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The forest, which is exposed to fewer anthropogenic impacts, has a rich and complex community. In Hungary, the quantity of dead wood has an ever-increasing significance in the forests. The decomposition of wood starts with the xylophagous insects, followed by the appearance tinder fungus, which transforms the wood into a form suitable for decomposers. Fungus beetles decompose most of the fungus. Therefore, besides consumer organizations, demolition organizations also play an essential role in building the forest ecosystem. In Central Europe, we have a little information about the beetle communities of tinder fungi. During our research, we investigated the beetle communities of Fomes fomentarius and Trametes gibbosa, which were collected from the Sopron-mountains in West Hungary. In F. fomentarius, the most common beetle species that we found was Bolitophagus reticulatus with about 100 individuals in four fruiting bodies, while in T. gibbosa, Cis boleti had the largest number of individuals with more than 5300 in four specimens. The beetle communities in the two tinder fungi were different, the difference probably caused by the structure and the nutritional value of the fungi.

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Artificial gap openings cause significant changes in vegetation structure (in every forest level), thereby greatly influencing arthropod communities. Our study compared the data of two common forest floor arthropod groups, ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) and ground-dwelling spiders (Araneae) from two artificial gaps situated in a turkey oak forest. Our surveys were carried out in the Gyöngyös-plain, in Hungary. Sampling of the arthropod communities was done with pitfall traps arranged in two 70 m long transects, along the longitudinal axis of the gaps, with 15 traps in each transect, 5 m from each other. We measured the quantity and quality of the deadwood lying around within a radius of 2.5 m of each trap. We observed that the species and numbers of spider specimens were higher in the inner parts of the transects (in the gaps), while the numbers of ground beetle specimens declined in the same traps. Furthermore, the Shannon and Simpson diversity values of the ground beetles were generally lower than those of the spiders. The ordinations showed a distinct influence of the gaps on the communities. The numbers of specimens of exclusively edge-associated species were also higher in the gaps. The correlation analysis indicated significant positive correlations between the number of ground beetles and spiders and the quantity of deadwood. In addition, there were significant negative correlations between the numbers of species of both groups and the rate of decay of deadwood.

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Community Ecology
Authors: M.K. Singh, Z. Tuba, F. Jordán, I. Scheuring, and J. Podani

K. J. Gaston and J. I. Spicer (eds.) 2004. Biodiversity: An Introduction (Second Edition). Blackwell Science Ltd, a Blackwell Publishing Company, Padstow, Cornwall, 191 pp. ISBN 1-4051-1857-1, paperback, price: USD 49.95, GBP 19.99; U. Sommer and B. Worm (eds.) 2002. Competition and Coexistence. Ecological Studies, Vol. 161. Springer Verlag, Berlin, 221 pp. (with 69 figures, 5 in color, and 2 tables). ISBN 3-540-43311-2, hardback, price: EUR 69.95; J. Kolbek, M. Šrùtek and E. O. Box. (eds.) 2003. Forest Vegetation of Northeast Asia. Geobotany 28. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, xii+462 pp. ISBN 1-4020-1370-1, hardback, price: EUR 200.00;

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Community Ecology
Authors: K. Pintér, Z. Barcza, J. Balogh, Sz. Czóbel, Zs. Csintalan, Z. Tuba, and Z. Nagy

Interannual variation of carbon fluxes of grasslands on sandy (5 years data) and heavy clay soils (4 years data) have been analysed. The sandy grassland was carbon sink in 3 (2004, 2005, 2006) out of the investigated 5 years. Its annual C-balance is precipitation limited, the relation seems strongly conservative, with r 2 of 0.83. More than half of the net source activity fell to the summer droughts. The heavy clay grassland was net source of carbon in one year (2007) only with no whole year record from 2003, a drought and heat wave year. Dependence of the C-balance on precipitation was somewhat weaker (r 2 =0.57) than in the sandy grassland. Length of growing period showed less variation here compared to the sandy grassland. Recovery of sink activity after rains was much slower for the heavy clay grassland than for the sandy grassland. The reason behind is that the amount of water required to reach optimal soil water content for plant functioning is several times larger for the mountain grassland. This fact and the low conductivity of the clay soil for water decrease the heavy clay grassland’s recovery potential after droughts. Owing to these soil characteristics, the clay grassland may be more vulnerable to droughts in terms of decreased C-assimilation and (soil) carbon losses under the predicted drier summers even if the annual precipitation sum was higher by 10.7% on average for the mountain compared to the sandy grassland. The annual precipitation sum is close to the threshold, below which the grasslands may turn into source of carbon. While in one hand this can be viewed as an example of ecosystem scale adaptation to available water, drought events also involve loss of soil carbon and a potential positive feedback between source activity and decreasing net primary production, on the other.

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