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Intestinal passage time of coloured fodder and testosterone turnover were examined by faecal steroid analysis in mallards in the reproductive and postrefractory period. In the latter, the discharge of coloured fodder began 36 minutes after ingestion in males, and 56 minutes in females. During reproduction the discharge began 93 minutes and 112 minutes after ingestion in males and females, respectively. Total passage time was similar in the reproductive and postrefractory period in both sexes. After intraperitoneal testosterone injection, faecal samples were collected for 8 hours and testosterone levels were measured using RIA. In the postrefractory period, 1-2 hours after testosterone loading a strong increase of faecal testosterone content developed in males, meanwhile a slighter testosterone peak appeared in females. During reproduction testosterone excretion began 1.5-2 hours after injection in both sexes but in females its increase was smaller. The duration of response to testosterone loading was 5 hours in both periods and both sexes. Intensive excretion after T loading appeared earlier in males than in females, but total passage time finished at the same time: 5 hours after loading. The character of testosterone excretion was corresponding to the passage of fodder-chimus-faeces in the reproductive and postrefractory period in both sexes.

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A newly developed technique is presented to estimate site specific seismic failure frequencies of several types of storage tanks. Seismic failure is a failure event triggered by an earthquake leading to material release and serious damages. The present method is based on the convolution of site specific seismic hazard curves and component dependent fragility curves. Fragility curves are calculated with the help of probit coefficients originated from the analysis of historical data of earthquake damage. The calculation considers only the filling level, pressure and the damage state of storage tanks, and neglects the shape, volume, material and other parameters. Determination of seismic failure frequencies for storage tanks is done for three different Hungarian plant sites (Paks, Püspökszilágy, Csömör) using seismic hazard curves. In contrast of the simplifications the obtained frequency values represent a conservative estimation of failure frequencies triggered by earthquakes, and in comparison to international failure data the calculated values indicate significant frequencies. Therefore, the results imply that despite of the moderate seismic activity in Hungary, the effects of earthquakes on major-accident hazards should be considered in quantitative risk assessment.

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We studied the early vegetation dynamics in former croplands (sunflower and cereal fields) sown with a low-diversity seed mixture (composed of 2 native grass species) in Egyek-Pusztakócs, Hortobágy National Park, East-Hungary. The percentage cover of vascular plants was recorded in 4 permanent plots per field on 7 restored fields between 2006 and 2009. Ten aboveground biomass samples per field were also collected in June in each year. We addressed two questions: (i) How do seed sowing and annual mowing affect the species richness, biomass and cover of weeds? (ii) How fast does the cover of sown grasses develop after seed sowing? Weedy species were characteristic in the first year after sowing. In the second and third year their cover and species richness decreased. From the second year onwards the cover of perennial grasses increased. Spontaneously immigrating species characteristic to the reference grasslands were also detected with low cover scores. Short-lived weeds were suppressed as their cover and biomass significantly decreased during the study. The amount of litter and sown grass biomass increased progressively. However, perennial weed cover, especially the cover of Cirsium arvense increased substantially. Our results suggest that grassland vegetation can be recovered by sowing low diversity mixtures followed up by yearly mowing. Suppression of perennial weed cover needs more frequent mowing (multiple times a year) or grazing.

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The addition of the synthetic Rhagoletis feeding attractant (consisting of ammonium carbonate and ammonium acetate, developed previously for Rhagoletis cerasi L.) to both fluorescent yellow or transparent sticky traps significantly increased catches of the fruit flies Rhagoletis batava Hering (pest of sea buckthorn) and Carpomyia schineri Loew. (pest of rose hips). Traps with lures were detecting the occurrence of both species 1–2 weeks before as compared to traps without lure, and quantitative aspects of the flight could be followed in more detail in traps with lure. Thus in detection and monitoring surveys, where sensitivity of the trap is highly important, the use of traps with synthetic lure added is strongly recommended.

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Abstract  

The extents of the protective effects of coating films on the surface of crystals were determined. Three different samples were made with different quantities of coating fluid (Sepifilm LP 010 in 10% aqueous solution). Since the atomizing rate was constant, the coating time increased in parallel with the volume of coating fluid applied. The direct measurement of film thickness and smoothness is very difficult, and therefore indirect methods were used. Dimenhydrinate was chosen as model drug; this is a heat-sensitive antihistamine with a low melting point. This temperature can be reached during the tableting process. The behaviour of samples on exposure to heat was examined by differential scanning calorimetry. The water uptakes of the samples were determined with an Enslin apparatus. Plasticity was studied with an instrumented tablet machine. These indirect methods (thermal conductivity, water uptake and plasticity measurements) revealed connections between the results of the various experiments. An overlong coating time decreased the protective effect of the coating film.

