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Governance General Assembly
The Governing Board organizes an annual General Assembly to be held in conjunction with the Symposium of the Association. All members of the Association and others invited by the Governing Board or the Council are admitted to the General Assembly.

Minutes of the General Assembly

2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001

Bremen, Germany 2019 - PDF of President's presentation **large file**

Bozeman, Montana, USA 2018 - PDF of President's presentation **large file**

Palermo, Italy 2017 - PDF of President's presentation **large file**

Pirinepolis, Brazil 2016 - PDF

Brno, Czech Republic 2015  - PDF

Perth, Australia, 2014 Friday, September 5, 15:45-16:30 PDF

Tartu, Estonia, 2013 June 30. 15:45-16:30 PDF

The General Assembly was opened by President Martin Diekmann, who presented the following:

1. Membership report

As of June 29, 2013, IAVS has according to the membership list 753 members, distributed across at least 66 countries. The two countries with the highest number of members are Germany and USA. More than 280 people have signed in on the Facebook list.

2. Finances

The financial statement for 2012 was presented (see this Bulletin on page 21).

The financial reports have been audited by two Council members: Otto Wildi and Ulrich Deil. Given the positive financial position of IAVS, the Governing Board has established a new commit- tee to develop a long-term strategy or vision to help guide IAVS in how money is spent.

3. Council business

Council business (including minutes from the 2013 meeting at Tartu) will be printed in the IAVS Bulletin 2013/2 (see page 8). Highlights of the year include

  • Adoption of new Bylaws for the Ecoinformatics Working Group and the Working Group for Phytosociological Nomenclature
  • Amendment of Bylaws of the European Vegetation Survey Working Group
  • Adoption of a new IAVS Code of Ethics The preamble of this code (see page 23) was displayed to provide an overview.

4. Global Sponsorship Committee

The activities of the Global Sponsorship Committee were summarized:

  • Applications for free membership are handled continuously throughout the year
  • Currently 20 persons receive free member- ship and 17 persons have free journal access
  • Grants were awarded for student support to participate in this symposium. To be eligible applicants needed to be Master or PhD students giving a presentation. The awards were open to candidates from all countries. 77 applications from 33 countries were received. GSC supported 25 students from 17 countries for either dormitory & symposium fee or dormitory & symposium fee & (parts of) travel.
  • Council has extended the support of the GSC to allow such awards to continue

5. Publications (presented by Robert Peet)

The IAVS journals are doing very well as judged by nearly any metric (see Report of the IAVS Publications Officer on page 32). Some of the most important of these were summarized.

6. Progress on a new business office (presented by Robert Peet)

6.1. Background

The need for an IAVS Business office has been recognized by the Association since 2008. 2010 Council minutes: “One of the major tasks for IAVS … is to consider establishment of a business office to assist the governing bodies of IAVS and assist the local organizing committees of upcoming IAVS symposia as well as the meetings of the Working Groups and Regional Sections.” We are now confronted with not only need but also urgency. We will soon lose the services of Nina Smits, who is expecting a child in early August, and who has recently accepted a much more demanding position in Alterra.

6.2. Rationale

Having just one part-time administrator working independently leads to fragility; if that person leaves there is no institutional memory or ability to carry on.

We need multiple skill sets. In short, we are better off with fractions of multiple persons with different skill sets than with a large fraction of one person.

Computerized systems have changed the nature of how scientific societies function in terms of managing meetings, finances, membership etc. There is much greater efficiency with one organization creating and administering cyber-infrastructure for multiple professional associations.

The reliance on volunteer scientists to con- duct the administrative functions of societies is increasingly untenable as research institutions and universities increase the demands on scientists and the scientific environment has become more competitive.

An overemphasis on administrative tasks means the officers have less time to do creative things to make the society more exciting and appealing to members

6.3. Options we are considering

Note that we are open to nominations of other organizations!!!

  • New version of Nina
  • Approach other organizations about developing a partnership
  • Botanical Society of America (~6 organizations including SSE)
  • FASEB (Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology)

6.4. Issues

  • Trade-off of services & stability & expertise versus price
  • Central management of membership database
  • Centralize portions of meeting management

If members have suggestions on this matter or if you know of people, organizations etc. that might be suitable, please contact a Council member or member of the Governing Board.

