Frontline research excellence: Biodiversity under the pressure of agriculture and urbanization (KKP 133839)

(KKP 133839, 2020 - 2025, running project)
Coordinator or leader of the project: 
Dr. Batáry Péter
Coordinator or leader institution of the project: 
Centre for Ecological Research
Responsible person at ÖK: 
Short description: 

Land use change is the main driver of biodiversity loss through habitat destruction and degradation. Sustainable development requires nature conservation strategies that manage landscapes as wholes. Biodiversity and ecosystem services provided by agricultural and urbanized areas deserve special attention as almost half of the global terrestrial surface has been transformed to these land use types. In our proposal we combine landscape, urban and agroecology to understand how landscape heterogeneity in terms of composition and configuration shape biodiversity, ecosystem functions and services in urban ecosystems. We will carry out biodiversity surveys along urbanization gradients in villages and cities in both natural and agricultural landscapes in the Carpathian Basin. We will analyse functionally important traits of the plants, arthropods and birds. Our socio-ecological surveys will reveal the valuation of biodiversity and ecosystem services by local inhabitants to gain holistic insights into the complex system of biological, social and economic factors. With an extraordinarily broad collaboration of other research groups, we will perform multi-taxa, multi-function, multi-service assessments in well-replicated sets of study sites. This will enable us to draw robust conclusions about the role of landscape heterogeneity in urban environment, and to inform nature conservation policy makers and stakeholders about landscape settings maximizing biodiversity and services.