2019 Annual Symposium Abstract Submission
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The submission of abstracts for oral or poster presentations is open until March 24, 2019. The Scientific Committee will review the abstracts, and authors will be notified about the decision in the beginning of April.

There are 12 Special sessions (for the topics, see below), and during the abstract submission you will be asked if your presentation should be assigned to one of these sessions or represents a contribution independent of a special session.

Here is the link to the Abstract Submission system: Abstract Submission


 

Special sessions (for viewing the abstract, click on the highlighted text):


1) How can vegetation ecoinformatics support biodiversity research
2) Remote sensing of vegetation for biodiversity research
3) Plant phenology and plant traits
4) Macroecological vegetation science: large grain patterns and processes of plant diversity
5) Species-area relationships and other scaling laws in plant biodiversity
6) Vegetation and plant diversity dynamics during the late Quaternary
7) The legacy of the past in the biodiversity of current vegetation
8) Long-term studies in vegetation science
9) Plant reproduction and dispersal: A trait-based approach
10) Patterns, drivers, and conservation opportunities of grassland biodiversity
11) Using plant traits for the recovery of ecosystem functions and services: Trait-based ecosystem engineering?
12) Global biodiversity of plant species, plant forms and plant communities




 

1) How can vegetation ecoinformatics support biodiversity research

 

The crucial importance of data management and analysis in ecology and environmental sciences gave rise to ecoinformatics as a key sub-discipline. In vegetation science, ecoinformatics are essential for integrating, analyzing and disseminating information about the plant cover of natural and semi-natural ecosystems. In this Special Session, we aim at presenting the different ways in which vegetation ecoinformatics can support biodiversity research. Examples may include biodiversity studies based on vegetation databases, ways of collecting, exchanging, integrating or disseminating data on plant taxon or functional diversity, and methods concerning the analysis of vegetation and big data in biodiversity research.

(organized by
Borja Jiménez-Alfaro, Sebastian Schmidtlein, Viktoria Wagner, Susan Wiser, Andrei Zverev & the IAVS Working Group for Ecoinformatics)




 

2) Remote sensing of vegetation for biodiversity research

 

Remote sensing represents a valuable complement to the field-based data collection in biodiversity research since it allows for a synoptic view of an area at a broad range of temporal, spectral and spatial resolutions. New methods and techniques enable us to assess vegetation properties with direct use for biodiversity research. This includes the mapping of plant traits, plant functional types and plant communities with their variability. The possibility to map vegetation properties as a continuum in space and time provides new insights into pattern and processes. Remote sensing of vegetation is increasingly relevant as a tool for habitat monitoring and hence supports countermeasures against the loss of biodiversity. Recently opened image archives, freely available satellite data and open source processing tools enable global and long-term studies, whereas recent developments in the field of unmanned aircraft provide extremely high spatial and temporal resolution ideal to study dynamic changes at the community level. The aim of this session is to give an overview on available methods and applications, and to discuss challenging aspects of the use of remote sensing for biodiversity research in vegetation science.

(organized by
Sebastian Schmidtlein, Hannes Feilhauer, Jana Müllerová & Duccio Rocchini)








 

 

3) Plant phenology and plant traits

 

Phenology, reoccurring events in the life history of plants, is an important component of plant performance, as the timing of leaf-out, senescence, flowering and fruiting determine when plants begin photosynthesis, are productive and reproduce. The timing of these biological events is strongly linked to competitive interactions and fecundity, and phenological shifts may therefore have important implications for ecosystem functions, services, biodiversity and trophic interactions. In order to design management plans and conservation strategies that address the consequences of phenological shifts it is necessary to understand the varying responses of species to drivers of environmental change. Shifts in phenology are especially susceptible to climate, but are also affected by eutrophication and biotic interactions. The direction (advance or delay) and magnitude (number of days) of phenological response to environmental drivers is not uniform across species or growth forms and varies between habitats. However, plant traits provide a promising way to predict phenological response at varying temporal and spatial scales. This session will focus on improving our ability to predict phenological response to environmental change. We will bring together speakers who work on the phenology and traits of diverse taxa and habitats to advance this important field of research.

