Marek Svitok

Marek Svitok
Technical University in Zvolen · Department of Biology and General Ecology

Ph.D.

About

161
Publications
49,224
Reads
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1,714
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Introduction
I am quantitative ecologist with broad interest in biological diversity, ecosystem functioning and human impacts on aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. I conduct research on environmental problems, including climate change and acidification, affecting glacial lakes. I am also interested in functional ecology of ponds and how invertebrate diversity links with decomposition and production processes. As a conservation biologists, I try to assess efficiency of surrogate species for biodiversity conservation. My further interests encompass taxonomy of aquatic insects, forest disturbances, biological invasions and ecological modelling.
Additional affiliations
May 2018 - present
University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice
Position
  • PostDoc Position
October 2014 - February 2015
Eawag: Das Wasserforschungs-Institut des ETH-Bereichs
Position
  • PostDoc Position
December 2005 - present
Technical University in Zvolen - Technicka univerzita vo Zvolene
Position
  • Professor (Associate)

Publications

Publications (161)
Article
Full-text available
Alien aquatic plants rank amongst the major threats to aquatic biodiversity and, since ongoing climate change is expected to facilitate their further spread, there is an urgent need for sound knowledge of their distribution and ecology. We collected published and unpublished data spanning the last ~130 years and performed the first comprehensive as...
Article
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The expected future intensification of forest disturbance as a consequence of ongoing anthropogenic climate change highlights the urgent need to more robustly quantify associated biotic responses. Saproxylic beetles are a diverse group of forest invertebrates representing a major component of biodiversity that is associated with the decomposition a...
Article
The main objective of this long‐term study (1978‐2016) was to find the underlying factors behind the declining trends of eider Somateria mollissima in the Baltic/Wadden Sea. Specifically, we aimed at quantifying the bottom‐up effect of nutrients, through mussel stocks, on reproduction and abundance of eider, and the top‐down effects caused by white...
Article
Alien plant invasions of riparian zones can trigger bottom-up effects on freshwater ecosystems through changes in leaf litter supply. Riparian zones of ponds are often invaded by alien species, and although these habitats are common, the effect of invasive alien species on ponds has rarely been studied. We performed a leaf litter experiment in a po...
Article
1. The biological recovery of remote aquatic ecosystems from atmospheric acidifica-tion under ongoing climate change is a complex and poorly understood process, often developing along unanticipated trajectories. Our objective was to evaluate the interacting effects of changing water chemistry and climate on the biological recovery of chironomid com...
Article
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We describe the genesis of poliovirus (PV) and non-polio enterovirus (NPEV) surveillance program of sewage wastewaters from its inception to the present in the Slovak Republic (SR). Sampling procedures and evolution of the methodology used in the SR for the detection of PVs and NPEVs are presented chronologically. For statistical data processing, w...
Article
Odonates are one of the best-known aquatic insect groups, with the renowned ability to reflect the quality of freshwater ecosystems. In the last few decades, major emphasis has been placed on the importance of secondary aquatic habitats as refugia for odonates. Biota of man-made habitats, especially dams, are burdened by countless negative anthropo...
Article
Understanding the processes shaping the composition of assemblages at multiple spatial scales in response to disturbance events is crucial for preventing ongoing biodiversity loss and for improving current forest management policies aimed at mitigating climate change and enhancing forest resilience. Deadwood-inhabiting fungi represent an essential...
Article
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Forests are critical for biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation: reducing emissions, increasing removals, and providing resilient ecosystems with stable long‐term carbon storage. However, evaluating the mitigation effectiveness of forests managed for conservation versus commodity production has been long debated. We assessed factor...
Article
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Bird counting inevitably suffers from imperfect detection, which varies across species, habitats, period of the day, and seasons. Although various modelling techniques have recently been developed to account for this phenomenon, the biological basis of natural variation in detection remains insufficiently known. This study examined the bird species...
Cover Page
The cover image is based on the Original Article Temporal trends and spatial patterns of chironomid communities in alpine lakes recovering from acidification under accelerating climate change, by Marek Svitok et al. https://doi.org/10.1111/fwb.13827.
Article
Wetlands and especially floodplain forests belong to the most endangered ecosystems in Europe, characterized by complex dynamics of flood and dry periods and providing specific irreplaceable habitats for many organisms, including bioindicators. Many rove beetle species, for instance, are well-known detectors in monitoring ecological change, however...
