Conservation and restoration of biodiversity are one of the main objectives of present days. Biodiversity decreases in many grasslands due to inadequate management, but abandoned grasslands provide also an opportunity to recreate diverse communities. We study the efficiency of soil disturbance and seed sowing, i.e. creation of establishment gaps, to restore grasslands species richness on former agricultural sites and species poor grasslands. Besides, we also study the optimal timing of sowing different seed mixtures to increase the success of restoration and recreate a species rich, stable grassland community.
Soil seed bank
Seeds buried in the soil represent a reservoir for species to overcome unfavourable conditions in time or space. It has important role in restoration, the presence and composition of soil seed bank needs to be considered in restoration projects. Our aim is to study the composition and dynamics of grassland soil seed banks, to determine their role in grassland restoration especially under the predicted changes in climatic conditions.
Grassland plant species in general have low dispersal ability, the majority of the propagules usually remain close to their mother plants. Abiotic and biotic dispersal vectors promote long-distance dispersal. Our aim is to study the efficiency of biotic dispersal agents, namely the effect of grazers in dispersing grassland plants species in species poor grasslands. We also aim to find traits that are associated with successful dispersal and establishment of dispersed grassland species.
Population dynamics studies of spring meadow saffron
Spring meadow saffron is a protected plant species of Hungary. The number and size of its populations decreased over the years, as they are threatened by many factors, including the changes in land use and climatic conditions. Besides, little is known about the population dynamics and ecology of the species. In our study we aim to fill these knowledge gaps. We aim to link different weather parameters (temperature, relative humidity) to the observed changes in the plants population dynamics and to learn how predicted climatic changes may affect the existing populations.