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Acta Botanica Hungarica
Authors: P. Török, T. Miglécz, O. Valkó, K. Tóth, A. Kelemen, Á.-J. Albert, G. Matus, A. Molnár V, E. Ruprecht, L. Papp, B. Deák, O. Horváth, A. Takács, B. Hüse, and B. Tóthmérész

In the present paper we report original thousand-seed weight data for the flora of the Pannonian Basin. Our goal was to demonstrate the usefulness of seed weight databases by analysing seed weight data in relation to social behaviour types and life forms. We specifically asked the following questions: (i) how the seed weights are related to social behaviour type categories; (ii) how the life form of the species influences seed weight differences between respective social behaviour types? Own weight measurements are provided for 1,405 taxa; and for 187 taxa we published seed weight data for the first time: these were mostly endemics, orchids and/or species with Pontic, Caspian or continental distribution. Several taxonomic or functional groups are underrepresented in our database, like aquatic plants, rare arable weeds and sub-Mediterranean species. Problematic taxa, some difficult-to-harvest species or species with low seed production and cultivated adventives are also underrepresented. We found that the plant strategies expressed by social behaviour types were significantly different in terms of seed weights. The lowest seed weight scores were found for natural pioneers, whereas the highest ones were found for adventives and introduced cultivated plants. Short-lived herbaceous species had significantly higher seed weight scores than herbaceous perennials. No significant differences were found between specialists and generalists within the stress tolerant group. We found that short-lived graminoids possess heavier seeds than perennial graminoids, perennial and annual forbs. Naturalness scores were negatively correlated with seed weights. Our findings showed that seed collections and databases are not only for storing plant material and seed weight data, but can be effectively used for understanding ecological trends and testing plant trait-based hypotheses. Even the identified gaps underline the necessity of further seed collection and measurements.

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Acta Botanica Hungarica
Authors: P. Török, E. Tóth, K. Tóth, O. Valkó, B. Deák, B. Kelbert, P. Bálint, Sz. Radócz, A. Kelemen, J. Sonkoly, T. Miglécz, G. Matus, A. Takács, V. A. Molnár, K. Süveges, L. Papp, L. Papp Jr., Z. Tóth, B. Baktay, G. Málnási Csizmadia, I. Oláh, E. Peti, J. Schellenberger, O. Szalkovszki, R. Kiss, and B. TÓthmérész

For understanding local and regional seed dispersal and plant establishment processes and for considering the ecotypes and other forms of specific variability, hard data of locally or regionally measured traits are necessary. We provided newly measured seed weight data of 193 taxa, out of which 24 taxa had not been represented in the SID, LEDA or BiolFlor databases. Our new measurements and formerly published data of locally collected seed weight records together covers over 70% of the Pannonian flora. However, there is still a considerable lack in seed weight data of taxonomically problematic genera, even though they are represented in the Pannonian flora with a relatively high number of species and/or subspecies (e.g. Sorbus, Rosa, Rubus, Crataegus and Hieracium). Our regional database contains very sporadic data on aquatic plants (including also numerous invasive species reported from Hungary and neighbouring countries) and some rare weeds distributed in the southwestern part of the country. These facts indicate the necessity of further seed collection and measurements.

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Acta Botanica Hungarica
Authors: R. Kiss, J. Sonkoly, P. Török, B. Tóthmérész, B. Deák, K. Tóth, K. Lukács, L. Godó, A. Kelemen, T. Miglécz, Sz. Radócz, E. Tóth, N. Balogh, and O. Valkó

Seeds ensure the survival and dispersal of the majority of vascular plant species. Seeds require species-specific germination conditions and display very different germination capacities using different germination methods. Despite the importance of plant generative reproduction, little is known about the germination capacity of the seeds of the Pannonian flora, particularly under field conditions. Our aim was to reduce this knowledge gap by providing original data on the germination capacity of 75 herbaceous species. We reported the germination capacity of 8 species for the first time. We also highlighted the year-to-year differences in the germination capacity of 11 species which could be highly variable between years. The data regarding the germination capacity of target species, as well as weeds and invasive species, can be informative for nature conservation and restoration projects. Our findings support the composition of proper seed mixtures for ecological restoration and also highlight the importance of testing seed germination capacity before sowing.

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