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Volume XVII |

The analysis of relationship between microclimate and microbial carbon-dioxide production in the soils of the Tapolca and Gömör-Tornai karst terrains, Hungary

Abstract: In the karst areas, the epikarst system is a very sensitive environment, due to its position at the interface between soil and vadose zone. The epikarst is a weathered zone that develops as a result of both abiotic and biotic processes. In this paper we present the result of the complex investigations of epikarst zone which overlap dolines within two typical karst areas (Gömör-Torna and Tapolca) from Hungary, based on multicriteria analysis techniques (microbiological activity assessed as biomass amount and CO2 production, seasonality of air and soil microclimate, slope orientation and exposition), in order to reveal control factors of karst processes, the territorial and local distinctions of karst dissolution that occur in the epikarst zone. The data were compared, taking into account the human activities’ impact on both sampled study areas. After four years of monitoring, the results show that there are significant seasonal and diurnal variations of physical, chemical and biotic parameters of soil that cover and affect the epikarst zone. Spatial variations of these parameters were recorded as well.

Volume XVI |

Changes of the karst landscape and epikarst system in the area of the Tapolca karst terrains, North-West Balaton Highlands, Hungary

Abstract: The caves in Hungary have been protected for a long time. The current national legislation on nature conservation states that all known and unknown caves are under ex lege protection but the karst areas above them are not. The territories above the caves can be owned by the state but also some of them belong to private owners, thus a great diversity of economic activities are conducted on them. Anthropogenic activities endanger both directly and indirectly the caves environment and the karst ground waters. The damages and pollution of caves take place through the epikarst systems which are in direct connection with the topographic ground surface. Therefore, it is of special significance to emphasize the natural processes taking place in epikarstic systems as well as to analyze the changes within epikarst terrains caused by human impacts. The effects of human impacts on epikarst system in the area of the Tapolca karst were analyzed both by field and laboratory methods. The historical evolution of land cover and land use was assessed related to the impact on the abiotic elements (soil and karstic cover-deposit, water) in Tapolca area. The intrinsic vulnerability was assessed using the semi-quantitative COP Method. The results show high resource vulnerability in all analyzed epikarstic sites.