Plankton play a central role in aquatic ecosystems, by representing the main primary producers (phytoplankton) and a key link of energy transfer to higher trophic levels (zooplankton). Our research group is motivated to understand how planktonic communities respond to environmental gradients, and how changes in community composition are linked to ecosystem functioning. By combining empirical and experimental research (micro-and mesocosm experiments), as well as taxonomic and functional approaches, we seek for a more mechanistic understanding on the consequences of planktonic community shifts as a response to multiple stressors under global change. Another focus of our group lies in the ecology and conservation of small aquatic habitats, such as ponds and pools. While these habitats maintain exceptionally high biodiversity and are excellent model systems to test basic ecological theories, their global decline highlights the need of their evidence-based conservation.
IAE Plankton Ecology Research Group
Leader of the research group:
Profile of the group:
Pálffy, K., A.W. Kovács, V. Kardos, I. Hausz, G. Boros (2021): Elevated temperature results in higher compositional variability of pioneer phytoplankton communities in a mesocosm system Journal of Plankton Research 43(2): pp. 142-155
Vad Cs F, C Schneider, D Lukić, Zs Horváth, M J Kainz, H Stibor, R Ptacnik (2020): Grazing resistance and poor food quality of a widespread mixotroph impair zooplankton secondary production Oecologia 193(2): pp. 489-502.
Horváth Zs, R Ptacnik, Cs F Vad, J M Chase (2019): Habitat loss over six decades accelerates regional and local biodiversity loss via changing landscape connectance Ecology Letters 22(6): 1019-1027
Pálffy, Károly, and Lajos Vörös (2019): Phytoplankton functional composition shows higher seasonal variability in a large shallow lake after a eutrophic past Ecosphere 10.5: e02684
Vad, C. F., A. L. Péntek, N. J. Cozma, A. Földi, A. Tóth, B. Tóth, N. A. Böde, A. Móra, R. Ptacnik, É. Ács, K. Zsuga, and Z. Horváth (2017): Wartime scars or reservoirs of biodiversity? The value of bomb crater ponds in aquatic conservation Biological Conservation 209:253–262.
2021 - 2025 FK 138215 - Effects of climate-change driven diet shift on community composition and ecosystem functioning in an invasive crustacean (ClimateShift) (FK 138215 - Csaba VAD, PhD)
2020 - 2024 AQUACOSM-plus: Network of Leading Ecosystem Scale Experimental AQUAtic MesoCOSM Facilities Connecting Rivers, Lakes, Estuaries and Oceans in Europe and beyond (AQUACOSM-plus - Csaba VAD, PhD)