Projects

International

G-BIKE – Poznanie genómovej biodiverzity pre odolné ekosystémy
Genomic biodiversity knowledge for resilient ecosystems
Program: COST
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: RNDr. Čiampor Fedor, PhD.
Annotation: In a rapidly changing environment the resilience of ecosystems depends ultimately on species adaptability. G-BIKE will enable standard and routine tools for assessing, monitoring and managing the genetic resilience and related adaptive potential of wild and captive populations. Although genetic data can be obtained for most organisms, the standardization of protocols for detecting and monitoring species’ genetic diversity, and their potential for adaptation, is still lacking. G-BIKE will assist scientists and practitioners across the EU and particularly in COST Inclusiveness Target Countries to integrate genetic and evolutionary knowledge into conservation planning policies, and to promote cross-border management and long term monitoring programs of evolutionary potential in order to ensure persistence of populations and species, and ultimately the continued supply of nature-based ecosystem services. Considering the drastic impacts of climate change during the coming decades, G-BIKE is especially urgent. The following aims will be accomplished by involving a balanced representation of scientists and practitioners from a diversity of countries: 1) clearly articulating for managers how genetic diversity can support ecosystems; 2) developing and testing best practice protocols for monitoring genetic diversity in time and space; 3) providing an online forum on emerging tools; 4) connecting all stakeholders through networking and training opportunities; 4) building a network of conservation genetics labs; 5) building a foundation for long term impact.
Project web page: https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA18134
Duration: 1.3.2019 – 31.3.2023

