NKFI K 129167 - Tracing the Holocene distribution of beech and oak forests in the Carpathian Basin using standscale paleoecology (Dr. Magyari Enikő)

(NKFI K 129167 , 2018 - 2022, running project)
Coordinator or leader of the project: 
Dr. Magyari, Enikő Katalin
Coordinator or leader institution of the project: 
Eötvös Loránd University Department of Environmental and Landscape Geography
Short description: 

Our research focuses on the study of vegetation borderlines in two contrasting environments. In the humid NE Hungarian and West Hungarian hill regions we investigate the past distribution limits of beech forests, while in the warm and dry Kiskunság region we reconstruct the former cover of oak forests. We use paleoecological research completed by community DNA metabarcoding and forestry document analyses. Via the pollen, plant macrofossil and macrocharcoal analyses of small forest hollow deposits we gather information on stand scale forest compositional changes in the North Hungarian Mid Mountains and in the Őrség-Vendvidék region of Transdanubia during the last couple of thousand years. Besides introducing stand scale palynology in Hungary, we also use the novel DNA metabarcoding technique on forest soils to support our pollen and plant macrofossil based inferences for the former presence of beech in places currently dominated by other trees. In the Kiskunság we plan quantitative forest cover reconstruction throughout the Holocene using pollen data and the REVEAL model of pollen dispersal and deposition. This research contributes new and important data to better understanding the history of the Pannonian oak forest steppes. We address the following questions: When did forest cover reach its maximum during the Holocene in the Kiskunság and when did forest cover start to decrease? What were the primary drivers of forest cover decrease? In addition, by applying stand-scale pollen and soil charcoal analyses in the remnant oak and poplar forests of the Kiskunság, we investigate the stand-scale forest canopy shifts of these forests through time.

Project (team) members at MTA ÖK: