Hungarian Natural History Museum
Recent publications
Livestock grazing is one of the most common management practices for grasslands and can greatly affect their biodiversity. However, arthropod diversity response patterns to grazing regimes are difficult to predict. We conducted a short-term grazing exclusion experiment in traditionally managed alkali grasslands in Hungary to investigate differences between grazed and ungrazed vegetation for different arthropod groups. The experiment was laid out in a full factorial design, with twelve 50 × 100 m short-term grazing exclosures in vegetation types with high (alkali wet meadow) and low productivity (alkali steppe). We sampled ground beetles and spiders with pitfall traps and true hoppers by sweep netting. We used vegetation type (wet meadow vs dry steppe), management (grazed vs ungrazed) and their interaction as fixed effects in mixed models. We found higher species richness and activity density of spiders and ground beetles in the more productive wet meadow vegetation, where the community structure of each arthropod group also shifted toward hygrophilous species. Significant interactions between vegetation type and management indicated a dependence of management effects on vegetation types: arthropod community structure shifted towards hygrophilous species in ungrazed meadows, but not in ungrazed steppe sites. True hopper abundance was higher in grazed meadow sites, but lower in grazed steppe sites, compared to ungrazed sites. True hopper community structure shifted toward generalist herbivores in ungrazed sites, regardless of vegetation type. We concluded that vegetation types determine arthropod communities and modulate the effects of grazing on arthropods. Our results suggest that moderate disturbance from low-intensity grazing has a positive or neutral effect in wetter, more productive vegetation, but a negative or neutral effect in drier, less productive vegetation, depending on the arthropod group. Herbivorous insects that dwell on plants are particularly affected by management because they are more susceptible to direct impacts, such as unintentional predation by grazing cattle, and because of asymmetrical competition between mammalian and insect herbivores.
Silica-scaled chrysophytes are a unique group of protists representing a major component of numerous aquatic habitats where they can significantly contribute to human well-being in many ways. In the present review, altogether 14 ecosystem services provided by silica-scaled chrysophytes were identified highlighting their importance and roles in aquatic ecosystems. The most important supporting services are related to primary production, nutrient- and biogeochemical cycling, as well as sediment formation. Additionally, they are involved in the regulation of climate, maintenance of air quality, biological control and water purification processes (as regulating services). The most relevant provisioning services include their usefulness in environmental monitoring (paleolimnology, ecological status assessment and climate modelling), production of biochemicals and provision of genetic resources. Cultural services are associated with aesthetic values, inspiration source and knowledge system as well. Although silica-scaled chrysophytes are one of the least studied groups of algae, here they are shown to provide important benefits and to have many further powerful opportunities for humans, thus their detailed research in the future is emphasised as an important key for human well-being.
Seven species new to science are described, illustrated and compared with closely related taxa. Of them, one species, i.e.: Coppinsidea vernadskiensis S. Y. Kondr., T. O. Kondratiuk et I. Yu. Parnikoza is from the Argentine Islands, Western Maritime Antarctic Peninsula, Jacke lixia hosseussii S. Y. Kondr., L. Lőkös et J.-S. Hur, from South America (Argentina and Uruguay), Loekoeslaszloa reducta Yoshik. Yamam. et S. Y. Kondr. from Eastern Asia (Japan), Orientophila viticola S. Y. Kondr., L. Lőkös et J.-S. Hur from Eastern Asia (South Korea), Ovealmbornia ovei S. Y. Kondr., L. Lőkös, I. Kärnefelt et A. Thell, and Xanthokarrooa elsiae S. Y. Kondr., L. Lőkös, I. Kärnefelt et A. Thell from Africa, as well as Oxneria imshaugii S. Y. Kondr. from North America. The new combination Jackelixia australis (for Xanthoria parietina var. australis Zahlbr.) is proposed. Jackelixia hosseussii is for the first time recorded as host for the lichenicolous fungus Arthonia anjutii S. Y. Kondr. et Alstrup. The latter species is for the first time recorded from South America. Intralichen christiansenii (D. Hawksw.) D. Hawksw. et Cole is for the first time recorded from South Korea.