National

Ako environmentálna DNA (eDNA) odráža žvot v alpínskych jazerách a ich povodiach: DNA metabarkóding vo výskume tatranských plies
How environmental DNA (eDNA) reflects life in alpine lakes and their catchments: DNA metabarcoding in the Tatra lakes research
Program: VEGA
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: RNDr. Čiamporová-Zaťovičová Zuzana, PhD.
Annotation: Alpine lakes are globally unique aquatic habitats contributing significantly to the regional biodiversity and preserving ecosystem services. However, many of them are at risk, in particular from human activity and climate change. Their protection is therefore crucial, but must be based on accurate and up-to-date data. The project, following previous research of Tatra lakes, will for the first time use innovative molecular methods in the assessment of the alpine lakes biodiversity: metabarcoding, analysis of environmental DNA, NGS. They have great potential to describe the current state of biodiversity of lakes and their catchments in detail, detect rare/non-native species, determine the impact of environmental factors on aquatic biota and assess the species genetic variability. The project also includes the generation of reference molecular data (DNA barcoding) of the Tatra aquatic fauna, which is essential for the correct interpretation of metabarcoding data and will enable their use in modern monitoring.
Duration: 1.1.2021 – 31.12.2024
Determinácia, šírenie a vplyv inváznych rastlín na prirodzené ekosystémy: príkladové štúdie na rodoch Centaurea, Fallopia a Solidago
Determination, spreading pattern and impact of invasive plants on native ecosystems: case studies on Centaurea, Fallopia and Solidago
Program: VEGA
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: RNDr. Skokanová Katarína, PhD.
Annotation: The project aims to study taxonomically problematic and hardly distinguishable invasive taxa and cytotypes of Centaurea stoebe agg., Fallopia japonica agg. and Solidago canadensis agg. occurring in central Europe. By combination of biosystematic approaches (morphometrics, flow cytometry, chromosome counting) we will determine particular taxa and cytotypes. Thanks to extensive field survey and revision of herbarium specimens we will contribute to the knowledge on current and past distribution of F. japonica agg. and S. canadensis agg. in central Europe and cytotypes of C. stoebe agg. in mixed-ploidy populations. Further, we will analyse ecological demands of particular taxa and cytotypes and model their future potential spreading within the studied area. To reveal and to compare impact of invasive taxa of F. japonica agg. and S. canadensis agg. on natural biotopes we will use a combined approach including analyses of soil properties, seed bank, diversity of plants, fungi and molluscs in invaded biotopes.
Duration: 1.1.2019 – 31.12.2022
Diverzita bioty miest v karpatsko-panónskej oblasti
Diversity of urban biota in the Carpathian-Pannonian region
Program: VEGA
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: RNDr. Májeková Jana, PhD.
Annotation: The project deals with the research of biodiversity in the urban environment in the territory of two important Central European bioregions – Pannonian and Carpathian. After multiple stratification, 30 Slovak cities were selected, representatively distributed on the basis of geographical location and demography. Within each city, the research will be carried out through two model, ecologically significantly linked groups (vascular plants and terrestrial snails) and on seven habitats typical of the urban environment. The aim of the submitted project is to find out: 1) How environmental and anthropogenic factors affect the diversity of native species in different types of urban environment and the penetration of non-native species into cities, 2) if there is a difference in the diversity structure of model groups of organisms in the Carpathian and Pannonian biogeographical regions, and 3) which of the urban habitats is the most important in terms of biodiversity and can potentially serve as an indicator habitat.
Duration: 1.1.2021 – 31.12.2024
PLANTin – Votrelci medzi nami: Časovo-priestorová dynamika rastlinných invázií a ich nepriaznivý dopad na ekosystémy
Aliens among us: Spatio-temporal dynamics of plant invasions and their adverse impact on ecosystem
Program: APVV
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: Ing. Hrivnák Richard, PhD.
Annotation: Plant invasions are an ongoing process threatening biodiversity at the species, habitat and landscape levels. The unique composition of alien flora at a regional level is mainly influenced by climate and cultural factors. The proposed project focuses on the environmental background of plant invasions in Slovakia (covers a substantial part of the Western Carpathians and an adjacent part of the Pannonia) which has been studied in this region only marginally so far. Dynamics of plant invasions will be studied in riparian vegetation along rivers that play a dominant role in the natural spreading of invasive plants. Using time series of vegetation, seed bank, and soil properties, we will reveal spatio-temporal changes in riparian ecosystems which will be further linked with environmental and human factors. Based on field and revised herbarium data, we will reveal the ecological demands of model invasive plant groups (Fallopia japonica agg. and Solidago canadensis agg.) and estimate their potential distribution under current and future climate conditions. An integrative approach will be used to study the impact of plant invasions on semi-natural grasslands which represent the most invaded non-anthropogenic habitats in Slovakia. We will compare multiple-taxa diversity (plants, bryophytes, fungi – by environmental DNA sequencing, molluscs and soil invertebrates) in non-invaded plots and in plots invaded by F. japonica agg. or S. canadensis agg. Further analyses of soil properties, seed bank, microbial activity, and fungal trophic structure will shed light on changes of belowground ecosystem processes at studied plots. We will also conduct a field experiment to study the impact of invasive plants on the decomposition of leaf litter. Such a study with exceptionally broad coverage of taxonomic and methodological approaches will provide a unique look at the plant invasion process and enable us to reveal, besides general trends, also species or group-specific patterns
Duration: 1.7.2020 – 30.6.2024
Zmeny biodiverzity v urbánne fragmentovanej krajine
Changes in biodiversity in an urban fragmented landscape
Program: VEGA
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: Ing. Čejka Tomáš, PhD.
Annotation: The project deals with changes in biodiversity in an urban environment in two ways: in the space (ecological gradients, fragmentation of habitats) and time (historical data). For study, we chose two ecologically linked model groups: vascular plants and land snails. Based on the research of these model organisms, we will solve five main points: [1] How the urban fragmented woodland fits principles of the island biogeography and what is the impact of the fragmentation and env. variables on the biota structure and variability. [2] Whether and to what extent the genetic diversity of the populations of selected model species varies in long-term continuously forested areas comparing the neorefugia; [3] How the urban environment impacts in time and space on the diversity of indigenous species; [4] On the basis of the theory of refugia verify what is the ecol.l traits structure of biota in the remains of forest vegetation; [5] Whether biotic homogenization occurs and which groups of biota are most affected by biotic homogenisation.
Duration: 1.1.2018 – 31.12.2021