Article
Temperate mountain forests have experienced an increase in frequency and severity of natural disturbances (e.g., droughts, fires, windstorms and insect outbreaks) in recent decades due to climate and environmental change. Outbreaks of bark beetles have caused significant dieback of conifer forests in Central Europe and it is essential to model and...
Article
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Background: Invasive mosquitoes of the genus Aedes are quickly spreading around the world. The presence of these alien species is concerning for both their impact on the native biodiversity and their high vector competence. The surveillance of Aedes invasive mosquito (AIM) species is one of the most important steps in vector-borne disease contro...
Article
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Freshwater ecosystems are an easy target for invasive species given that aquatic plants possess specific traits that enhance rapid spread and colonization. The significant lack of knowledge on ecological demands and the current distribution of aquatic aliens is a crucial limitation to the effective protection and management of water bodies. In Slov...
Article
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With accelerating environmental change, understanding forest disturbance impacts on trade-offs between biodiversity and carbon dynamics is of high socioeconomic importance. Most studies, however, have assessed immediate or short-term effects of disturbance, while long-term impacts remain poorly understood. Using a tree-ring-based approach, we analy...
Article
Although millipedes are faunistically among the best studied groups of edaphon in Europe, there is still a lack of available information on the ecological requirements of particular species. Habitat preferences that determine the distribution of species are largely controlled by soil properties, habitat structure and microclimate. In forests, habit...
Article
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Aim Natural disturbances influence forest structure, successional dynamics, and, consequently, the distribution of species through time and space. We quantified the long-term impacts of natural disturbances on lichen species richness and composition in primary mountain forests, with a particular focus on the occurrence of endangered species. Locat...
Article
Background and Aims Reproductive isolation and local establishment are necessary for plant speciation. Polyploidy, possession of more than two complete chromosome sets, creates a strong postzygotic reproductive barrier between diploid and tetraploid cytotypes. However, this barrier weakens between polyploids, e.g., tetraploids and hexaploids. Repro...
Article
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Aims We examined differences in lifespan among the dominant tree species (spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.), fir (Abies alba Mill.), beech (Fagus sylvatica L.), and maple (Acer pseudoplatanus L.)) across primary mountain forests of Europe. We ask how disturbance history, lifetime growth patterns, and environmental factors influence lifespan. Loc...
Article
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Pitfall trapping is one of the standard methods used for the capture of ground-active arthropod groups. Despite being frequently used, the standardization of this method is problematic due to the large range of combinations of the individual parameters of pitfall traps with varying efficacy under different environmental conditions. We evaluated the...
Chapter
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Benthic macroinvertebrates were sampled by national experts during the JDS4 campaign in the first weeks of July with five different sampling approaches. Samples from Multi-Habitat Sampling (MHS) were completely analysed and used for Indicative Status Assessment (ISA). National experts with help of external experts processed and identified MHS sampl...
Article
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Plant speciation results from intricate processes such as polyploidization, reproductive strategy shifts and adaptation. These evolutionary processes often co-occur, blurring their respective contributions and interactions in the speciation continuum. Here, relying on a large-scale study, we tested whether gynodioecy triggers the divergent evolutio...
Article
Reproductive strategies play a major role in plant speciation. Notably, transitions from outcrossing to selfing may lead to relaxed sexual selection and parental conflict. Shifts in mating systems can affect maternal and paternal interests, and thus parent‐specific influence on endosperm development, leading to reproductive isolation: if selfing an...
Preprint
Full-text available
Wetlands and especially floodplain forests belong to the most endangered ecosystems in Europe, characterized by complex dynamics of flood and dry periods and providing specific irreplaceable habitats for many organisms, including bioindicators. Many rove beetle species, for instance, are well-known detectors in monitoring ecological change, however...
Article
Field data on the occurrence of the common and cosmopolitan submerged macrophyte Ceratophyllum demersum in relation to the water ammonium content were compared with the response of the plants to different ammonium treatments performed in the laboratory. Ammonium concentrations above 10 µM in the monitored area were found to be a strong limiting fac...
Article
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Two Phyllactinia species have been associated with powdery mildew on leaves of ash trees (Fraxinus) in Eurasia, Phyllactinia fraxinicola U. Braun & H.D. Shin from Southeast Asia and Phyllactinia fraxini (DC.) Fuss from Europe. Non-native ash trees are planted in urban greeneries in both Europe and Southeast Asia, but so far, the two Phyllactinia sp...
