the whole institute. Thank you, Gábor! December 2022.

Project meetings: Péter participated in the FunProd Biodiversa project meeting at the sDiv in Leipzig, while Robi participated in the workshop of Invasion Biology Division of National Laboratory for Health Security at Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences in Gödöllő. November 2022.

Fieldwork: Robi participated in a study led by Czech arachnologist colleagues aimed at revealing the main factors affecting spider diversity in natural and secondary forests of Thailand. November 2022.

Publication: Attila with some group members published a paper in Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment with the title "Differences in arthropod communities between grazed areas and grazing exclosures depend on arthropod groups and vegetation types" Our findings suggest that low-intensity grazing have more positive effects on arthropod communities in wet, more productive salt meadow vegetation than in dry, less productive salt steppe vegetation. November 2022.

Seminar talk: Riho visited his Marie-Sklowska Curie Fellowship secondment group led by Prof. Thomas Frank , Institute of Zoology, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), in Vienna, Austria. He presented a seminar talk entitled "Insect pollinators along gradients in differently structured landscapes: the importance of the edge effect and small- vs. large-scale agriculture". November 2022.

Project meeting and field visit: Ágota, Robi and Péter visited the group of Chevonne Reynolds this autumn, at University of Witwatersrand, South Africa, where Péter gave a seminar talk. We also visited the study areas of our grassland fragmentation project, and also the nearby famous Kruger National Park. November 2022.

Meeting: Péter together with Flóra and András from Ecosystem Services group joined the second annual general meeting of Showcase project at the University of Bologna (the oldest one in the Western world), which was very successful. Riho and Dávid joined online and presented their tasks in short talks. November 2022.

Publication: Bori with some group members published a paper in Science of the Total Environment with the title of "Urbanization decreases species richness, and increases abundance in dry climates whereas decreases in wet climates: A global meta-analysis". We showed that abundance of soil invertebrates increased with urbanization in drier climates, probably because irrigation, whereas it decreased in wet climates, as urban areas were drier than their surroundings. November 2022.

Conference: Edina participated in the Green Infrastructure and Community Development Conference in Vác, Hungary. She presented a plenary talk about successful conservation programs in urban environment with the title: "The role of green infrastructure in biodiversity conservation." November 2022.

Publication: Robi with most of the group members published a paper in Basic and Applied Ecology with the title of "Landscape-scale connectivity and fragment size determine species composition of grassland fragments". We showed that besides the well-known effect of enhancing habitat quality, increasing connectivity between fragments by restoring natural and semi-natural habitat patches would help to maintain grassland biodiversity. October 2022.

New group member: We would welcome Patrícia Andresz-Dérer as a junior researcher to our group. Happy sciencing! October 2022.

New group member: We would welcome Dorota Kotowska from Polish Academy of Sciences as a junior researcher to our group. Happy sciencing! October 2022.

Conference: Young researchers of our group (Ágota, Nathalie, Tamás, Dávid, Kitti) and Péter participated the 7th Student Conference on Conservation Science in Balatonvilágos. We presented our results in two talks and three posters. Péter held a workshop on meta-analysis in conservation science. September 2022.

Conference: Edina and Kata participated at the Sustainable Cities Conference and Expo in Budapest, Hungary. They presented the ongoing and future activities of the Frontline project to the participants. September 2022.

Guest professor: We welcome Gábor Lövei from University of Aarhus as a guest professor of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences to our group. Happy sciencing! September 2022.

Event: Kata and Edina co-organised an interactive exhibition booth at the Garden on the Cube event in the National Botanical Garden, in Vácrátót, Hungary, where they taught families about the importance of biodiversity-friendly gardens and cities through various games. September 2022

Publication: Edina as a co-author published a paper in Basic and Applied Ecology with the title of "Threats and benefits of invasive alien plant species on pollinators". Our results suggest both threats and benefits of invasive plants to pollinator communities, highlights the importance of multi-species studies and the inclusion of certain life traits of the studied invasive species. September 2022.

Publication: Riho’s co-authered paper has been published in Animal Conservation with the title: “Assessing potential conflicts between offshore wind farms and migration patterns of a threatened shorebird species”. We showed that offshore wind farms poses a great threat to curlews in contrast to adjacent mainland. September 2022.

Scientific excursion: After the ECCB, most researchers of our group participated in an excursion in Dresden, where we checked late mown city grasslands, flower-rich allotments and a creek restoration, and we also visited the marvellous Saxonian Switzerland NP with its famous sandstone formations. September 2022.

Conference: All researchers of our group participated at the 6th European Congress of Conservation Biology (ECCB) in Prague. We organised two symposia, presented ten talks and two posters, and enjoyed meeting friends and colleagues, and the Czech beer. September 2022.

