Department of Non-vascular Plants
Studies in cryptogams (non-vascular plants) address phylogeny,origin and diversification of clearly defined biogeographical elements or those confined to a particular geographic area. The main goal of our research is to understand the diversity, the variability, ecological preferences, and the distribution of algae, cyanobacteria, lichenized fungi (lichens) and non-lichenized fungi in the Carpathian-Pannonian region, especially in habitats and biotopes important for nature conservation or for economic purposes (e.g. grasslands, calcareous xerotherms, old-growth forests, vineyards, gravel pit lakes and thermal springs, recent travertines). We also study the influence of geographic disjunctions, habitat fragmentation and climate change to distribution area of the model fungal lineages with various trophic strategies. Part of our biodiversity research is focused on biosystematics (i.e. the classification and naming of organisms), significantly contributing to the taxonomic backbone of the Catalogue of Life and helping to formulate hypotheses for further evolutionary-targeted research. We also study responses of ecological niches and habitat changes to future climatic scenarios. Target studied model organisms belng to: macrofungi – ascomycetes (Geoglossum), basidiomycetes (Camarophyllopsis, Hodophilus,
Our research results are applied for the environmental quality assessment, i. e. lichen diversity value (ILD), index of atmospheric purity (IAP), the index of ecological continuity of territory (IEC), the indication of natural value of forest ecosystems based on indicator species of wood inhabiting fungi, or the monitoring water quality.
The Department is equipped by light-microscopy facilities,the analytical, genomic DNA extraction mycological laboratory for the analyses of lichen secondary chemistry and for the extraction of nucleic acids; innoculation and cultivation mycological laboratory for fungal culture preparation, and algological laboratory for microscopic identification and preparation of cultures of cyanobacteria and algae.
Deputy Head of department: Mgr. Petra Mikušová, PhD.