Thesis topic proposal
László Erdős
Conservation importance of habitat heterogeneity in Pannonian forest-steppes


Institute: University of Szeged
environmental sciences
Doctoral School of Environmental Sciences

Thesis supervisor: László Erdős
Location of studies (in Hungarian): MTA
Abbreviation of location of studies: MTA

Description of the research topic:

Forest-steppes form the most complex and at the same time the most threatened biome in the temperate zone. Our research focuses on the habitat heterogeneity of the forest-steppes in the Carpathian Basin. We prepare phytosociological relevés in different woody and non-woody habitats (differently sized natural forest patches, forest edges, open and closed natural grasslands, and plantations of native and non-native tree species), and we also carry out instrumental measurements. Our main study question is how the individual habitats differ regarding the following characteristcs:
- species composition and structural features
- diversity (taxonomic, functional, phylogenetic)
- conservation value (naturalness, the proportion of invasive species, richness of protected and rare species)
- environmental parameters (microclimate, soil moisture).

Our primary aim is to define how the individual forest-steppe habitats contribute to the overall conservation calue of the whole mosaic complex, and how conservation measures can be made more effective. Our main study area is the Kiskunság region in Central and Southern Hungary, but we also examine the forest-steppes of other regions (Villány Mountains, Northwest Hungary, Eastern Austria, Serbia, Southern Slovakia).
Additonal information: erdos.laszlo@okologia.mta.hu

Required language skills: angol
Number of students who can be accepted: 2

Deadline for application: 2021-04-01

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