Impact of establishment, spreading and management of invasive plant species in semi-natural and regenerating habitats

(2126 (FK128465), 2018 - 2022, running project)
Coordinator or leader of the project: 
Csecserits Anikó
Coordinator or leader institution of the project: 
MTA ÖK ÖBI
Responsible person at ÖK: 
Short description: 

Invasive species are one of the most important factors threatening biodiversity worldwide. Although studying of biological invasion process is a developing research topic of ecology, every review paper in the topic emphasize, that there is still strong need for case studies concerning on the impact of invasive species.
We plan to study the impact of invasive plant species with two different approach: with experiment and field surveys. The impact of invasive species will be measured on different levels of ecosystems: on species, communities and ecosystem levels. Both the experiment and field survey will be conducted in Central-Hungary, using the Kiskun-LTER site network, which contain GIS and vegetation information database of the region.
In the experiment we will manipulate the density of the invasive species in two different habitats and measure the effect of this treatment on species, on community properties (e.g. functional diversity) and on abiotic conditions. We will use as control both invaded and uninvaded sites.
With the field survey on one hand we will detect the regional changes of invasive plant species abundance, by repeating a ten years old survey conducted on old-fields. On the other hand we will monitor the effect of an eradication project conducted in 2015-2016 in a Kiskun-LTER site, using already existing permanent vegetation plots.
Our results will show, which species are the most impacted by the invasive plant species. The expected results will help to understand the success of invasive species, contribute to the effective nature conservation management and the development of invasion biology.

Aims: 

3. jelentosseg Our general question is: what is the impact of the spread of the invasive plant species in different habitats, namely in semi-natural habitats on the indigenous species, on plant species composition and on abiotic properties.
Our hypotheses are:
1) The effect of invasive plant species can be measured on different levels: on the level of species, of plant communities and of ecosystem properties and this effect is dependent on the density of invasive species.
2) Invasive plant species have impact on abiotic environment (like soil nutrient content, light availability), which can explain their impact on other species, too
3) Spreading of an invasive species results in a decrease of other species abundance, thus change the species composition and functional diversity.
4) If the abundance of invasive species decreases due to management, other species can spread, their abundance increase and this results in different species composition and functi