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The carbon balance of the sandy pasture (Bugac) and the mountain meadow (Mátra) varied between −171 and 96 gC m−2 year−1, and −194 and 14 gC m−2 year−1, respectively, during the study period (2003–2009). Large part of interannual variability of net ecosystem exchange (NEE) was explained by the variation of the annual sum of precipitation in the sandy grassland ecosystem, while this relationship was weaker in the case of the mountain meadow on heavy clay soil. These different responses are largely explained by soil texture characteristics leading to differences in soil water contents available to plants at the two grasslands. The grassland on heavy clay soil was more sensitive to temporal distribution of rainfall for the same reason. The mountain meadow therefore seems to be more vulnerable to droughts, while the sandy grassland is better adapted to water shortage. The precipitation threshold (annual sum), below which the grassland turns into source of carbon dioxide on annual basis, is only 50–80 mm higher than the 10 years average precipitation sum. In extremely dry years (2003, 2007 and 2009), even the sandy grassland ecosystem was not stable enough to maintain its sink character.

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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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Purpose

The aim of this study is to present a situation assessment within the framework of a comprehensive study of the social services for people with mental illness in Hungary. After setting the historical background, we describe in detail the current services, their anomalies, and the ongoing implementation of a strategy to deinstitutionalize them.

Materials and methods

We reviewed the related academic literature and systematically collected and elaborated upon legal documents, decisions, and data from national databases.

Results

We established that a paradigm shift is taking place in the social care of people with mental disorders in Hungary. The lack of human resources, the paternalistic, institution-centered attitude, the mass supply of social services in dilapidated buildings, and the stigmatization of patients are among the greatest problems. Cooperation between the health and social sectors is inadequate and, in the interests of patients, needs to be improved.

Conclusions

Hungary needs a complex, integrated, health-and-social-care supply system for people living with mental illness, one that takes into account both personal needs and assistance to recovery. In the continuation of the deinstitutionalization process, emphasis should be placed on social sensitization.

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Remnants of the former semiarid forest-steppe vegetation of Hungary are suspected to undergo degradation processes because of recent land-use changes. Secondary succession towards closing of the vegetation starts with shrub invasion, mainly with species of the shrub layer of loess steppe oak forest. Soil respiration (SR) activity of the intercanopy loess grassland community was followed occasionally along of six years period, as well as the spatial patterns of SR and soil water content (SWC) with three direct measuring campaigns. Dependence of SR on SWC-soil temperature was statistically significant for the six years period, but the rest of the variance should be explained by other factors, as found for normalized difference vegetation index. In the spatial analysis, significant differences were found in the ranges of semivariograms according to the seasonal variation of soil moisture content. Larger scale patches were found under summer water stress (4 m for SR, 2.6 m for SWC) and autumn senescence (3.8 m for SR, 1.3 m for SWC) periods than under well-watered, peak performance summer circumstances (0.8 m for SR, 0.6 m for SWC). This suggests that homogeneity of patterns is typical at good water supply, while coarse-grained patches prevail under drought stress.

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Cereal Research Communications
Authors: Sz. Fóti, Sz. Czóbel, J. Balogh, J. Nagy, A. Juhász, Z. Nagy, S. Bartha, and Z. Tuba
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Grassland ecosystems in the Carpathian Basin may be particularly vulnerable to current and predicted changes in precipitation, and ecosystem responses to potential effects of water are not well understood. To examine how water addition can affect the species composition and structure, and CO 2 -flux of a Central European natural steppe plant community, grassland monoliths were irrigated for three consecutive years at Gödöllő, from 2002 through 2004. The loess grassland studied by ex situ is a characteristic plant association of Hungary and similar vegetation can be found in other temperate regions. The treatment consisted of spray irrigation during night-time only in the growing season as well as aboveground biomass removal twice per year. Interannual and intraannual dynamics of species richness, Shannon Diversity, percentage cover, and different functional groups (monocots/dicots; plant life forms; social behaviour types; C 4 /C 3 plants), and Net Ecosystem CO 2 Exchange in treated and untreated permanent plots, were studied simultaneously. To measure NEE and water vapour at stand level a self-developed, portable, non-destructive open chamber system (d=60cm) was used. The majority of the examined parameters varied considerably among years at both irrigated and control, but concerning carbon fluxes water addition effects were evident in dry periods only. At the treated plots, in general species richness, Shannon Diversity, the number of plant life forms and social behaviour types, the ratio of dicots and C 4 plants declined with addition of water. Our study proved that decline in species richness and Shannon diversity is not necessarily followed by the reduction of stand physiological (synphysiological) processes.

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Acta Alimentaria
Authors: O. Erdősi, K. Szakmár, O. Reichart, Zs. Szili, N. László, Z. Balogh, P. Székely Körmöczy, and P. Laczay

The classical ISO (2002) standard as reference method and the combination of redox potential measurement with real-time PCR technique were applied to detect Salmonella in milk, egg, broiler meat, and artificially contaminated egg samples. Food samples of 25 g were homogenized in 225 ml of RVS broth to prepare the basic suspension of the comparative tests. In the combined method the redox potential measurement technique serves as the selective enrichment system of the real-time PCR equipment. The reliable screening of Salmonella-free, negative samples by the redox potential measurement technique needed only 24 h. These negative samples determined by the PCR and the classical standard method in all cases proved to be negative as well. In case of positive redox result the Salmonella from the enriched suspension of the redox test-cell was identified by real-time PCR in 3 hours, instead of the conventional biochemical identification. Comparing our protocol to the ISO (2002) standard method, the total detection time of Salmonella presence/absence was less than 24 h contrary to the 114 h of the conventional method.

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