Flora and vegetation of the Carpathian Basin

The natural flora and vegetation plays an important role in sustaining not only the outstanding biodiversity of the Pannonian biogeographical region and the crucial ecosystem services they provide but they also contribute to the well-being of the people living in the area. However, land use, land use change, and climate change have been affecting the natural flora and vegetation of the Basin. Therefore, it is important to keep track on the changes of the local flora and vegetation. The Institute primarily focuses on wet habitats and grasslands as well as on protected plant species.

During our research we are investigating the composition of the flora and the structure of the vegetation to observe the changes due to land use, land use change and climate change.
During our research we are constructing aerial and field based vegetation maps of the regions within the Basin.
Our further aim is to describe the coenology of plant communities, and to identify the key species shaping the vegetation units.
Besides observing the plant communities we are investigating the underlying environmental factors to differentiate the population biological affects from the potential environmental factors driving the structure and function of the plant communities.

Research sites include Bodrogköz, Beregi-sík, Jászság, and the Hungarian Great Plain as well as areas in Zala County. Plant communities are described in permanent and altering transects and plots. For coenological surveys we are using Braun-Blanquet and microcoenological methods. Following vegetation surveys we are producing species lists, vegetation maps, and coenological tables.

Hedges, road and railway verges and border areas surrounding croplands are under the special focus of the Institute. Border areas surrounding croplands are for example very important from biodiversity and ecosystem services aspects as these areas preserved the original, natural vegetation of the region. Following abandonment of croplands these areas could serve as a source of species to re-establish the natural steppe vegetation.

The results of the fundamental research are applied in nature conservation, plant protection and agriculture practices.

Participants and Publications:
János Nagy Dr., András István Csathó, Zsuzsa Tóth, Vera Besnyői, Ágnes Kissná Uzonyi, Tibor Szerdahelyi Dr.
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