Article
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We studied assemblages of carabids in eight similar habitats, fi ve in Slovakia and three in Serbia. The ground beetles were caught by pitfall traps from February 2015 until November 2016. We compared the incidence of Carabidae in fl oodplain forests and ecotones alongside the River Danube in Slovakia and the Rivers Tisza and Begej in Serbia. We de...
Article
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Recurrent polyploid formation and weak reproductive barriers between independent polyploid lineages generate intricate species complexes with high diversity and reticulate evolutionary history. Uncovering the evolutionary processes that formed their present-day cytotypic and genetic structure is a challenging task. We studied the species complex of...
Article
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This contribution aims to assess the capability of fungi to form small temporary water microcosms on their fruiting bodies, and subsequently the suitability of such habitats for hydrobiological research. We assume that several species of mushrooms are able to form small water reservoirs or visible droplets on its fruiting bodies and propose the nam...
Article
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Aquatic ecosystems in phytotelmata are generally considered as excellent model systems to address various ecological theories (e.g., dynamics of metapopulations and metacommunities, island biogeography, food-web interactions). In temperate Europe, only a small number of plant species exhibit morphological structures that would be able to hold water...
Article
Understanding the processes shaping the composition of assemblages in response to disturbance events is crucial for preventing ongoing biodiversity loss in forest ecosystems. However, studies of forest biodiversity responses to disturbance typically analyze immediate or short-term impacts only, while studies relating long-term disturbance history t...
Article
Floodplain forests represent the habitats sensitive to environmental and ecological changes. Assessing their impact on dynamics of weevil communities requires a detailed understanding of the environmental demands of each species. Therefore, we studied the epigean communities of weevils in eight similar habitats of floodplain forests during 2015-201...
Article
Hedgerows play important roles in agricultural landscapes and they increase biodiversity by providing habitat refugia for species sensitive to agricultural disturbance. We have studied the characteristics of the communities of harvestmen (Opiliones) inhabiting hedgerows. Harvestmen are terrestrial arachnids associated with soil surface and subsurfa...
Article
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The western Balkans represents an area of significant topographic and environmental heterogeneity, harbouring high species and intraspecific diversity. Similar genetic and distributional splits observed in unrelated species have suggested some common features in their glacial response and biogeographic history. Here, we studied the western Balkan e...
Article
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Fossorial rodents are recognized as diversity drivers in grassland ecosystems and are therefore considered ecosystem engineers and keystone species. However, there is a lack of evidence regarding this function for species in temperate grasslands, especially one of the most threatened, the European ground squirrel. We examined the effect of the Euro...
Article
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The genus Centroptella Braasch & Soldán, 1980 is accepted here in a wide sense, i.e., including Chopralla Waltz & McCafferty, 1987. This genus concept is similar to the concept of the genus Bungona Harker, 1957 proposed by Salles et al. (2016), but with the generic name Centroptella instead of Bungona. The type species of Bungona, B. narilla Harker...
Article
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The effects of local and regional environmental variables as well as spatial gradients on the plant species composition of two types of alder-dominated forests (riparian forests and alder carrs) with contrasting connectivity were studied across the Western Carpathians from Hungary through Slovakia to Poland. We used large vegetation (240 sampling p...
Article
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Plant traits—the morphological, anatomical, physiological, biochemical and phenological characteristics of plants—determine how plants respond to environmental factors, affect other trophic levels, and influence ecosystem properties and their benefits and detriments to people. Plant trait data thus represent the basis for a vast area of research sp...
Article
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Here we report the first record of Lasiodimesa (Podonominae) in Slovakia. A single larva was collected in a small (366 m 2) and shallow (max depth 0.6 m) alpine pond located at 1,654 m a.s.l. in the High Tatra Mountains. Acidotolerant taxa such as Psectrocladius octomaculatus, Zalutschia tatrica, Synendotendipes sp. and Tanytarsus cf. gregarius wer...
Article
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Carex rupestris is an endangered and rare arctic-alpine element of the Western Carpathian flora. Given the geographically isolated and spatially restricted peripheral ranges of arctic-alpine species, there is a good chance that many species of conservation concern irreversibly disappear from the regional flora under the ongoing climate change. In t...
