14.03.2023: Balázs DEÁK (Centre for Ecol. Res., Hungary): Role of habitat islands in maintaining grassland biodiversity in transformed landscapes - Case studies from steppic burial mounds, HS 32.01, Institut für Biologie, Bereich für Pflanzenwissenschaften, Holteigasse 6, 17:00 Uhr.
Ancient steppic burial mounds (so called ‘kurgans’) predominantly built by the Yamnaya culture during the Bronze Age, are one of the most widespread manmade landmarks in the steppes of Eurasia. Besides their cultural importance they have crucial ecological and biodiversity conservation roles both in the transformed agricultural landscapes of Central and East Europe and in the vast steppes of Central Asia.
The presentation will reveal:
- The historical importance of the mound builders (Yamnaya culture) who were nomadic herders but reformed the genetic and technological landscape of the Indo-European populations.
- The current and past distribution of kurgans.
- The environmental factors and related ecological processes that are responsible for the extremely high plant diversity on kurgans covered by steppe grasslands.
- The importance of island-like kurgans in agricultural landscapes where they often act as habitat islands.
- The parallel patterns in community level trait composition between isolated kurgans and true oceanic islands.
- How can we estimate extinction debt typical to small grassland islands using kurgan vegetation data and historical maps.
- How can cultural values contribute to the conservation of our natural heritage: a case study on a continental scale.