39 Works

Data from: Resisting annihilation: relationships between functional trait dissimilarity, assemblage competitive power and allelopathy

Rika M. W. Muhl, Daniel L. Roelke, Tamar Zohary, Maria Moustaka-Gouni, Ulrich Sommer, Gabor Borics, Ursula Gaedke, Frances G. Withrow & Joydeb Bhattacharyya
Allelopathic species can alter biodiversity. Using simulated assemblages that are characterised by neutrality, lumpy coexistence and intransitivity, we explore relationships between within-assemblage competitive dissimilarities and resistance to allelopathic species. An emergent behaviour from our models is that assemblages are more resistant to allelopathy when members strongly compete exploitatively (high competitive power). We found that neutral assemblages were the most vulnerable to allelopathic species, followed by lumpy and then by intransitive assemblages. We find support for...

Data from: The interplay of landscape composition and configuration: new pathways to manage functional biodiversity and agro-ecosystem services across Europe

Emily A. Martin, Matteo Dainese, Yann Clough, András Báldi, Riccardo Bommarco, Vesna Gagic, Michael Garratt, Andrea Holzschuh, David Kleijn, Anikó Kovács-Hostyánszki, Lorenzo Marini, Simon G. Potts, Henrik G. Smith, Diab Al Hassan, Matthias Albrecht, Georg K. S. Andersson, Josep Asis, Stephanie Aviron, Mario Balzan, Laura Baños-Picón, Ignasi Bartomeus, Peter Batary, Françoise Burel, Berta Caballero-López, Elena D. Concepcion … & Ingolf Steffan-Dewenter
Managing agricultural landscapes to support biodiversity and ecosystem services is a key aim of a sustainable agriculture. However, how the spatial arrangement of crop fields and other habitats in landscapes impacts arthropods and their functions is poorly known. Synthesising data from 49 studies (1515 landscapes) across Europe, we examined effects of landscape composition (% habitats) and configuration (edge density) on arthropods in fields and their margins, pest control, pollination and yields. Configuration effects interacted with...

Data from: The ecology of spider sociality – A spatial model

Zsóka Vásárhelyi, István Scheuring & Leticia Avilés
The emergence of animal societies offers unsolved problems for both evolutionary and ecological studies. Social spiders are specially well suited to address this problem given their multiple independent origins and distinct geographical distribution. Based on long term research on the spider genus Anelosimus, we developed a spatial model that recreates observed macroecological patterns in the distribution of social and subsocial spiders. We show that parallel gradients of increasing insect size and disturbance (rain, predation) with...

Worldwide evidence of a unimodal relationship between productivity and plant species richness

Lauchlan H. Fraser, Jason Pither, Anke Jentsch, Marcelo Sternberg, Martin Zobel, Diana Askarizadeh, Sandor Bartha, Carl Beierkuhnlein, Jonathan A. Bennett, Alex Bittel, Bazartseren Boldgiv, Ilsi I. Boldrini, Edward Bork, Leslie Brown, Marcelo Cabido, James Cahill, Cameron N. Carlyle, Giandiego Campetella, Stefano Chelli, Ofer Cohen, Anna-Maria Csergo, Sandra Diaz, Lucas Enrico, David Ensing, Alessandra Fidelis … & Szilárd Szentes
The search for predictions of species diversity across environmental gradients has challenged ecologists for decades. The humped-back model (HBM) suggests that plant diversity peaks at intermediate productivity; at low productivity few species can tolerate the environmental stresses, and at high productivity a few highly competitive species dominate. Over time the HBM has become increasingly controversial, and recent studies claim to have refuted it. Here, by using data from coordinated surveys conducted throughout grasslands worldwide and...

Data from: Ecosystem services and disservices provided by small rodents in arable fields: effects of local and landscape management

Christina Fischer, Christoph Gayer, Kornélia Kurucz, Friederike Riesch, Teja Tscharntke & Péter Batáry
1. In agriculture, both valuable ecosystem services and unwanted ecosystem disservices can be produced by the same organism group. For example, small rodents can provide biological control through weed seed consumption but may also act as pests, causing crop damage. 2. We studied the hypothesised causal relationships between ecosystem services (removal of weed seeds) and disservices (removal of wheat and crop damage) derived by small rodents (voles and mice) at multiple spatial scales. At the...

