Javier David Cevallos González successfully defended his doctoral thesis

On February 2nd, 2022 Javier David Cevallos González, member of the Restoration Ecology Group, successfully defended his doctoral thesis online, entitled: “Delimitation of seed transfer zones based on ecological knowledge and testing on seed trait variability of populations from different provenances for ecological restoration use.” The research topic dealt with the necessity of the development of seed transfer zones for herbaceous species for ecological restoration purposes in Hungary. As the current legislation adopted the map of administrative units as seed transfer zones, the study provided gap filling results: seed transfer zones based on the best available ecological knowledge. This knowledge was generated by using biogeographical maps and models of potential natural vegetation. The results showed that the delineated seed zones based on the best available knowledge had much higher credibility (76%) than that of the administrative units (42%), therefore, the current legislation should be modified. The acquired zones were tested with the help of a common garden experiment, where four native species were grown and their seed traits measured. The results of the seed transfer zones test show that in general terms there is no significant phenotypic differentiation between populations from different seed zones, therefore the movement of seeds between these zones is allowed for the tested species. This study is the first multi-site study to collect native species data from multiple populations of herbaceous species. The result of the doctoral defense finished with a grade of Summa cum laude. Congratulations to David!