2018 Annual Symposium Program Workshops

Based on feedback from the 60th IAVS Symposium in Palermo, we scheduled a full day for workshops and working group meetings. Rooms will be provided on MSU campus for groups to meet Sunday July 22 for half- or full-day sessions. 

The following workshops will take place. If you would like to attend a workshop, please contact the organizer of that workshop at the e-mail address shown below. 


Rethinking biomes – towards a consistent high-level classification of global vegetation

Organizers: Scott Franklin, Jürgen Dengler, and John Hunter
Contact email: Scott.Franklin@unco.edu

This workshop is being organized by the IAVS-Vegetation Classification Working Group and is a follow-up to a workshop that took place at last year’s IAVS Symposium in Palermo, Sicily.

Biomes are top-level divisions of the terrestrial biosphere describing physiognomy and function of the vegetation shaped by current environmental conditions, while realms describe the taxonomic composition of floras, reflecting past environmental conditions and evolutionary history. Both regionalizations are widely used in fundamental and applied ecological research, but the biome concept lacks a generally agreed definition. The workshop in Bozeman has three aims. (1) Reviewing the existing global biome typologies and a selection of continental systems with regard to a multitude of aspects, including the definition and terminology of biomes, the number of biomes distinguished, criteria used to derive a biome map and its resolution, frequency of application of a particular biome typology and experiences from its use. This activity should lead to a joint review and synthesis paper in an international journal. (2) Comparing digital maps of existing biome typologies for their spatial congruencies and discrepancies as well as their climatological “content”. (3) Discuss how the concept “biome” should be defined in order to be most useful for science and how a new global biome map meeting this concept can be derived. Our plan is to finalise the paper (1) on or shortly after the workshop, thus most of the time will be devoted to this product; by contrast points (2) and (3) aim at publications at medium term and thus the discussion here will only be initialised in Bozeman. Points (1) and (2) can be dealt with most effectively if materials are already compiled and maps digitised prior to the workshop. Thus, volunteers willing to help with such activities are invited to contact juergen.dengler@uni-bayreuth.de.

Fundamentals of structural equation modeling

Organizer: James B. Grace
Contact email: gracej@usgs.gov
This workshop will describe the fundamental principles of structural equation modeling (SEM), illustrate basic techniques, and give overviews for more advanced methods. The goals of the workshop are to (a) present the rationale for working with structural equation models, (b) provide an overview of the fundamental principles of SEM, (c) illustrate basic modeling procedures using the lavaan package in R, and (d) illustrate approaches that permit more complex specifications. Participants will be exposed to a series of topic-specific modules designed to develop confidence in designing, fitting, and assessing basic models. Access to additional online tutorials as further resources will also be provided. Participants need basic familiarity with introductory statistics and the R Statistical Platform. Brief pre-workshop and post-workshop exercises will be provided, but we will not attempt in-class hands-on modeling in this one-day class for the economy of time. Please contact the organizer if you are interested in attending this workshop.

Historical vegetation ecology – a newly proposed IAVS Working Group

Organizers: Radim Hédl and Guillaume Decocq

Contact e-mails: radim.hedl@ibot.cas.cz; guillaume.decocq@u-picardie.fr


This workshop is organized to promote discussion on the aims and focus of the newly proposed IAVS working group. The potential field of historical ecology is wide – the result depending on the perspective it is being contemplated. This is because the historical ecology stands on the transition between ecology, history, palaeoecology, environmental science, geography, archaeology and other related disciplines. This multifaceted character provides historical ecology an excellent potential for cooperation among otherwise separate subjects, and offers opportunities for new views on old topics – both theoretical and applied. At least three international societies are currently devoted to the networking in ecologically oriented history (or historically oriented ecology): the European Society for Environmental History (ESEH), the American Society for Environmental History (ASEH), and the Historical Landscape Ecology working group of the International Association for Landscape Ecology (IALE). A significant tradition of historically oriented research in vegetation science and increasing interest of vegetation ecologists in historical factors and patterns in plant communities has motivated us to propose a founding of similarly oriented working group within the IAVS. The 2018 Symposium with the workshop and the special session would be a kick-off event for the group. We hope for active involvement of many IAVS members and potentially attracting of new colleagues to the Society.

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