Interactions between natural and human-dominated ecosystems


Biodiversity, ecosystem functions and land-use in the Great Hungarian Plain

The Great Hungarian Plain is characterised by both unique natural values and intensive land-use. The on-going and future land-use changes may considerably affect ecological integrity, thus a further decline in biodiversity can only be avoided if nature conservation and socio-economic priorities are considered together. The overall objective of the proposed research is to assess the relationships between land-use, biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.

In a collaboration between leading Hungarian research centers of botany, zoology, soil science, and agro-environmental research we plan (1) to conduct a detailed ecological and socio-economic evaluation of representative sites and (2) to regionalise our results to the whole Great Hungarian Plain based on data from a habitat mapping to be finished in 2005. 

The major outcome of the project will be an on-line expert sytem on landscape ecology and land-use, which provides recommendations on rural development and sustainable land-use. The expert sytems will integrate hundreds of high-resolution maps, dynamic modells, land management protocols, and thus make scientific results widely available and applicable.

Related publications


Csecserits Anikó, Czúcz Bálint, Halassy Melinda, Kröel-Dulay György, Rédei Tamás, Szabó Rebeka, Szitár Katalin, Török Katalin (2011): Regeneration of sandy old-fields in the forest-steppe region of Hungary. Plant Biosystems, 145(3): 715-729.


Czúcz Bálint, Torda Gergely, Molnár Zsolt, Horváth Ferenc, Botta-Dukát Zoltán, Kröel-Dulay György (2009): A spatially explicit, indicator-based methodology for quantifying the vulnerability and adaptability of natural ecosystems. In: Leal Filho, W. & Mannke, F. Interdisciplinary Aspects of Climate Change. Peter Lang International Verlag der Wissenschaften, Frankfurt am Main. p. 209-227.


Biró Marianna, Molnár Zsolt, Horváth Ferenc, Révész András (2008): Measuring habitat loss in the Kiskunság based on historical and actual habitat maps. In: Kovács-Láng E., Molnár E., Kröel-Dulay Gy., Barabás S. (eds.): The KISKUN LTER: Long-term ecological research in the Kiskunság, Hungary, Institute of Ecology and Botany, Vácrátót, pp. 13-14.

Botta-Dukát Zoltán (2008): Invasion of alien species to Hungarian (semi-)natural habitats. Acta Botanica Hungarica 50(Suppl.): 219-227

Czúcz Bálint, Molnár Zsolt, Horváth Ferenc, Botta-Dukát Zoltán (2008): The natural capital index of Hungary. Acta Botanica Hungarica 50(Suppl.): 161-177

Illyés Eszter, Botta-Dukát Zoltán, Molnár Zsolt (2008): Patch and landscape factors affecting the naturalness based quality of three model grassland habitats in Hungary. Acta Botanica Hungarica 50(Suppl.): 179-197.

Molnár Zsolt, Biró Marianna, Bölöni János, Horváth Ferenc (2008): Distribution of the (semi-)natural habitats in Hungary I. Marshes and grasslands. Acta Botanica Hungarica 50 (suppl.): 59-106.

Ónodi Gábor, Kertész Miklós, Botta-Dukát Zoltán, Altbäcker Vilmos (2008): Grazing Effects on Vegetation Composition and on the Spread of Fire on Open Sand Grasslands. Arid Land Research and Management 22:273-285


Ruprecht E, Bartha S, Botta-Dukát Z, Szabó A (2007): Assembly rules during old-field succession in two contrasting environments. Community Ecology 8: 31-40.