Data from: Shorebirds as important vectors for plant dispersal in Europe

Ádám Lovas-Kiss, Marta I. Sanchez, David M. Wilkinson, Neil E. Coughlan, Jose A. Alves & Andy J. Green
Shorebirds (Charadriiformes) undergo rapid migrations with potential for long-distance dispersal (LDD) of plants. We studied the frequency of endozoochory by shorebirds in different parts of Europe covering a broad latitudinal range and different seasons. We assessed whether plants dispersed conformed to morphological dispersal syndromes. A total of 409 excreta samples (271 faeces and 138 pellets) were collected from redshank (Tringa totanus), black-winged stilt (Himantopus himantopus), pied avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta), northern lapwing (Vanellus vanellus), Eurasian curlew...

Data from: Roadside verges and cemeteries: comparative analysis of synanthropic orchid habitats in the Mediterranean Archipelago

Réka Fekete, Viktor Löki, Renáta Urgyán, Kristóf Süveges, Ádám Lovas-Kiss, Orsolya Vincze & Molnár V. Attila
Several important habitats have become threatened in the last few centuries in the Mediterranean Basin due to major changes adopted in land use practices. The consequent loss of natural and semi-natural orchid habitats lead to the appreciation of small anthropogenic habitats, such as cemeteries and roadside verges. Colonization of cemeteries and roadside verges by orchids has long been known, but no study to date compared the suitability of these two anthropogenic habitats for orchids. Therefore,...

Spectral sensitivity transition in the compound eyes of a twilight-swarming mayfly and its visual ecological implications

Ádám Egri, Ádám Mészáros & György Kriska
Aquatic insect species that leave the water after larval development, such as mayflies, have to deal with extremely different visual environments in their different life stages. Measuring the spectral sensitivity of the compound eyes of the virgin mayfly (Ephoron virgo) resulted in differences between the sensitivity of adults and larvae. Larvae were primarily green-, while adults were mostly UV-sensitive. The sensitivity of adults and larvae were the same in the UV, but in the green...

Data from: White plumage color as an honest indicator: feather macrostructure links reflectance with reproductive effort and success

Miklós Laczi, Mónika Jablonszky, Gábor Markó, Gergely Nagy, Gyula Szabó, Sándor Zsebők, János Török & Gergely Hegyi
The structural condition of feathers may generally have a decisive role in shaping the color properties of the plumage. However, the information content of structurally mediated color differences is poorly known. This makes it particularly hard to determine the meaning of color variation in pigment-free white plumage patches. The white wing patch of the collared flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis) is an important sexual trait, and changes in its reflectance are partly due to macrostructural condition. We...

Data from: How much would it cost to monitor farmland biodiversity in Europe?

Ilse R. Geijzendorffer, Stefano Targetti, Manuel K. Schneider, Dick J. Brus, Philippe Jeanneret, Robert H. G. Jongman, Martin Knotters, Davide Viaggi, Siyka Angelova, Michaela Arndorfer, Debra Bailey, Katalin Balzacs, András Báldim, Marion M. B. Bogers, Robert G.H. Bunce, Jean-Philippe Choisis, Peter Dennis, Sebastian Eiter, Wendy Fjellstad, Jürgen F. Friedel, Tiziano Gomiero, Arjan Griffioen, Max Kainz, Anikó Kovács-Hostyánszki, Gisela Lüscher … & András Báldi
To evaluate progress on political biodiversity objectives, biodiversity monitoring provides information on whether intended results are being achieved. Despite scientific proof that monitoring and evaluation increase the (cost) efficiency of policy measures, cost estimates for monitoring schemes are seldom available, hampering their inclusion in policy programme budgets. Empirical data collected from 12 case studies across Europe were used in a power analysis to estimate the number of farms that would need to be sampled per...

Data from: Comparing the sampling performance of sound recorders versus point counts in bird surveys: a meta-analysis

Kevin Darras, Péter Batáry, Brett Furnas, Antonio Celis-Murillo, Steven L. Van Wilgenburg, Yeni Ariyati Mulyani & Teja Tscharntke
1) Autonomous sound recording is a promising survey method for birds and other vocalising terrestrial wildlife. However, while there are clear advantages of sound recording methods over classical point counts conducted by humans, it has been difficult to quantitatively assess how they compare in their sampling performance. Quantitative comparisons of bird species richness between acoustic recorders and human point counts have previously been hampered by the differing and often unknown detection ranges among sampling methods....

