2013. december 19., csütörtök

Megjelent az EDGG Bulletin legújabb 21-ik száma. A bulletin kérhető e-mailben. A mostani Bulletinben jelent meg Valkó Orsolya elsőszerzőségével csapatunk vita- és gondolatébresztő írása az égetés mint gyepkezelési lehetőség alkalmazhatóságának korlátairól és előnyeiről. A cikk nagyban támaszkodik a korábban megjelent áttekintő tanulmányunkra, és célja a vita és gondolatok generálása a témakörben. A cikk megtalálható és letölthető a honlapomról.

Keep Your Eyes on the Fire: Prescribed burning as an old-new opportunity for grassland management

Abstract and motivation: We noted the burning interest concerning the application of prescribed burning as an  alternative grassland management technique at the EDGG co-organized Open Landscapes conference in Hildesheim during and after our presentation about the possible application of prescribed burning in European grasslands (Deák, B., Valkó, O., Török, P., Tóthmérész, B.: Fire as an alternative management tool – adaptation of North-American grassland burning practices to European grassland conservation. Open Landscapes – Ecology, Management and Nature conservation. Hildesheim, Germany, 29 Sept - 03 Oct 2013). Some conservationists highly welcome prescribed fires, while others are against it. These contrasting attitudes are because we (i) lack of proper scientific information on both short- and long-term effects of fires on grassland biodiversity, (ii) because of the generally negative attitude generated also by the international and national media reporting catastrophic damages in nature, human life and property caused by wildfires and arson, and because of (iii) the confusion of wildfires and arson with controlled and carefully designed prescribed fires. With the following forum paper we would like to stimulate discussion and generate further research activity in this topic, strongly referring to our recent paper published in Basic and Applied Ecology (Valkó et al. 2013) indicating the most important conclusions based on this carefully conducted systematic review.

2013. december 16., hétfő

Megjelent legújabb cikkünk Albert Ágnes Júlia elsőszerzőségével homoki parlagokon zajló szekunder szukcessziós folyamatok elemzéséről az Applied Vegetation Science tudományos folyóiratban. A cikk megtalálható a folyóirat honlapján és letölthető saját és oktatási célokra a honlapomról is. A közlemény absztraktja az alábbiakban olvasható.

Based on the spontaneous vegetation development of old-fields in the Nyírség and Kiskunság sand regions (Hungary), we aimed to answer the following questions using the chronosequence method: (1) how do the proportions of different functional groups change during succession; (2) which target species establish successfully in the old-fields during the course of succession; and (3) how successful is spontaneous succession in the recovery of target grasslands? Two sand regions of the Great Hungarian Plain: (1) the Nyírség sand region (East Hungary, acidic sand, moderately continental climate) and the Kiskunság (Central Hungary, calcareous sand, continental climate. 


Altogether 24 old-fields were classified into young (<10-yr-old), middle-aged (10–20-yr-old) and late-succession (20–40-yr-old) old-fields; four fields in each age category. For baseline vegetation reference, three open and three closed sand grassland stands in both regions were sampled in the vicinity of the old-fields. The percentage cover of vascular plants was recorded in five 2 × 2-m plots in each field, in early May and late June 2012. We used life forms, clonal spreading traits and Ellenberg indicator values for nutrients in the analysis. Species of Festuco-Brometea class were considered as target species. 

The cover of hemicryptophytes and geophytes increased, the cover of short-lived species decreased with time. Cover of species without clonal spreading ability decreased, while cover of species with clonal spreading ability increased with increasing field age. The cover of invasive species decreased with increasing field age. The majority of target species had established already in the young and middle-aged old-fields, although their cover was significantly higher in the two older age groups. Spontaneous succession can be a vital option in recovery of sand grassland vegetation in Central Europe; the majority of the species pool of sandy grasslands can be recovered in the first 10–20 yrs. However, the success of grassland recovery can be strongly influenced by the surrounding species pool and can be slow if seed dispersal is limited. Spontaneous succession is most promising when the target species of grasslands immigrate at the very beginning of the succession, within the first few years.

2013. december 10., kedd

Megjelent az európai szárazgyepes munkacsoportot (European Dry Grassland Group, EDGG) bemutató könyvfejezet, amely a Steppenlebensräume Europas c. könyvben. A cikk célja, hogy bemutassa az európai száraz gyepeket illetve hírt adjon az EDGG tevékenységéről, mely mintegy 800 kutatót tömörít Európából és Európán kívülről is. Az alábbiakban olvasható az absztrakt és a cikk letölthető a honlapomról.

The aim of this article is to introduce the dry grasslands of Europe and to report on the activities of Abstract the European Dry Grassland Group (EDGG), a network of dry grassland scientists and conservationists. Dry grasslands are defined here as herbaceous vegetation types, mostly dominated by grasses, that inhabit climatically or edaphically dry sites. They comprise zonal steppes, alpine dry grasslands above the timberline, azonal/extrazonal dry grasslands on sites where peculiarities of soil or relief prevent forest growth, and semi-natural dry grasslands, derived from centuries of low-intensity land use. For most taxonomic groups, dry grasslands host a proportion of Europe’s biodiversity that by far exceeds their spatial distribution and some of them are the richest plant communities worldwide at spatial scales < 100 m2. Today, both natural steppes and semi-natural dry grasslands of Europe are highly endangered through transformation into arable fields, afforestation, land use intensification and abandonment, eutrophication or biotic invasions. The EDGG, with more than 800 members from over 50 countries, acts by facilitating information exchange, cooperation and joint projects towards better understanding and more effective conservation of Europe’s dry grasslands. To this end, EDGG organises annual conferences and research expeditions, publishes an online electronic Bulletin, edits Dry Grassland Special Features in international journals, and plays an active role in the science-policy interface.