The original precursor of the IAVS was founded in 1939, as the International Phytosociological Society (IPS), with headquarters in Montpellier. The IPS was re-established after the War, eventually as the Internationale Vereinigung für Vegetationskunde (IVV), which established itself more formally in 1954, at the International Botanical Congress in Paris, by adopting a constitution. The IVV served mainly German-speaking Europe and began holding international symposia at first Stolzenau and later Rinteln almost every year from 1956 to 1981. These symposia developed quickly into the most important for discussing vegetation research, not only in central Europe but throughout Europe, and progressively worldwide. The current form of the IAVS, and the new name, were adopted in 1981-82, with a new set of Statutes encouraging symposia and field excursions to be held in different countries every year.
The IAVS holds a Symposium almost every year and sponsors 2-3 phytogeographical field-study excursions in conjunction with the Symposium. The excursions last 1-3 weeks and are an especially important part of the IAVS activities as they provide unique opportunities to study and discuss the vegetation of various regions of the world under the leadership of local experts [click here for past meetings
IAVS has sponsored several scientific journals. Vegetatio
was begun under the sponsorship of the IVV (and later IAVS). For many years it was the only widely circulating international journal devoted to the study of vegetation. In addition, Phytocoenologia
was begun in 1973 under the sponsorship of the IAVS. As IAVS matured and the publishing industry evolved,the leadership of IAVS perceived a need to publish journals owned directly by IAVS so that the Association would have direct control over both content and price. The Journal of Vegetation Science
, the first official journal of the IAVS, was established in 1990 and continues to publish high-quality papers on all aspects of vegetation science. Applied Vegetation Science
was established in 1998 to encourage publication of papers with a more applied approach to vegetation science. The IAVS Bulletin
serves as the formal newsletter of the Assocation and also serves as a formal record of its activities.