Article
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Abstract Patterns of species associations have been commonly used to infer interactions among species. If species positively co‐occur, they may form predominantly neutral assemblages, and such patterns suggest a relatively weak role for compensatory dynamics. The main objective of this study was to test this prediction on temporal samples of bird a...
Article
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Rhagovelia kmenti Magalhães & Moreira, sp. nov. is described, illustrated, and compared with congeners. The new species belongs to the robusta group and its males can be distinguished from group congeners by the dark-brown general coloration, the armature of the hind trochanter, femur, and tibia, and by the distinctive shape of the paramere. In add...
Article
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Modification of forest stand density by thinning is a common silvicultural practice implemented in management of production forests. However, changes in the stand density can entail considerable changes to the present forest environment and communities. The current knowledge about the effect of stand density modification on the local animal communi...
Article
Amidst rapid global climate change and at a time when many adaptive policies and strategies have been implemented , reductionism in forest management decisions may have detrimental effects on forest biodiversity. Stăncioiu et al. (2018) made an important contribution by assessing forest connectivity based on tree species populations in Romania. The...
Article
1.Cryptic pigmentation of prey is often thought to evolve in response to predator‐mediated selection, but pigmentation traits can also be plastic, and change with respect to both abiotic and biotic environmental conditions. In such cases, identifying the presence of, and drivers of, trait plasticity is useful for understanding the evolution of cryp...
Article
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Vician, V., Kočík, K., Slobodník, B., Svitok, M., Stašiov, S., 2018. Carabid communities (Coleoptera, Carabidae) in differently managed forage legume stands in the Podpoľanie region (Central Slovakia). Folia Oecologica, 45: 43-51. The paper presents the results of studies on the communities of Carabids from the land registry area of the Očová villa...
Article
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In the Carpathian population of the European badger, existing studies show a considerable discrepancy in the level of sexual dimorphism. The main goal of the study was to assess the sexual size dimorphism of the Carpathian Meles meles population in the light of the main hypotheses explaining this phenomenon. We measured 22 craniometric characterist...
Article
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The easy, fast and correct identification of species is a crucial aspect of biology and its applications, such as biomonitoring and nature conservation. One of the groups that are common but not easily to identify are mayflies at the larval stage. In recent years, many attempts to species identification using modern and non-traditional methods have...
Article
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Fruit species play an important role in human nutrition. For this reason, they have been culti¬vated for millennia. Their cultivation and domestication have impacted species distribution considerably. Wild relatives of such species are often rare in Europe and are threatened by loss of habitat and landscape fragmentation. Knowledge of the distribut...
Article
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Free dowload of fulltext: https://rdcu.be/4BgH Diatom analysis was undertaken on a 200-year sediment record in an alpine lake (Popradské pleso, Tatra Mountains, Central Europe). Due to its remote character and well-documented human influence since the mid-nineteenth century, it allows a study of the relationship between anthropogenic pressures and...
Article
Tree-related microhabitats (TreMs) are important features for the conservation of biodiversity in forest ecosystems. Although other structural indicators of forest biodiversity have been extensively studied in recent decades, TreMs have often been overlooked, either due to the absence of a consensual definition or a lack of knowledge. Despite the i...
Article
Although Carabidae is among the best-studied families of beetles in Europe from the faunistic point of view, there is still a lack of available information on the ecological requirements of the particular carabid species. The habitat preferences that determine the distribution of species are largely influenced by habitat structure and microclimate....
Article
Compensatory dynamics assume inverse patterns of population dynamics of species with similar ecological resource require-ments (temporal segregation). The objective of this study was to test this hypothesis on temporal samples (10–57 years) of 19breeding bird assemblages of various habitats. We used presence/absence null model (SIM2) in combination...
Article
During the years 2015–2016, we studied the fauna of epigeon in eight similar habitats in Slovakia and Serbia. The study material of Opiliones was obtained by a pitfall trap method. We focused on the comparison of the incidence of harvestmen in floodplain forests and ecotones alongside the Danube River in Slovakia and along the Tisa and Begej River...
Article
Full-text available
We report the first record of Opilio saxatilis C. L. Koch, 1839 (Arachnida, Opiliones, Phalangiidae) from Serbia. The species was observed in the alluvium of the Tisa River in the Special Nature Reserve Ritovi donjeg Potisja.