Aquatic Invertebrates and Community Ecology Research Group

Leader of the research group: 
Profile of the group: 

1. Diversity and composition of ecological communities
The main objective of the group is to study ecological communities. We focus mostly on freshwater macroinvertebrates. We apply wide variety of approaches (observational and experimental studies, meta-analyses and modelling) and focus on the causes and consequences of patterns in diversity and composition.

2. Human impacts on freshwater biodiversity
We examine the effects of human impacts on freshwater biodiversity. We focus on how the different facets (taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional) and components (alpha and beta) of diversity, as well as the taxonomic- and trait-based community respond to anthropogenic disturbances such as urbanization, pollution or habitat degradation.

3. Research into the success of invasive macroinvertebrates in Lake Balaton
We primarily follow the population dynamics of the invasive dreissenid species in the littoral zone of Lake Balaton at different trophic state. We examine the colonization, food preference and metabolism of the animals using experimental methods on animals collect from natural habitats, on implanted ones and on those kept in aquaria. Considering the role of dreissenids in the food chain of Lake Balaton, we carry out applied research into the use of them as feed in freshwater fish farming

4. Numerical ecology
We deal also with the methodology of community ecology. We are interested in approaches quantifying community-level phenomena such as beta diversity or nestedness, as well as in methodology enumerating functional diversity.

Selected publications:


Gál B, Weiperth A, Farkas J, Schmera D (2020): The effects of road crossings on stream macro-invertebrate diversity Biodiversity and Conservation 29(3): pp. 729-745


Gál B, Szivák I, Heino J, Schmera D (2019): The effect of urbanization on freshwater macroinvertebrates - Knowledge gaps and future research directions Ecological Indicators 104: pp. 357-364.
Schmera D, J Podani, Z Botta-Dukát, T Erős (2019): On the reliability of the Elements of Metacommunity Structure framework for separating idelaized metacommunity patterns Ecological Indicators 85: pp. 853-860.


Schmera D., Árva D., Boda P., Bódis E., Bolgovics Á., Borics G., Csercsa A., Deák Cs., Krasznai E. Á., Lukács B. A., Mauchart P., Móra A., Sály P., Specziár A., Süveges K., Szivák I., Takács P., Tóth M., Várbíró G., Vojtkó A. E., Erős T. (2018): Does isolation influence the relative role of niche based and spatial processes in dendritic stream networks? An empirical test of a metacommunity theory using multiple taxa. Freshwater biology 63: pp. 74-85.