Projects

National

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
Svet vo svete – od mikrokozmov k ekosystémom
Worlds in a world – from microcosms to ecosystems
Program: VEGA
Zodpovedný riešiteľ: RNDr. Svitková Ivana, PhD.
Annotation: A good model system for ecological studies can be distinguished by low spatial variability (high replicabilty) and low stochasticity (high predictability). Aquatic ecosystems in phytotelmata are generally considered as excellent model systems to address various ecological theories (e.g., dynamics of metapopulations and metacommunities, island biogeography, food-web interactions). In temperate Europe, only small number of plant species exhibit morphological structures that would be able to hold water long enough to provide suitable conditions for development of aquatic communities, teasels (Dipsacus fullonum) being one of them. Beside some rather faunistic notes, very little is known about the ecosystem functioning in phytotelmata. Aims of the proposed project are to validate eligibility of phytotelmata as model systems, and to evaluate how the ongoing processes in phytotelmata affect the fitness of the whole teasel plants, what in turn can affect the character of a whole plant community itself.
Duration: 1.1.2020 – 31.12.2023
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