Data from: Why do zoos attract crows? A comparative study from Europe and Asia

László Kövér, Szabolcs Lengyel, Makiko Takenaka, Alice Kirchmeir, Florian Uhl, Rachel Miller & Christine Schwab
Crows have successfully colonized many cities and urban zoos have been important in this process. To evaluate why zoos attract crows, we quantified crow numbers and behaviour in three zoos in Europe (Debrecen, Edinburgh, Vienna) and one in Asia (Sapporo). Data were collected in 445 surveys over 297 days in summer 2014 and winter 2014-15. We found that crow numbers were highest in Vienna, intermediate in Debrecen and Edinburgh and lowest in Sapporo, increased significantly...

No need for grazing exclusion – Sheep grazing supports grassland recovery even from the early successional stages

Rocco Labadessa, Balázs Deák & Orsolya Valkó
Availability and dispersal of target plant propagules and applied management techniques can considerably affect the success of grassland restoration. In our study we explored the effect of sheep grazing on plant species composition of an early staged recovering grassland, which developed on newly created soil surfaces. We recorded the presence and cover of vascular plant species in 17 grazed and 6 ungrazed plots during three consecutive years after the restoration of a landfill in southern...

Sequential organization of birdsong: Relationships with individual quality and fitness

Sándor Zsebők, Gábor Herczeg, Miklós Laczi, Gergely Nagy, Éva Vaskuti, Rita Hargitai, Gergely Hegyi, Márton Herényi, Gábor Markó, Balázs Rosivall, Eszter Szász, Eszter Szöllősi, János Török & László Zsolt Garamszegi
Many vocalizing animals produce the discrete elements of their acoustic signals in a specific sequential order, but we know little about the biological relevance of this ordering. For that, we must characterize the degree by which individuals differ in how they organize their signals sequentially and relate these differences to variation in quality and fitness. In this study, we fulfilled these tasks in male collared flycatchers (Ficedula albicollis). We characterized the sequential order of syllables...

Exceptionally high apparent adult survival in three tropical species of plovers in Madagascar

William Jones, Luke Eberhart-Hertel, Robert Freckleton, Joseph Hoffmann, Oliver Krüger, Brett Sandercock, Orsolya Vincze, Sama Zefania & Tamás Székely
Adult survival is a key component of population dynamics and understanding variation in and the drivers of adult survival rates and longevity is critical for ecological and evolutionary studies, as well as for conservation biology and practice. Tropical species of landbirds are often selected to have higher adult survival due to high nest predation rates, but it is unclear if the same patterns occur in other avian lineages with different life history strategies. Here, we...

Anisogamy is unrelated to the intensity of sexual selection

Judit Mokos, István Scheuring, András Liker, Robert P. Freckelton & Tamás Székely
Males and females often display different behaviours and, in the context of reproduction, these behaviours are labelled sex roles. The Darwin–Bateman paradigm argues that the root of these differences is anisogamy (i.e., differences in size and/or function of gametes between the sexes) that leads to biased sexual selection, and sex differences in parental care and body size. This evolutionary cascade, however, is contentious since some of the underpinning assumptions have been questioned. Here we investigate...

Impact of shrub cover and wild ungulate browsing on the vegetation of restored mountain hay meadows

Gergely Pápay, Orsolya Kiss, Ádám Fehér, Gábor Szabó, Zita Zimmermann, Levente Hufnagel, Eszter S. Falusi, Ildikó Járdi, Dénes Saláta, László Szemethy, Károly Penksza & Krisztián Katona
Grasslands of middle mountain regions are among the most diverse habitats of the Carpathian Basin, but they are threatened by spontaneous succession leading to woody encroachment. It is a high priority of nature conservation to preserve these diverse habitats by suppressing the woody encroachment and to create new open habitat patches by scrub removal. The main goal of this study was to investigate the effect of shrub cover on plant species composition and vegetation in...

Data from: Functional diversity supports the biomass-diversity humped-back relationship in phytoplankton assemblages

Péter Török, Enikő T-Krasznai, Viktória B-Béres, István Bácsi, Gábor Borics & Béla Tóthmérész
Modelling the relationship between biomass and diversity in phytoplankton assemblages provides new insights into the mechanisms responsible for the coexistence of species, even in terrestrial ecosystems. We tested the biomass–diversity relationship in lake phytoplankton along a wide biomass gradient using functional species groups. We hypothesized that changes in the taxonomic diversity of the phytoplankton along a biomass gradient are associated with altered functional diversity. For the analyses, in total 768 samples were collected from 30...