Visiting scientist: We would welcome Chevonne Reynolds from University of Witwatersrand to our group for a short visit in the frame of our Frontline project and bilateral cooperation project with South Africa. We visited our forest-steppe fragments, where we do joint researches. Happy sciencing! August 2022.

Conference:: Tamás participated the 3rd European Ornithologists’ Union Fledglings Meeting in Debrecen, Hungary. He presented a talk about meta-analysis research on the effect of urbanization on passerine birds. They also visited the Hortobágy National Park and had the opportunity to see some interesting bird species. August 2022.

Event: Edina and Riho participated in the Rátótikum children's camps in Vácrátót, Hungary, where they taught children about the importance of pollinators and birds through various games. August 2022

Conference: Péter participated at the European Landscape Ecology Congress, and presented a talk about his recent Basic and Applied Ecology paper on Scale-dependent effectiveness of on-field vs. off-field agri-environmental measures for wild bees. July 2022.

Publication: Kata, Balázs and Péter’s paper has been published in Global Ecology and Conservation with the title: “Combination of organic farming and flower strips in agricultural landscapes – A feasible method to maximise functional diversity of plant traits related to pollination”. July 2022.

Publication: Tamás and Péter’s paper has been published in Global Ecology and Conservation with the title: “No place for ground-dwellers in cities: A meta-analysis on bird functional traits”. Our study indicated that cities need more intact and extensively managed grasslands to sustain bird communities, which provide valuable ecosystem services. July 2022.

Position: Our research group is looking for a new colleague from this September. The call is available here. Deadline: 25.07.2022. July 2022.

Fieldwork: In the Frontline excellence project, together with six collaborating research groups (ca. 40 researchers and assistants), we performed extensive surveys of plants, arthropods and birds in 72 villages of the Carpathian basin (Hungary and Romania). The villages situated in or out of the agglomerations of mid-sized cities and in simple or complex landscapes. July 2022.

Fieldwork: With the lead of Bori, we compare soil invertebrates of annual and perennial flower strips using lawns as a control in a landscape-scale study in Budapest. June 2022.

Publication: Riho as a co-author published a paper in Journal of Avian Biology with the title of "Bird migration in space and time: chain migration by Eurasian curlew Numenius arquata arquata along the East Atlantic Flyway". We found that curlews exhibited chain migration throughout the East Atlantic Flyway with individuals wintering at more southern latitudes breeding farther south, and individuals wintering at higher latitudes breeding farther north and east. June 2022.

Fieldwork: We participate in the BugNet project, a global collaborative research network that aims to better understand the impact of invertebrate herbivores and pathogenic fungi on plant communities and ecosystems. This we performed surveys in the sandy grassland of Bugac puszta in Central Hungary (Kata, Niki and Robi in the field, Dávid in the lab). May 2022.

Interview: Péter gave an interview to The Food Fix podcast of Michigan State University’s Knight Center for Environmental Journalism about how effective different agricultural methods are at supporting wild bee populations in relation to their recent publication. June 2022.

Interview: Dávid gave an interview to Radio Klub's conservation and environmental protection broadcast: the 'Green club'. He suggested some nature-based solutions for mitigating the effect of urbanization on beneficial insects in cities based on our latest meta-analysis on this topic. June 2022.

Blog post: Csaba Tölgyesi wrote a blog entry in the Applied Ecologist blog of the British Ecological Society about their paper with Attila, Róbert and Niki, where they call attention to the biodiversity conservation potential of drainage canals in desiccated, heavily transformed regions. May 2022.

Publication: Bori’s paper has been published in Applied Soil Ecology with the title: “Changes in soil moisture and temperature modify the toxicity of sodium selenite and sodium selenate for Folsomia candida (Collembola) Willem 1902”. Our study showed how climate change via heat and drought increases the toxicity of selenium to springtails. May 2022.

Publication: Péter and his colleagues published a case study in Basic and Applied Ecology with the title of "Not only hedgerows, but also flower fields can enhance bat activity in intensively used agricultural landscapes". We showed that to promote bats and to ensure their biological control services, it is important to establish and maintain hedgerows and flower fields in intensively used agricultural landscapes. May 2022.

Editorial membership: Balázs became a member of editorial broad of the journal Landscape Ecology. Happy editorial work! May 2021.

Fieldwork: Riho and his team successfully finished the first year Marie Curie fellowship fieldwork with bumblebee colonies in Hungarian and Austrian oilseed rape and cereal fields. They studied bumblebees colony traffic rate and fitness, performed translocation experiment, and collected bumblebees pollen baskets. May 2022.

Publication: Péter and Teja’s paper has been published in Basic and Applied Ecology with the title: “Scale-dependent effectiveness of on-field vs. off-field agri-environmental measures for wild bees”. Our study showed how spatial scale, i.e. studied transect, field or farm level, and controlling for yield loss, can drastically change the evaluation of biodiversity benefits of on-field (organic farming) vs. off-field (flower strips) schemes. May 2022.