The new genus Kudratoviella for the former Caloplaca zeorina group having the highest level of bootstrap support in the phylogenetic tree of the Teloschistaceae, based on combined dataset of nrITS, 28S nrLSU DNA and 12S SSU mtDNA sequences, which does not belong to any other earlier proposed genera of the subfamily Xanthorioideae, is described. The genus Oceanoplaca Arup, Søchting et Bungartz found to be a new synonym of the genus Loekoeslaszloa S. Y. Kondr., Kärnefelt, A. Thell et Hur, and Villophora onas Søchting, Søgaard et Arup appeared to be new synonym of Raesaeneniana maulensis (S. Y. Kondr. et Hur) S. Y. Kondr., Elix, Kärnefelt et A. Thell. Sixteen new combinations are proposed, i.e. Honeggeria leoncita (for Xanthomendoza leoncita Bungartz et Søchting), Honeggeria wetmorei (for Xanthoria wetmorei S. Y. Kondr. et Kärnefelt), Kudratoviella anularis (for Caloplaca anularis Clauzade et Poelt), Kudratoviella bohlinii (for Caloplaca bohlinii H. Magn.), Kudratoviella rajasthanica (for Caloplaca rajasthanica S. Y. Kondr., Upreti et G. P. Sinha), Kudratoviella scrobiculata (for Caloplaca scrobiculata H. Magn.), and Kudratoviella zeorina (for Caloplaca zeorina B. G. Lee et Hur), Loekoeslaszloa caesioisidiata (for Caloplaca caesioisidiata Arup et van den Boom), Loekoeslaszloa caesiosorediata (for Caloplaca caesiosorediata Arup et van den Boom), Loekoeslaszloa chemoisidiosa (for Oceanoplaca chemoisidiosa Søchting et Bungartz), Loekoeslaszloa isidiosa (for Placodium isidiosum Vain.), Loekoeslaszloa sideritoides (for Oceanoplaca sideritoides Søchting et Bungartz), Raesaeneniana darwiniana (for Villophora darwiniana Søchting, Søgaard et Arup), Raesaeneniana patagonica (for Villophora patagonica Søchting et Søgaard), Raesaeneniana rimicola (for Villophora rimicola Søchting), and Raesaeneniana wallaceana (for Villophora wallaceana Søchting et Søgaard). Iqbalia kashmirensis is for the first time confirmed from South Korea and India on the basis of ‘extraneous mycobiont DNA’ (sensu Kondratyuk et al . 2019 b ).
The Meadow and Steppe viper, Vipera ursinii-renardi complex is a well-studied group that is divided into several morphological subspecies. In this study, we combine the analyses of two mitochondrial genes with 9 microsatellite markers to compare both phylogenetic signals. Whereas the signal is similar between both genomes within most subspecies, the relative relationships between subspecies are more differentiated. Moreover, the nuclear phylogenetic reconstruction supports genetic homogeneity within V. u. macrops (in contrast to mtDNA). Both genetic portions show an unexpected differentiation between a population from Bistra Mountain and other V. u. macrops populations. Globally, the microsatellite markers suggest high genetic diversity in most subspecies, even in V. u. rakosisensis which is highly threatened; only V. u. macrops showed a limited genetic diversity. Within lowland subspecies, the differentiation between populations is globally limited compared to the distance between them (except in some populations of V. u. moldavica). The limited differentiation might be the consequence of a recent isolation (few decades) of previously large populations. Nevertheless, the only way to maintain this genetic diversity and to avoid an increase in genetic differentiation between populations in the future is to recreate suitable habitats and reconnect the populations.
The first occurrence of Sporobolus indicus in Hungary is reported. The neotropical S. indicus is one of the oldest introduced neophytes to Europe. From the middle of the 19th century until the last decade of the 20th century, apart from a few occasional occurrences, it expanded only in the Mediterranean area. However, the number of observations has dramatically increased in the past two decades, even outside the Mediterranean region. Its recent rapid spreading is evident along roads, in lawns, trampled tourist places (e.g., campsites). Tourism certainly contributes to the very successful recent spreading of the species. Still, global warming, the increasingly mild winters in continental Europe, can certainly enhance the establishment and further dispersal of this cold sensitive species.
The macromorphological examination of identified human osteological collections from the pre-antibiotic era (e.g., Terry Collection) can provide invaluable information about the skeletal manifestations of tuberculosis (TB) in individuals who did not receive pharmaceutical therapy. With analysis of such collections, new diagnostic criteria for TB can be recognised which can be used in palaeopathological interpretation. The aim of our paper is to provide a reference and aid for the identification of TB in past populations by demonstrating and discussing in detail the vertebral alterations indicative of one of its rare skeletal manifestations, lumbosacral TB. These changes were detected in two individuals from the Terry Collection (Terry No. 760 and Terry No. 1093). These two case studies furnish palaeopathologists with a stronger basis for diagnosing lumbosacral TB in skeletons which exhibit similar vertebral lesions from osteoarchaeological series. To illustrate this, an archaeological case from Hungary (KK146) is also presented, displaying vertebral alterations resembling that of the two cases from the Terry Collection. Through the demonstrated case studies, we can derive a better insight into the disease experience of people who lived in the past and suffered from TB.