Data from: Knowledge co-production with traditional herders on cattle grazing behaviour for better management of species-rich grasslands

Zsolt Molnar, András Kelemen, Róbert Kun, Csaba Vadász, János Máté, László Sáfián, Fred Provenza, Sandra Díaz, Hossein Barani, Marianna Biró & András Máté
The research gap between rangeland/livestock science and conservation biology/vegetation ecology has led to a lack of evidence needed for grazing-related conservation management. Connecting scientific understanding with traditional ecological knowledge of local livestock keepers could help bridge this research and knowledge gap. 1. We studied the grazing behaviour (plant selection and avoidance) of beef cattle (ca. 33 000 bites) on species-rich lowland pastures in Central Europe and traditional herding practices. We also did >450 outdoor interviews...

Dataset and scripts from: Predicting temperature mortality and selection in natural Drosophila populations

Enrico Rezende, Francisco Bozinovic, András Szilágyi & Mauro Santos
The study develops and validates a theoretical model to predict thermal mortality under natural conditions, based on measurements of mortality performed in the laboratory at multiple constant temperatures. The theoretical model first fits a thermal tolerance landscape, which describes how survival probability is affected by both temperature and exposure time, to the empirical measurements of mortality obtained in the laboratory under controlled conditions. Then, employing a numerical approximation to the analytical solution based on differential...

Data from: A critical analysis of the potential for EU Common Agricultural Policy measures to support wild pollinators on farmland

Lorna Cole, David Kleijn, Lynn Dicks, Jane Stout, Simon Potts, Matthias Albrecht, Mario Balzan, Ignasi Bartomeus, Penelope Bebeli, Danilo Bevk, Jacobus Biesmeijer, Róbert Chlebo, Anželika Dautartė, Nikolaos Emmanouil, Chris Hartfield, John Holland, Andrea Holzschuh, Nieke Knoben, Anikó Kovács-Hostyánszki, Yael Mandelik, Heleni Panou, Robert Paxton, Theodora Petanidou, Miguel Pinheiro De Carvalho, … & Jeroen Scheper
1. Agricultural intensification and associated loss of high-quality habitats are key drivers of insect pollinator declines. With the aim of decreasing the environmental impact of agriculture, the 2014 EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) defined a set of habitat and landscape features (Ecological Focus Areas: EFAs) farmers could select from as a requirement to receive basic farm payments. To inform the post-2020 CAP, we performed a European-scale evaluation to determine how different EFA options vary in...

The role of common ancestry and gene flow in the evolution of human-directed play behavior in dogs

Laszlo Zsolt Garamszegi
Among-population variance of phenotypic traits is of high relevance for understanding evolutionary mechanisms that operate in relatively short timescales, but various sources of non-independence, such as common ancestry and gene flow can hamper the interpretations. In this comparative analysis of 138 dog breeds, we demonstrate how such confounders can independently shape the evolution of a behavioral trait (human-directed play behavior from the Dog Mentality Assessment project). We combined information on genetic relatedness and haplotype sharing...

Larger pollinators deposit more pollen on stigmas across multiple plant species – a meta-analysis

Rita Földesi, Rita Földesi, Brad Howlett, Ingo Grass & Péter Batáry
Abstract 1. Many insect species provide essential pollination services. However, the amount of pollen deposited onto a stigma when visiting a flower (“single visit pollen deposition”, SVD) can vary greatly among taxa depending on morphological traits of pollinators. Further, SVD is commonly measured using one of two methods (‘static’: waiting for an insect to visit a flower present on plant, and ‘active’: removing the flower and presenting it to a flower visitor) that may also...

Plumage and eggshell colouration covary with the level of sex-specific parental contributions to nest building in birds

Jenő Nagy, Mark E. Hauber, Viktor Löki & Mark C. Mainwaring
Interspecific variation in sex-specific contributions to prenatal parental care, including avian nest building, remain poorly understood. Here, we examined whether the colouration of the parents and of their eggs covary with sex-specific nest building contributions in 521 species of Western Palearctic birds. Having colourful plumages and laying colourful eggs are both costly because of the deposition of pigments (in feathers and eggs) and/or forming costly nanostructural substrates (in feathers), and so it is expected that...

Long-term results of initial seeding, mowing and carbon amendment on the restoration of Pannonian sand grassland on old fields

Yesenia Belén Llumiquinga, Bruna Reis, Nora Saradi, Katalin Török, Katalin Szitár & Melinda Halassy
Cropland abandonment is an opportunity for semi-natural biodiverse ecosystems to develop through spontaneous succession or active restoration. Spontaneous recovery is limited by the dispersal and capacity of species to establish under the given environmental circumstances. This paper provides an evaluation of three restoration techniques to overcome dispersal and environmental limitations based on revisiting an experiment with the aim to restore Pannonian sand grasslands on old fields, 16 years after its start. Treatments were carried out...

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