Visiting long-term restoration experiments by a new MSc student in 4th April
The purpose of academic work is to test whether long-term changes in weather conditions – especially drought events –influence vegetation development to an extent that modifies the results of restoration trials. Attempts to eliminate black locust stands and restore sandy grassland in Hungary have already started in the 1990s. In 1995, three sites (in Fülöpháza, Bugac and Izsák) were treated by felling stands and applying chemical treatment to stop sprouting. This was followed by mowing and hay removal twice a year until 2001. Vegetation sampling was done in the beginning (June) and the end of summer (August) annually between 1995 and 2001 and less regularly until 2017.
The following hypotheses will be assumed in the thesis work:
(1) Mown areas and their species composition are likely to be more sensitive to drought than control areas, as long as the area is actively managed and disturbed. (2) Warming coupled with drought favours invasive alien plants, C4 plants and annual species.