Our recent paper presents a protocol for studying passive dispersal of microscopic invertebrates which includes the construction of versatile dispersal tunnels, a theoretical framework quantifying the movement via wind or vectors, and a hierarchical Bayesian approach appropriate to the structure of the dispersal data.


Kuczyński, L., Radwańska, A., Karpicka-Ignatowska, K., Laska, A., Lewandowski, M., Rector, B.G., Majer, A., Raubic, J., Skoracka, A. 2020. A comprehensive and cost-effective approach for investigating passive dispersal in minute invertebrates with case studies of phytophagous eriophyid mites. Experimental and Applied Acarology https://doi.org/10.1007/s10493-020-00532-z

Galerida cristata - Crested lark 23

Our recent paper published in Bird Study describes habitat preferences of the Crested Lark in western Poland. It seems that the Crested Lark is one of a few species that benefit from the intensification of agriculture.

More info:
Mateusz Lisiecki, Łukasz Dylewski, Barbara E. Kistowska & Marcin Tobółka (2020) The Crested Lark Galerida cristata as an example of a bird species that benefits from agricultural management in western Poland, Bird Study, https://doi.org/10.1080/00063657.2020.1808589

Our recent paper describes a novel experimental approach for studying life-history traits of minute phytophagous arthropods

More info:
Karpicka-Ignatowska et al. 2019. A novel experimental approach for studying life-history traits of phytophagous arthropods utilizing an artificial culture medium. Scientific Reports 9, 20327


Our recent paper published in Animal Behaviour describes how behaviour, morphology and environment influence passive dispersal in phytophagous wheat curl mite.

The paper is part of Alicja’s PhD thesis. Congratulations!

More info:

Laska A., Rector B. G., Skoracka A., Kuczyński L. 2019. Can your behaviour blow you away? Contextual and phenotypic precursors to passive aerial dispersal in phytophagous mites. Animal Behaviour 155, 141-151. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2019.07.003


The article about the effects of local climate on the correlation between weather and seed production in sessile oak (Quercus petraea) and European beech (Fagus sylvatica), co-authored by Jakub Szymkowiak, has been published in Agricultural and Forest Meteorology!

© Jakub Szymkowiak

Weather is believed to play a key role in triggering mast seeding in plants. However, while the relationships between weather and seed production are well-recognized for some species, there is also a range of species for which there seems to be no consistent links between meteorological conditions and seeding. Our results suggest that this puzzle can be explained by the variation in life history traits among species i.e., whether a particular species is a “flowering masting species” (= with seed production determined by variable flower production) or “fruit-maturation masting species” (= with seed production determined by variable ripening of more constant flower production). In particular, our results suggest that in case of “flowering masting species” (in our study: European beech), the meteorological cuing is spatially-consistent. In contrast, in “fruit-maturation masting species” (in our study: sessile oak) the effects of weather cues on seed production are mediated by the local climate, which leads to spatial variation in meteorological conditioning of seed production.

More info:

Bogdziewicz M., Szymkowiak J., Fernández-Martinez M., Peñuelas J., Espelta J.M. 2019. The effects of local climate on the correlation between weather and seed production differ in two species with contrasting masting habit. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 268: 109-115, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agrformet.2019.01.016

Our recent paper published in Bird Conservation International is the first attempt to estimate the size of the Polish breeding population of the highly vulnerable farmland raptor: the Montagu’s Harrier. By combining multiple sources of data we estimated the Polish Montagu’s Harrier population at almost 3,400 breeding pairs, thus constituting 20% of the European Union population. Furthermore, we showed that public-gathered data obtained by volunteer-based citizen-science projects offer great potential for regular surveys to obtain large-scale estimates of population size.

The paper is part of Natalia’s PhD thesis. Congratulations!

More info:

Królikowska N., Krupiński D., Kuczyński L. 2018. Combining data from multiple sources to design a raptor census – the first national survey of the Montagu’s Harrier Circus pygargus in Poland. Bird Conservation International, 28(3): 350-362.


The article about genetic and host differentiation within the complex of phytophagous species belonging to Abacarus genus, authored by members of our Lab, was published in Experimental and Applied Acarology. The molecular analyses indicate that there may be at least several new species within the complex, that are awaiting formal description. One of them, Abacarus plumiger inhabiting smooth brome, has been described in this article.

More info: Laska A., Majer A., Szydło W., Karpicka-Ignatowska K., Hornyák M., Labrzycka A., Skoracka A. 2018. Cryptic diversity within grass-associated Abacarus species complex (Acariformes: Eriophyidae), with the description of a new species, Abacarus plumiger n. sp. Experimental and Applied Acarology, 1-28. doi.org/10.1007/s10493-018-0291-6

An article co-authored by Anna Skoracka, Lechosław Kuczyński, Agnieszka Majer and Wiktoria Szydło, about the genetic structure within species complex of phytophagous mite, Aceria tosichella, was published in BMC Evolutionary Biology.

Mites belonging to the complex Aceria tosichella (wheat curl mite, WCM) are major pests of the world’s grain industry and our aim was to identify the factors behind its extensive diversification. We demonstrated unusually deep lineage diversification within the taxon. Using time-calibrated phylogenetic reconstruction we showed that lineage diversification pre-dates the influence of agricultural practices, and lineages started to radiate in the mid‑Miocene when major radiation of C4 grasses is known to have occurred. Furthermore, we showed that host generalization coincided with the expansion of the world’s grasslands in Pliocene. The genetic structure and evolutionary history of WCM lineages indicate their great colonization potential.

The study was done in cooperation with the University of Lisbon (Portugal) and University of Deakin (Australia).

More info:

Skoracka A., Lopes L. F., Alves M. J., Miller A., Lewandowski M., Szydło W., Majer A., Różańska E. i Kuczyński L. 2018. Genetics of lineage diversification and the evolution of host usage in the economically important wheat curl mite, Aceria tosichella Keifer, 1969. BMC Evolutionary Biology 18: 122, doi.org/10.1186/s12862-018-1234-x