The number of epizootics in amphibian populations caused by viruses of the genus Ranavirus is increasing worldwide. Yet, causes for pathogen emergence are poorly understood. Here, we confirmed that the Common midwife toad virus (CMTV) and Frog virus 3 (FV3) are responsible for mass mortalities in Iberia since the late 1980s. Our results illustrate the Iberian Peninsula as a diversity hotspot for the highly virulent CMTV. Although this pattern of diversity in Europe is consistent with spread by natural dispersal, the exact origin of the emergence of CMTV remains uncertain. Nevertheless, our data allow hypothesizing that the Iberian Peninsula might harbor the ancestral population of CMTVs that could have spread into the rest of Europe. In addition, we found that climate warming could be triggering the CMTV outbreaks, supporting its endemic status in the Iberian Peninsula.
In the endeavour to understand the causes and consequences of the variation in animal personality, a wide range of studies were carried out, utilising various aspects to make sense of this biological phenomenon. One such aspect integrated the study of physiological traits, investigating hypothesised physiological correlates of personality. Although many of such studies were carried out on vertebrates (predominantly on birds and mammals), studies using arthropods (mainly insects) as model organisms were also at the forefront of this area of research. In order to review the current state of knowledge on the relationship between personality and the most frequently studied physiological parameters in arthropods, we searched for scientific articles that investigated this relationship. In our review, we only included papers utilising a repeated-measures methodology to be conceptually and formally concordant with the study of animal personality. Based on our literature survey, metabolic rate, thermal physiology, immunophysiology, and endocrine regulation, as well as exogenous agents (such as toxins) were often identified as significant affectors shaping animal personality in arthropods. We found only weak support for state-dependence of personality when the state is approximated by singular elements (or effectors) of condition. We conclude that a more comprehensive integration of physiological parameters with condition may be required for a better understanding of state's importance in animal personality. Also, a notable knowledge gap persists in arthropods regarding the association between metabolic rate and hormonal regulation, and their combined effects on personality. We discuss the findings published on the physiological correlates of animal personality in arthropods with the aim to summarise current knowledge, putting it into the context of current theory on the origin of animal personality.
Temporal activity differences facilitate species' coexistence by reducing interspecific competition. Such patterns can be studied via diel activity analysis, but obtaining data in cryptic mammals is difficult. We investigated the annual and diel activity pattern of such a small mammal, the endangered Hungarian birch mouse (Sicista trizona trizona), in its only known habitat. We employ trail cameras for the first time to reveal the diel and annual activity of a sminthid species. Data acquisition included the spring and summer seasons between 2019 and 2022 and was extended to detect the activity overlaps with other common coexisting rodents and shrews. The diel activity results rely on 581 detections of S. trizona over 5670 trap-nights of camera trap deployment characterising also activity pattern of the small mammal community in this Central European grassland ecosystem. S. trizona was not recorded during the day but was active at dawn and night, and in comparison with other coexisting species, its activity level was high. The presumed cold sensitivity was not confirmed as we detected activity at −6 °C. Diel activity peaked in early May in the mating season. Although the diel activity pattern of co-occurring small mammal species was also nocturnal, activity overlaps were relatively high suggesting that temporal niche partitioning is limited within the habitat. Our work provides the first insight into temporal overlaps within a small mammal community in a natural European grassland, moreover, also the first documented research on the activity pattern of a sminthid in its natural habitat.
This paper presents new records and noteworthy data on the following taxa in SE Europe and adjacent regions: red algae Lemanea fucina and Paralemanea annulata, parasitic fungus Anthracoidea pratensis, saprotrophic fungi Cyathus olla, Massaria campestris, and Xylaria sicula, stonewort Chara canescens, liverworts Gymnomitrion commutatum and Porella baueri, moss Acaulon triquetrum, monocots Anacamptis laxiflora, Cephalanthera damasonium, and Himantoglossum robertianum and dicot Jacobaea othonnae are given within SE Europe and adjacent regions.
The Great Hungarian Plain (GHP) served as a geographic funnel for population mobility throughout prehistory. Genomic and isotopic research demonstrates non-linear genetic turnover and technological shifts between the Copper and Iron Ages of the GHP, which influenced the dietary strategies of numerous cultures that intermixed and overlapped through time. Given the complexities of these prehistoric cultural and demographic processes, this study aims to identify and elucidate diachronic and culture-specific dietary signatures. We report on stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios from 74 individuals from nineteen sites in the GHP dating to a ~ 3000-year time span between the Early Bronze and Early Iron Ages. The samples broadly indicate a terrestrial C3 diet with nuanced differences amongst populations and through time, suggesting exogenous influences that manifested in subsistence strategies. Slightly elevated δ15N values for Bronze Age samples imply higher reliance on protein than in the Iron Age. Interestingly, the Füzesabony have carbon values typical of C4 vegetation indicating millet consumption, or that of a grain with comparable δ13C ratios, which corroborates evidence from outside the GHP for its early cultivation during the Middle Bronze Age. Finally, our results also suggest locally diverse subsistence economies for GHP Scythians.
