NKFI K 131837 - Fine-scale landscape ecology: linking vegetation change with interacting indirect and direct drivers using traditional ecological knowledge and oral history

(131837, 2019 - 2023, running project)
Coordinator or leader of the project: 
Dr. Molnár Zsolt
Coordinator or leader institution of the project: 
ÖBI
Responsible person at ÖK: 
Aims: 

Ecological studies rarely utilize the oral historical knowledge of local inhabitants to understand vegetation dynamics and driver-vegetation interactions. Our main objective is to assess the impact of interacting indirect (e.g., social and economic) and direct (e.g., land-use change, invasive species) drivers on vegetation change using local and traditional ecological knowledge as a data source of past vegetation status and trends. By conducting oral history interviews with the DPSIR (Driving forces–Pressures–States–Impacts–Responses) framework, we aim to analyse the complexity of driver-vegetation interactions at fine spatial and longer-term temporal scales. Our additional objective is to develop a new approach for fine-scale landscape historical analysis that is based on oral history interviewing using in-door and out-door interviews. Local case studies will provide a deeper insight on local vegetation dynamics, while the multilocal regional analysis will help find general patterns and grasp the diversity of local driver-vegetation change interactions. At local scale, we will focus on encroachment (esp. with oaks), a process that is regarded both as a threat by overgrowing species-rich grasslands and as an opportunity for the development of semi-natural oak forests. Multi-scale analysis of drivers of vegetation change in geographically distant areas with similar ecological features at the decades scale are rare. By expanding our research to two non-European study sites (Iran, Mongolia), involving foreign PhD students, we will identify globally acting drivers of local vegetation change, and broaden the spatial and temporal scales of our understanding.

Publications: 

2021

Demeter, L., Molnár, Á.P., Öllerer, K., Csóka, Gy., Kiš, A., Vadász, Cs., Horváth, F., Molnár, Zs. (2021): Rethinking the natural regeneration failure of pedunculate oak: The pathogen mildew hypothesis Biological Conservation 253:108928
Gantuya, B., Biró, M., Molnár, Á., Avar, Á., Sharifian, B. A., Babai, D., Molnár, Zs. (2021): How Mongolian herders perceive ecological change in a 'stable' landscape. Ecology and Society, 26 (2):21.