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: 
Responsible person at ÖK: 

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.



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.