In the present paper on the Western European Trichoptera we revise or overview the Platyphylax and Simaphylax limnephiline genera, as well as establish and/or overview the Drusus chapmani, Chaetopteryx gessneri and C. gonospina species complexes based on the principles and procedures of our fine phenomics. Having collected a new Drusus chrysotus (Rambur, 1842) specimen we have reconfirmed its delineation from its eastern sibling species Drusus lapos Oláh, 2017. By the paraproct, the Drusus spelaeus siblings in the Drusus mixtus species group are related to the Drusus siveci species complex in the Drusus discolor species group. Our discovery of a population of Drusus spelaeus with paramere structure similar to that of the Drusus discolor species group indicates further the importance of chimeric processes in species integrative organisation. Due to contradictory drawings published we have re-examined and redescribed the female of Drusus spelaeus. After surveying the recent taxonomic history of the Allogamus auricollis species subgroup we have raised the subspecies status to species rank of Allogamus auricollis bauerii (Kolenati, 1859); A. brauerii stat. nov. Chaetopteryx gessneri tomaszewski Moretti, 1991 was elevated to species rank: Ch. tomaszewski stat. nov. and Chaetopteryx kimera Oláh & Vinçon, 2021, a rather unique chimeric species having several character states of different origin was transferred to Consorophylax genus: C. kimera (Oláh & Vinçon, 2021) comb. nov. Furthermore, 17 new species were described: Wormaldia ariega, W. ligurica, W. maritima, Drusus alethes, D. italiano, Chaetopteryx tompula, C. cantabrica, C. decampsi, C. pyrenaica, Consorophylax cairos, C. lagoverde, C. livek, C. seolan, Platyphylax vinconi, Simaphylax coppai, S. andorricus and S. ariegeus spp. nov. Among them, ten were collected in France, five in Italy, one in Slovenia and one in Spain. Moreover, we report for the first time Potamophylax spinulifer Moretti, 1994 and Beraeamyia gudrunae Malicky, 2002 from France and Simaphylax altuspyrenaicus from Spain.
The rare moss species Hennediella heimii (Pottiaceae) was established in in vitro culture. Various treatments were tested to achieve axenical cultures. The most effective sterilising procedure was NaDCC treatment of sporophytes, keeping the spore viability and giving high disposal of xenic cohabiting organisms. The effects of plant growth regulators were studied regarding new shoot formation, i.e. bud formation on the protonemal filaments and protonemal patch size. Low concentrations of cytokinin and medium concentrations of auxin are shown to increase protonemal patch size and shoot production. Multiplication of H. heimii was observed to occur spontaneously on BCD medium type, but to achieve better and rapid biomass production and development it is suggested to grow it on a BCD medium enriched with auxin and cytokinin combined.
This paper presents new records and noteworthy data on the following taxa in SE Europe and adjacent regions: red algae Lemanea rigida and Paralemanea torulosa, mycorrhizal fungi Amanita simulans and Terfezia pseudoleptoder-ma, parasitic fungus Microbotryum vinosum, saprotrophic fungus Sarcoscypha jurana, stonewort Chara tenuispina, mosses Brachytheciastrum collinum and Meesia longiseta, monocots Dactylorhiza romana and Neotinea maculata and dicots Adenophora liliifolia, Ambrosia artemisiifolia and Tanacetum corym-bosum subsp. cinereum are given within SE Europe and adjacent regions.
Terricolous lichens are abundant in semi-arid areas, where they are exposed to high irradiation. Photoprotection is essential for the algae as the photobiont provides the primer carbon source for both symbionts. The UV-protectant lichen metabolites and different quenching procedures of the alga ensure adequate photoprotection. Since the long-term effect of diminishing UV-protectant lichen metabolites is unknown, a major part of lichen secondary metabolites was removed from Cladonia foliacea thalli by acetone rinsing, and the lichens were then maintained under field conditions to investigate the effect on both symbionts for 3 years. Our aim was to determine if the decreased level of UV-protectant metabolites caused an elevated photoprotection in the algae and to reveal the dynamics of production of the metabolites. Photosynthetic activity and light protection were checked by chlorophyll a fluorescence kinetics measurements every 6 months. The concentrations of fumarprotocetraric and usnic acids were monitored by chromatographic methods. Our results proved that seasonality had a more pronounced effect than that of acetone treatment on the function of lichens over a long-term scale. Even after 3 years, the acetone-treated thalli contained half as much usnic acid as the control thalli, and the level of photoprotection remained unchanged in the algae. However, the amount of available humidity was a more critical limiting environmental factor than the amount of incoming irradiation affecting usnic acid production. The lichenicolous fungus Didymocyrtis cladoniicola became relatively more abundant in the acetone-treated samples than in the control samples, indicating a slight change caused by the treatment. Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s11557-022-01831-y.
