IEB Lendület Seed Ecology Research Group

Leader of the research group: 
Profile of the group: 

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. Linking these two approaches, the Momentum project aims at developing a conceptual framework on seed-based ecosystem engineering in order to maximise the diversity and resilience of communities. We use grasslands as model system, as they are diverse and dynamic habitats where recruitment by seed is a major driver of vegetation dynamics. Grasslands cover 40% of the global land surface, which allows upscaling the findings validated in our research program. In a series of observational and experimental studies at multiple spatial scales we will push forward the knowledge on the role of seed bank, seed dispersal and seedling establishment in community assembly, and their utilization in restoration ecology and diversity conservation. The results will give new dimensions to seed-based conservation and restoration science by developing new tools, such as activating deeply buried seeds, designing seed mixtures that maximise resilience or using animal perturbations as establishment gaps.

Selected publications:


Deák, B., Bede, Á., Rádai, Z., Tóthmérész, B., Török, P., Nagy D., D., Torma, A., Lőrinczi, G., Nagy, A., Mizser, Sz., Kelemen, A., Valkó, O. (2021): Different extinction debts among plants and arthropods after loss of grassland amount and connectivity Biological Conservation 264: 109372.
Deák, B., Kovács, B., Rádai, Z., Apostolova, I., Kelemen, A., Kiss, R., Lukács, K., Palpurina, S., Sopotlieva, D., Báthori, F., Valkó, O. (2021): Linking environmental heterogeneity and plant diversity: the ecological role of small natural features in homogeneous landscapes Science of the Total Environment 763: 144199
Kiss, R., Deák, B., Tóthmérész, B., Miglécz, T., Tóth, K., Török, P., Lukács, K., Godó, L., Körmöczi, Zs., Radócz, Sz., Kelemen, A., Sonkoly, J., Kirmer, A., Tischew, S., Švamberková, E., Valkó, O. (2021): Establishment gaps: biodiversity hotspots to support the colonization of target species in species-poor grasslands Restoration Ecology 29(S1): e13135
Lukács K., Valkó O. (2021): Human-vectored seed dispersal as a threat to protected areas: Prevention, mitigation and policy Global Ecology and Conservation 31: e01851


Valkó, O., Lukács, K., Deák, B., Kiss, R., Miglécz, T., Tóth, K., Tóth, Á., Godó, L., Radócz, Sz., Sonkoly, J., Kelemen, A., Tóthmérész, B. (2020): Laundry washing increases dispersal efficiency of cloth-dispersed propagules NeoBiota 61: pp. 1-16.