I. Previous research topics
1) Ecophysiological tolerance traits behind the invasion of expanding grasses
Leaf stomatal regulation in response to abrupt changes in light intensity, leaf morphological and structural variation between high-light natural and less variable, moderately illuminated (growth room) conditions, and germination response to diurnal temperature fluctuation were studied in perennial grass species with different invasion potential (expanding or non-expanding) and photosynthetic pathway (C3 or C4) in growth room experiments.
2) Plant ecophysiological responses to simulated climate change in a field experiment in the Pannonian sand forest-steppe
The response of leaf morphology, coarse structure and photochemical activity to warming or rain exclusion simulating the projected regional climate change were studied on three species representing different plant functional types (Populus alba root suckers, Festuca vaginata, Cynodon dactylon) in a field experiment, which was set up in an open perennial sand grassland colonized by shrub-sized root suckers of P. alba.
3) Positive germination response to plant-derived smoke
Germination response to smoke derived from burning vegetation and its aqueous solution (smoke-water) was studied in several species of the Hungarian flora to improve our knowledge on the regeneration success after fire.
II. Current research topics
1) Reproductive phenology and transgenerational plasticity of grassland species in response to rainfall manipulations
We study the impacts of recurrent precipitation changes (moderate drought, severe drought, watering) on the flowering and fruiting phenology and seed production of a subordinate winter annual grass (Secale sylvestre), which may become abundant in open sand steppe following drought. We also explore the maternal environmental effects of treatments on seed germination and offspring growth.
2) Comparison of productivity responses in drought experiments and natural droughts
Based on literature data, we compare the primary productivity responses to natural droughts (detected in observational studies) with the responses to experimental droughts (obtained from rainfall manipulation field experiments) in grassland and shrubland ecosystems.