(organized by
Christine Römermann & Emma Jardine)




 

4) Macroecological vegetation science: large grain patterns and processes of plant diversity

 

Vegetation can be studied at any spatial scale but vegetation science has traditionally looked at sample plots up to few hundred square meters within a limited region. Currently much effort is done to compile large data sets of vegetation plots to explore vegetation at large spatial extents, but large grain (> 1 km2) vegetation patterns have so far been studied mainly in the fields of biogeography and macroecology. With this session we aim to establish a mutual link between vegetation science and macroecology by exploring plant diversity patterns at large spatial grains (e.g. plant species recordings at grid cells of 10 x 10 km, analyses of local floras, compiling occurrence data, etc.). We aim to examine in how far we can apply concepts of vegetation science across spatial scales. We embrace taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic diversity. We discuss challenges in data quality and analysis, and present both conceptual talks and case studies.

(organized by Meelis Pärtel)


 




5) Species-area relationships and other scaling laws in plant biodiversity

 

Plant biodiversity, its patterns and drivers are inherently scale-dependent. Species-area relationships (SARs) are the most prominent of such scale dependencies. While SARs have been a major topic of plant ecology for over one century, only recent advances in non-linear modeling and theory combined with large data sets could (largely) dissolve the long-lasting disputes over the nature of species-area relationships. However, there are many other manifestations of scale-dependencies in plant biodiversity, including the determination of biodiversity hotspots, diversity-environment relationships, the relative importance of environmental filtering vs. competitive exclusion, patterns of plant invasions, relationships to species-abundance distributions, impact of scaling laws on vegetation classification, etc. With this Special Session, we want to provide a platform for presenting and discussing new results and ideas on scaling laws in plant biodiversity at any spatial scale (from mm² to the surface of the Earth) and for any habitat or biome. We welcome empirical studies, simulations, conceptual-theoretical contributions, reports on software tools and databases as well as solutions how to account for scale-dependencies when analyzing large heterogeneous datasets. We will consider the option of a Special Issue in JVS based on session contributions, provided that the amount and quality of the contributions allow this and there is interest among the participants.

(organized by
Alessandro Chiarucci, Iwona Dembicz & Jürgen Dengler)






6) Vegetation and plant diversity dynamics during the late Quaternary

 

We often ignore that vegetation has a history in which environmental changes may have played a significant role in determining vegetation composition, structure and diversity. To understand modern vegetation, palaeoecological background information is important. Palaeoecological data based on pollen, plant remains and other proxies of dated sedimentary archives provide essential information to help understand the history of modern vegetation. Further, to understand the dynamics and stability of modern ecosystems, especially in view of current global change concerns, long-term records on vegetation and plant diversity history are needed. The session will address the following questions: How stable are ecosystems in space and time? How has plant diversity changed during glacial and Holocene time periods? How strongly did environmental and human impacts change vegetation and its diversity during the past? What can we learn from the past for vegetation and biodiversity conservation and management? Interactions and contributions of palaeoecologists and modern vegetation scientists are very welcome in this session.

(organized by
Hermann Behling, Thomas Giesecke, Lyudmila Shumilovskikh, Vincent Montade & Petr Kuneš)








 

7) The legacy of the past in the biodiversity of current vegetation

 

Past interactions between humans and vegetation are in the focus of the recently created Historical Vegetation Ecology working group. The history of anthropogenic changes in plant communities ranges from thousands of years before the present to the recent period of intense human pressure. Knowledge on long-term processes provides a baseline for the understanding of current global change issues. In the proposed special session, we would like to open the field for contributions encompassing various perspectives on the legacy of past human activities in the biodiversity of current vegetation. Contributions can feature conceptual views as well as case studies, preferably building on interdisciplinary collaborations.

(organized by Radim Hédl, Guillaume Decocq, Péter Szabó & Peter Poschlod)




 

8) Long-term studies in vegetation science

 

Most ecosystems show gradual reactions to various types of environmental changes. Short-term changes in the performance of plant individuals lead to mid-term changes in plant populations, eventually driving long-term changes in vegetation composition and diversity. The importance of long-term studies in vegetation science relies on their ability to identify the consequences of environmental changes on plant community composition and diversity, irrespective of short-term variations. The difficulty is to maintain such research for several decades, as funding is mostly limited to few year projects. The crucial factor is the frequency of observation, which in turn creates a trade-off with the ability to distinguish random variation from long-term trends. A special case are resurveys of historical vegetation data, which complement classic monitoring (repeated observations at defined time steps) and surpass it in terms of time span. For this special session, we welcome contributions from long-term experimental and observational studies (including resurvey studies), with study periods longer than 10 years. We are especially interested in studies focusing on the consequences of global change on ecosystem functioning and biodiversity.

