Réka Kiss among the winners of the HAS Environmental Science Youth Prize

The Environmental Science Youth Prize was established in 2010 to recognise the achievements of young scientists in the field of environmental research. The awards were presented by Eörs Szathmáry, Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Sustainable Development of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences on 12 June 2023 at the HAS Headquarters in Budapest. Réka Kiss, researcher at the Centre for Ecological Research ‘Lendület’ Seed Ecology Research Group, is one of the 2023 winners.

Réka Kiss was awarded the prize for her research on the development and testing of grassland restoration methods and increasing the biodiversity of grassland vegetation. In their research, Réka and her colleagues aimed to create species-rich grasslands with the lowest possible energy and cost inputs. The grasslands were created using grass seeds and a diverse seed mix of forb species. They were looking for the time window in the sowing of the two mixtures when the most species-rich grasslands could be established with the least energy and cost investment. The results of the research underline the fact that the higher amount of labour invested in the early stages of grassland reconstruction pays off: simultaneous sowing results in the highest species richness, the most successful establishment of sown forb species and the lowest weed infestation rates. This is therefore the most cost-effective method of the options considered, while later, non-coordinated sowings are less effective and require additional interventions.

Recent publications related to the award

Kiss, R., Deák, B., Tóth, K., Lukács, K., Rádai, Z., Kelemen, A., Miglécz, T., Tóth, Á., Godó, L., Valkó, O. (2022): Co-seeding grasses and forbs supports restoration of species-rich grasslands and improves weed control in ex-arable land. Scientific Reports 12: 21239. https://doi-org/10.1038/s41598-022-25837-4

Kiss, R., Deák, B., Tóthmérész, B., Miglécz, T., Tóth, K., Török, P., Lukács, K., Godó, L., Körmöczi, Zs., Radócz, Sz., Kelemen, A., Sonkoly, J., Kirmer, A., Tischew, S., Švamberková, E., Valkó, O. (2021): Establishment gaps: biodiversity hotspots to support the colonization of target species in species-poor grasslands. Restoration Ecology 29(S1): e13135. doi: 10.1111/rec.13135

Kiss, R., Deák, B., Tóthmérész, B., Miglécz, T., Tóth, K., Török, P., Lukács, K., Godó, L., Körmöczi, Z., Radócz, S., Borza, S., Kelemen, A., Sonkoly, J., Kirmer, A., Tischew, S., Valkó, O. (2021): Zoochory on and off: A field experiment for trait-based analysis of establishment success of grassland species. Journal of Vegetation Science 32: e13051. doi: 10.1111/JVS.13051

Photo: Hungarian Academy of Sciences communication – Tamás Szigeti