Publication: Péter co-authored a meta-analysis study published in Ecology Letters with the title of "Biodiversity and yield trade-offs for organic farming". We showed that for some taxa in non-cereal crops, switching to organic farming can lead to a biodiversity gain without yield loss. May 2022.

Publication: Dávid, Bori and Péter’s paper has been published in Science of the Total Environment with the title: “Urbanization hampers biological control of insect pests: A global meta-analysis”. Our study showed that advancing urbanization leads to outbreaks of sap-feeding insects, declining numbers of predators with low dispersal abilities, and weakened overall biological pest control delivered by arthropods. April 2022.

Fieldwork: As pest insects have become active in vineyards in spring, within the Showcase Project, we started to build cages for the bird and bat exclusion experiment in the Balaton Uplands region. April 2022.

Ranking: Péter was ranked as the most cited Hungarian ecologist according to Research.com. April 2022.

Workshop: Péter and Robi participated in the second meeting of the synthesis Biodiversa project, FunProd, at the iDiv in Leipzig, where the group made major steps in ongoing paper writing, new idea generations for further publications and data acquisition. April 2022.

Publication: Bori’s paper has been published in Environmental Monitoring and Assessment with the title: "Pollution impacts on water bugs (Nepomorpha , Gerromorpha): state of the art and their biomonitoring potential". Here we showed the great potential of water bugs in salinization monitoring among other environmental stress factors. March 2022.

Publication: Ágota's first paper has been published in Global Ecology and Conservation with the title of "Grassland type and presence of management shape butterfly functional diversity in agricultural and forested landscapes". Here we found that calcareous grasslands are characterised by butterflies having more specialist traits compared to orchard meadows, and are favoured by grassland management and the vicinity of forests. March 2022.

Award: Borbála (Bori) won a two-year Humboldt postdoc fellowship starting in September at the University of Bremen. In her project, she will combine different climate scenarios with toxicity of a fungicide on a springtail and its microbiota. We congratulate! March 2022.

Publication: Our response letter with Teja Tscharntke as lead author has been published in Trends in Ecology & Evolution with the title of "Prioritise the most effective measures for biodiversity-friendly agriculture". Here we emphasized that sustainable farming needs biodiversity-friendly landscapes with semi-natural habitats, small fields, and diversified cropping. March 2022.

Preparation for fieldwork: Spring is approaching, and thus our group is fairly busy with all kinds of preparatory work for our running projects. March 2022.

Pollinator Day: We actively participated in the celebration of pollinators at with the Hungarian National Botanical Garden on 10th of March, where we raised attention to pollinator protection, and showed how to build self-made bee hotels. March 2022.

Publication: György Kröel-Dulay’s paper has been published in Nature Ecology & Evolution with contributions by Péter and first of all Kata (analysis) with the title: "Field experiments underestimate aboveground biomass response to drought". Here we showed that experimental results may underestimate climate change impacts and highlight the need to integrate results across approaches. March 2022.

Conference: Edina participated online at the 2nd annual European Flower Growers conference, where she gave a talk on pollinator-friendly management. February 2022.

New group member: We would welcome Tomáš Hamřík as an external PhD student to our group. Tomáš studies forestry management effects on spiders at Mendel University in Brno, and is co-supervised by Robi. Happy sciencing! Febuary 2022

Collaborative project: We won a bilateral exchange project with South African partners (Dr. Chevonne Reynolds et al.) for studying the effect of habitat fragmentation of mosaic habitats on biodiversity in global North and South. February 2022.

Publication: Robi et al. published an artice in Ecospere with the titel „Landscape structure is a major driver of plant and arthropod diversity in natural European forest fragments”. Here we emphasized the importance of landscape scale heterogeneity in shaping plant, caradib and spider diversity. January 2022.

Publication: Dávid and Viktor’s paper has been published in Arthropod-Plant Interactions with the title: "Host plant identity and condition shape phytophagous insect communities on urban maple (Acer spp.) trees". Here we showed that the abundance of phytophagous insects in the canopy of maple trees is highly determined by tree condition, and field maple had the highest and Norway maple the lowest tolerance for urban stress. January 2022.

Fellowship: Riho won a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Postdoctoral Fellowship grant. In the next two years, he will make several experiments with bumblebees and study pollinators ecology in Hungarian and Austrian agricultural landscapes, which can be followed on his blog. January 2022.

Publication: Edina and co-authors' paper has been published in Global Ecology and Conservation with the title: “Fragmentation of forest-steppe predicts functional community composition of wild bee and wasp communities”. Our study showed that large and well-connected forest-steppe fragments protect wild bee and wasp communities as well as maintain pollination and predation functions. January 2022