(organized by Markus Bernhardt-Römermann & Radim Hédl)





 

 

9) Plant reproduction and dispersal: A trait-based approach

 

Traits related to dispersal processes in space and time (i.e., seed production, seed dispersal, persistence of generative propagules, dormancy and germination) are fundamental in determining how species pools assemble as a result of ecological filtering. Thus, studying these traits is crucial to understanding the maintenance of plant communities and biodiversity in general. There is a current trend of estimating / assessing the dispersal ability, persistence or germination characteristics of seeds based on functional traits such as seed size and shape, buoyancy, terminal velocity etc., but a clear link between the theoretical predictions / considerations and the results of experimental and observational studies is still missing. This special session aims at discussing the role of different functional traits in the dispersal, persistence and early establishment of plant species in various ecosystems, which provide important insights into vegetation dynamics and the maintenance of biodiversity and ecosystem services. Thus, any trait-based analyses of processes related to plant reproduction, dispersal and regeneration are welcome in the session.

(organized by
Leonid Rasran, Péter Török & Judit Sonkoly)





 

 

10) Patterns, drivers, and conservation opportunities of grassland biodiversity

 

Grasslands cover nearly 30% of all terrestrial surface, including diverse habitat types ranging from wet muddy slacks in lowlands to harsh rocky habitats in alpine environments. Grasslands harbor an extremely rich biodiversity, which is comparable at small scale to the richness of Atlantic rain forests. Grasslands provide essential ecosystem services and goods and, contributing with 70% to all agricultural land, sustain the livelihood of about 2 billion people worldwide. Grasslands face multiple threats, including area loss, altered management by intensification or the cessation of former management as the most important drivers of change. Describing biodiversity patterns and understanding key processes sustaining grassland biodiversity is essential for an effective conservation and restoration. The Eurasian Grassland Group (EDGG) is an official working group of the IAVS and aims to facilitate and coordinate grassland research and conservation in the Palaearctic Biogeographic Realm. With this special session we would like to draw attention to the latest advancements in grassland research, and facilitate the scientific communication of researchers working with different types of grasslands worldwide.

(organized by
Didem Ambarlı, Riccardo Guarrino, Alla Aleksanyan & Péter Török)





 

11) Using plant traits for the recovery of ecosystem functions and services: Trait-based ecosystem engineering?

 

For an effective restoration it is vital to know which mechanisms govern compositional and functional changes during the restoration process. Thus, the greatest challenge of ecological restoration is to restore healthy and functioning ecosystems resembling the restoration target. Ecosystem functions are well reflected in changes of functional trait composition, and the application of trait-based ecological theories and models may be especially useful in supporting practical restoration. It is crucial to test the explanatory power of plant traits from the point of view of usefulness during restoration actions, and it is also necessary for the development of predictive and general plant trait models. The planned innovative session focuses on functional plant traits and the possibilities of its application in conservation and restoration practice. Trait-based conservation and restoration actions may increase the success of conservation projects, and trait-based ecology may enable improved predictions of how plant communities respond to altered environmental conditions. To develop functional ecosystems promoting biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services related to restoration actions, we need the support of trait-based ecological theory.

(organized by
Béla Tóthmérész & Péter Török)

 



 

12) Global biodiversity of plant species, plant forms and plant communities

 

Biodiversity research is an important part of vegetation science. Global aspects of biodiversity research include the study of gradients in species richness and plant life forms across different biomes and different habitat types, but also the inventory of vegetation types and analysis of plant community – environment relationships in less well-known regions. The session thus welcomes contributions that either focus on large-scale patterns of diversity of plant life forms, species and communities, based on continental or global data bases of sample plots of vegetation, or describe the structure and species composition of vegetation in those areas of the world which are not yet represented in data bases.

(organized by
Franco Pedrotti, Kazue Fujiwara & Elgene Box)


 

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