Ipolytarnóc is one of the most important Cenozoic fossil trackway sites in Europe. Most of the discovered footprints were investigated in 1985; however, a considerable period has elapsed since those investigations, and during that time significant advances have been made in the field of 3D imaging. Given this fact, the present study was undertaken to carry out a new analysis of the Ipolytarnóc fossil tracks, with a view to present possible revisions of current knowledge. In line with this, detailed ichnotaxonomical analyses were conducted on two large-sized pentadactyl footprint types using high-quality 3D models. As a result of the investigations presented in this paper, the largest pentadactyl footprint-type (previously defined as Bestiopeda maxima) was reclassified under the Platykopus ichnogenus based on new materials and their 3D models. The P. maxima footprints are believed to represent those of large-sized Amphicyonidae. Thorough ichnotaxonomical analyses were performed on other pentadactyl fossil tracks which had been attributed to Carnivoripeda nogradensis. The aim of the analyses was to suggest an extension of the morphological characters of these ichnospecies. In contrast to the previously suggested Nimravidae origin, we rather suggest that the C. nogradensis footprints belong to a mustelid-like carnivore based on its footprint morphology.
The study of the development of human bipedalism can provide a unique perspective on the evolution of morphology and behavior across species. To generate new knowledge of these mechanisms, we analyze changes in both internal and external morphology of the growing human talus in a sample of modern human juveniles using an innovative approach. The sample consists of high‐resolution microCT scans of 70 modern juvenile tali, aged between 8 postnatal weeks and 10 years old, from a broad chronological range from Middle/Late Neolithic, that is, between 4800 and 4500 BCE, to the 20th century. We applied geometric morphometric and whole‐bone trabecular analysis (bone volume fraction, degree of anisotropy, trabecular number, thickness, and spacing) to all specimens to identify changes in the external and internal morphology during growth. Morphometric maps were also generated. During the first year of life, the talus has an immature and globular shape, with a dense, compact, and rather isotropic trabecular architecture, with numerous trabeculae packed closely together. This pattern changes while children acquire a more mature gait, and the talus tends to have a lower bone volume fraction, a higher anisotropy, and a more mature shape. The changes in talar internal and external morphologies reflect the different loading patterns experienced during growth, gradually shifting from an “unspecialized” morphology to a more complex one, following the development of bipedal gait. Our research shows that talar plasticity, even though genetically driven, may show mechanical influences and contribute to tracking the main locomotor milestones.
The recently re-discovered, unique amber named ajkaite, coming from the Late Cretaceous (Santonian) Ajka Coal Formation is an unexpectedly rich source of arthropod inclusions. The present paper describes three new species of wasps from ajkaite, namely Ajkanesia harmincipsziloni Szabó & Brazidec gen. et sp. nov. (Bethylidae: Pristocerinae), Amissidigitus belai Szabó & Brazidec gen. et sp. nov. (Bethylidae: Scleroderminae) and Spathiopteryx soosi Szabó, Brazidec & Perrichot sp. nov. (Spathiopterygidae). Hymenopterans were already reported from the Miocene and Pliocene of Hungary as adpression fossils, but these have only remained identified at higher taxonomical rank. Therefore, the three new ajkaite taxa are the first formally described fossil hymenopteran species from Hungary. The three ajkaite wasps greatly improve our knowledge on the Cretaceous fossil record of their respective (sub)families, which is otherwise very poorly documented. The suggested paleoenvironmental preferences of the new hymenopteran taxa accord with the forested, swampy to lacustrine ecosystem, in which the Ajka Coal has been deposited. Further ajkaite hymenopterans are likely to be stored in Hungarian museum collections.
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66 members
Judit Vörös
  • Department of Zoology
Ádám Kőrösi
  • Ecology Research Group
Alfréd Dulai
  • Department of Paleontology and Geology
Zoltán Szentesi
  • Department of Paleontology and Geology
Ottilia Szives
  • Department of Palaeontology and Geology
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