Tree ring width is influenced by several internal and external factors, among which climate became one of the most dominant due to the altering conditions and patterns of precipitation and temperature. The study aims to analyse the interrelationship between tree ring-width and the dominant environmental parameters in a landscape exposed to water scarcity in the past decades due to climate change and human interventions. Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris), black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) and white poplar (Populus alba) plantations were sampled to reveal their exposure to climatic forcing and water scarcity (different water availability). Correlation and similarity analysis were carried out to compare the calculated ring-width indices to climatic parameters and aridity indices. Tree ring sensitivity was assessed to reveal the impact of water scarcity on yearly ring-growth. Spatial overlapping of significance levels and mean sensitivity with the hydrological changes of the past decades were evaluated to reveal presumable spatial differences of the investigated samples. In the study area (South Danube-Tisza Interfluve) droughts and the deep groundwater table had both impacts on tree growth. The spectacular decrease of ring-width corresponds to the drought years determined by the investigated aridity indices. The relationship between the climate parameters and the ring-widths varies spatially with the changing site conditions. The highest level of correlation coefficients was experienced in areas with the lowest level of water availability. Ring-width sensitivity assessments showed an increasing tendency of sensitivity when comparing the consecutive decades, except for samples with favorable water availability.
It is highly probable that the precipitation and temperature changes induced by global warming projected for the 21st century will affect the regime of Carpathian Basin rivers, e.g. that of River Maros. As the river is an exceptionally important natural resource both in Hungary and Romania it is necessary to outline future processes and tendencies concerning its high and low water hydrology in order to carry out sustainable cross-border river management. The analyses were based on regional climate models (ALADIN and REMO) using the SRES A1B scenario. The modelled data had a daily temporal resolution and a 25 km spatial resolution, therefore beside catchment scale annual changes it was also possible to assess seasonal and spatial patterns for the modelled intervals (2021- 2050 and 2071-2010). Those periods of the year are studied in more detail which have a significant role in the regime of the river. The study emphasizes a decrease in winter snow reserves and an earlier start of the melting period, which suggest decreasing spring flood levels, but also a temporally more extensive flood season. Changes in early summer precipitation are ambiguous, and therefore no or only slight changes in runoff can be expected for this period. Nevertheless, it seems highly probable that during the summer and especially the early autumn period a steadily intensifying water shortage can be expected. The regime of the river is also greatly affected by human structures (dams and reservoirs) which make future, more detailed modelling a challenge.
The lowland region of the South-Eastern Carpathian Basin faces extreme hydrological conditions, therefore the more detailed understanding, monitoring and predicting of the hydrological regime on catchments have high importance. However, in the region only few measured data are available in terms of evaporation, runoff, infiltration and water retention, and this is especially true concerning small catchments. In the meantime these areas support extensive agriculture, therefore more information is needed to manage future drying and irrigational demands. In the present research runoff and discharge were modelled for a ten year period and compared to at-a-station measurement data on the Fehértó-majsa Canal, a sub-catchment of the Tisza River, in order to test the predictability of hydrological changes related to future climate change. Modelling was made by applying a coupled MIKE SHE/MIKE 11 model and integrating all available topographic, pedologic, climatic, hydrologic and vegetation data. Consequently, another motivation of the research was to assess the suitability, data demand and limitations of the MIKE modelling environment on lowland catchments. As from all available data sources soil data seemed to be the least accurate, sensitivity tests were made by changing different soil parameter. Based on the results, the developed model is highly suitable for the estimation of annual and monthly runoff. Nevertheless, concerning daily data a general overestimation of discharge was experienced during low flow periods, and a time lag appeared between measured and modelled discharge peaks during high flow periods. In all, the results of the study can greatly support the realization of water management and planning projects in the drought prone sand land catchments where only a few directly measured data are available
An integrated approach was applied in this article to provide a medium-scale map of land use intensity for Hungary. The main goal was to estimate its value by a small set of parameters, which are freely available and have a high resolution. The basis of the evaluation was the CORINE 2012 dataset, and a matrix method was applied to integrate the ratio of natural/semi-natural vegetation, woody vegetation and the Natural Capacity Index in the assessment to describe the complex approach of land use intensity. The medium level land use intensity map provides information for decision makers/landscape planners on the current status and spatial pattern of anthropogenic impact and indicates those hot-spots where land use intensity is high and should be focused research and management to intervene in order to encourage sustainable land use. 46% of the arable lands in Hungary show the most intensive land use. Comparing the map with the previously published hemeroby map of Hungary, more intensive impact on landscape transformation through human action was found. In agricultural areas both researches agree that the intensity and human activity is really high, and the lowest intensity class is rare in Hungary except for mountain regions and protected areas.
Several environmental and economic consequences of drought and the accompanying water shortage were observed in the plain area of the Carpathian Basin in the last decades. This area is mostly used for agriculture, thus it is a key problem in the future to maintain food safety in the changing circumstances. Therefore, involvement and identification of areas affected by drought hazard and revealing steps of efficient adaptation are of high importance. In this study influence of drought severity on agricultural production is investigated in the Hungarian-Serbian cross-border area. The tendency in drought severity was analysed by PaDI and MAI drought indices. The effect of drought on agricultural production is evaluated on maize yield data as the most drought sensitive crop in the region. Increasing drought frequency and severity was indicated for the study area for the period of 1961-2012. The spatial assessment of annual PaDI maps revealed the higher exposure of the north and northeastern part of the study area to drought, where drought frequency was also experienced to be the highest. Increased sensitivity was detected based on maize yield loss after the early 1990s and annual yields were in strong connection with d rought severity. In spite of the technological development of agriculture, environmental factors still substantially affect crop yie lds. The observed unfavourable changes in the region mean that water management and spatial planning faces conceptual challenges to prevent and mitigate the damages of drought.