Research groups

The main research interest of the Evolutionary Ecology Research Group focuses on the proximal determination and function of various behavioural traits, their role in mediating the interactions among individuals and species as well as in how they mediate adaptations to different environments, and finally, the evolutionary and ecological consequences of these interactions.

We investigate how changing climate and land use affect vegetation in the sand region of Kiskunsag, Central Hungary. Research topics include the ecological effect of warming, drying, wildfires, and plant invasion, as well as succession following land abandonment and following the removal of alien tree plantations. Approaches range from descriptive local case studies and long-term monitoring, through lanscape and regional-scale surveys, to complex field experiments.

The Forest Ecological Research Group focuses on the investigation of species and functional composition, structure and dynamics of forests. The studies are mainly related to the deciduous forests of the Carpathian basin including managed and unmanaged stands. The investigations include stand structure, many organism groups (plants, animals, fungi), forest site (microclimate, soil conditions) and biological processes (decomposition, predation, regeneration, effect of large herbivores).

The Laboratory for Lichenology is revealing the biological and chemical diversity of lichen-forming and lichenicolous fungi. The occurrence, localisation and role of the unique lichen secondary metabolites are studied. Taxonomic revisions are carried out by the application of morphological, chemical and molecular genetic methods. The changing distribution of taxa and its background, ecophysiological and bioindication aspects are investigated.

The research group studies the vegetation patterns and processes at large (geographic) scales with special attention to effects of climate change, biological invasions and land-use changes.

The destruction of biodiversity causes considerable threat on ecosystem services for human well-being. The aim of our research is to discover the ecological background of some important ecosystem services, evaluation in European context, and to provide the development of a sustainable habitat and land use at both international and national level.

The main focus of the research group lies in the field of ecology with conservation biological oriented researches, such as biological effectiveness of agri-environmental schemes, habitat fragmentation, urbanization and edge effect on a wide range of terrestrial taxa and ecosystem functions and services.

Due to the increasing human pressure on Earth, there is an urgent need for maximising the resilience of ecosystems in order to sustain or restore their biodiversity and the ecosystem functions and services they provide. In vegetation dynamics and ecosystem functioning seeds play a crucial role by allowing persistence, recruitment and mobility in populations and facilitating meta-population dynamics. These ecological functions of seeds are in the focus of both ecology and conservation science.

The Restoration Ecology Group (REG) tests methods suitable for the restoration of natural ecosystems, which can become self-sustaining or require only conventional, extensive management on the long run. The target of restoration is the endemic Pannonian sand grassland that is under protection of the EU (Pannonic sand steppe, habitat code 6260).

Main goal of our research group is to conduct and facilitate research on traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) among Hungarians living in the Carpathian basin. The main focus of the group is landscape ethnoecology, local landscape perception, and TEK related to habitats, vegetation and traditional land use.

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