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Intensification of land use in the last few decades resulted in an increased rate of fragmentation of natural forest habitats. With decreased patch size but increased total borderline length the influence of the surroundings also increased. The extent of influence is especially crucial where the forest stands are adjacent to agricultural lands. We studied the vegetation (cover) and seed bank (soil samples, seedling emergence) along adjacent stands of an abandoned vineyard and edge and interior of an oak forest community (Quercetum petraeae-cerris) widespread in Central-Europe, using five transects (16 m2 plots along each transect). We asked the following questions: (i) How do vegetation and seed bank composition differ between the vineyard and forest interior and (ii) which weeds are able to penetrate into the forest herbaceous understorey vegetation and seed banks from the vineyard? In total, 15 phanaerophytes and 147 herbs were detected. Negatively associated with canopy shading, herb cover proved the lowest in the forest inferior. Few weeds and other ruderals recorded in vineyard penetrated into the forest interior. Mean seed density decreased one order of magnitude from the vineyard to the forest interior (from 20,831 to 2,159 seed/m2). The seed banks of the abandoned vineyard and edge and forest interior were dominated by ruderals, but decreasing proportion of weeds was detected from the vineyard to the forest interior. Characteristic forest herbs possessed at most sparse seed banks. Our results suggest that high canopy cover mitigates the negative impact of surrounding weedy vegetation on the forest herb layer. Therefore, the effect of surroundings is detectable mostly in the seed banks. We can assume that the formation of an increased ruderal herb cover can be foreseen if canopy opens, because the local propagule sources of forest species are missing from vegetation and soil seed banks.

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Acta Biologica Hungarica
Authors: G. Koncz, Mária Papp, P. Török, Zs. Kotroczó, Zs. Krakomperger, G. Matus, and B. Tóthmérész

We studied the potential role of seed bank in the dynamics of the understorey in a turkey oak-sessile oak forest (Querceteum petraeae-cerris) in Hungary. We used long-term records of the herb layer (1973–2006) and the seed bank composition of 2006 to assess the role of seed bank in the regeneration of herb layer. The total cover of herb layer decreased from 22% (1973) to 6% (1988), and remained low (<10%) till 2006; coinciding with the increasing cover of secondary canopy dominated by Acer campestre. We found a low density seed bank (ca. 1300 seeds/m2). Altogether 33 species were germinated from the soil samples. A few generalist weed species composed the majority of seed bank. It was possible to assign a seed bank type for 19 species; 14 species out of 19 was long-term persistent. We found that the characteristic perennial forest herbs and grasses had only sparse seed bank. The Jaccard similarity between vegetation and seed bank was low (<30%). Our results suggest that the continuous establishment of forest herbs are not based on local persistent seed bank; it should be based on vegetative spreading and/or seed rain.

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Acta Alimentaria
Authors: L. Darnay, A. Tóth, B. Salamon, K. Papik, G. Oros, G. Jónás, K. Horti, K. Koncz, and L. Friedrich

The aim of this study was to show how microbial transglutaminase (mTG) can be used as an effective texture-modifier for two popular Hungarian products: Trappist cheese and frankfurter. In both cases we investigated how components of these products, milkfat in cheese and phosphate in frankfurter, can be substituted by mTG. Therefore, Trappist cheese samples were produced from cow milk of 2.8%, 3.5%, and 5% milk fat. The effect of ripening was evaluated with Texture Profile Analysis (TPA) and sensory evaluation (scoring test, 10 trained panellists). Springiness and cohesiveness values were significantly higher by enzyme-treated semi-hard cheese samples at lower milk fat levels. Sensory evaluation showed that the enzyme-treatment led to higher scores by cheese samples made from cow milk of 3.5% and 5% milk fat. Frankfurter was made with 0.1%, 0.3%, 0.5%, and 0.7% tetrasodium pyrophosphate, and partly enzyme-treated with 0.2% commercial mTG enzyme preparation. Our results showed that mTG is able to significantly improve hardness and crunchiness by frankfurters made with 0.1% phosphate addition. Our sensory evaluation suggests that mTG and phosphate should be applied in combination in order to have a final product with recognisably more homogeneous texture.

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