7. Meetings reports

7.1. Perth 2014 (presented by Laco Mucina)

The 57th annual symposium will be held in Perth, Western Australia. The symposium will be organized by the School of Plant Biology at the University of Western Australia. The dates of the symposium are 1-5 September 2014. Mid symposium excursions will be on 3 September. Pre-symposium excursions will be 3-4 days before meeting (the focus will be on locations north of Perth potentially including Yanchep, Eneabba, Kalbarri, and Nambung National Parks. Post-symposium excursions will be 4-5 days after the meeting; the focus will be on locations south of Perth potentially including Darling Scarp, Stirling Range, Porrongurups, Albany, Walole-Narnalup National Park, Augusta, Margaret River. Other potential trips will require flights and could include Shark Bay, Kakadu NP (Northern Territory), and the wet Tropics (Queensland). The symposium will be held at the University of Western Australia Club, Crawley, Perth. The venue has capacity of 275 people. If needed, four parallel sessions could be run.

The theme will be “Biodiversity & Vegetation: Pattern, Processes, and Conservation”. The website will be launched in July 2013.

Currently the organizing committee is approaching major sponsors (mining companies) to generate bursaries for young scientists; IAVS will contribute towards bursaries and financial sup-port for colleagues from poor countries.

7.2. Brno 2015 (presented by Milan Chytry)

The 58th annual symposium will be held 19-24 July, 2015 at Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic. Brno was the city of Gregor Mendel. The venue will be the OREA Hotel Voronez, which can accommodate 750 people. The theme will be “Understanding broad-scale vegetation patterns”. Pre- and mid-symposium excursions will be to Moravia, which has a national park and biosphere reserves including the species- rich grasslands of the Carpathians. The post- symposium excursion will be to Slovakia to sites along an altitude gradient in the Western Carpathians. The fees will not be higher than in Tartu.

7.3. Brazil 2016 (presented by John Hay)

The 59th annual symposium will be held in Brazil, tentatively in the city of Pirenópolis. The vegetation in this area is savanna (known locally as “cerrado”). The symposium will probably be schedule for the end of May or beginning of June, which is the end of rainy season. Potential pre- and post-symposium excursions were described.

8. IAVS Awards (presented by Martin Diekmann)

  • Alexander von Humboldt medal (2013) was awarded to David Tilman
  • IAVS Honorary membership (2012) was awarded to Bastow Wilson
  • Announcement of Student awards for 2013

This year we had the highest number of award candidates for any IAVS conference; there were 52 candidates for the oral presentation award and 106 candidates for the poster award.

Young scientist Oral Presentation Award


Heath GARRIS: “Climate warming-induced heat events lead to intra-seasonal variation in productivity and community-aggregated functional traits at temperate latitudes”

Honorable mention

Jasper WUBS: “Restoration groundwork: testing large-scale soil transplantation to facilitate rapid vegetation development on former arable fields”

Priscilla LOIOLA: “Environmental variables and aboveground plant traits predict plant biomass and root productivity in tropical savannas and seasonal forests”

Young scientist Poster Award


Daniel Bernardo MONTESINOS: “The mountain vegetation of the South Andes of Peru: Syntaxonomy, ecology, phytogeography and conservation.”

Honorable mention

Stefanie RAABE: “Effect of different cutting regimes on species diversity of rewetted fens”

Anaclara GUIDO: “Shrub effects on grassland vegetation in Brazilian altitude grasslands”

9. Items raised by the participants

Jill Rapson suggested that IAVS should award more prizes for students.

10. Thanks and gifts to the organizers

President Diekmann thanked the keynote speakers and the symposium organizers including Martin Zobel, Kersti Püssa, Meelis Pärtel, Rein Kalamees, Aveliina Helm, Mari Moora, Kristjan Zobel, Jaan Liira and more than 30 other colleagues and students.

The General Assembly was adjourned by President Diekmann at 16:30.

Mokpo, Korea, 2012 July 28. 12:30-13:00 PDF

Presented by Martin Diekmann, president.

Information from the IAVS Council meeting

(more detailed information available in the Bulletin 2012/2 to be published in September 2012, also see

Presentation of 2012 Awards Committee

  • Change in the IAVS Bylaws
  • Finances
    • Revenues from Wiley-Blackwell high and increasing
    • Budgets for 2012 and 2013 approved
    • Auditors appointed
  • Financial support to Working groups / Regional sections
  • Reports on publications
    • Journals doing very well
    • Book series in Vegetation Science
    • Review of contract with Wiley-Blackwell
  • Working groups
    • New Bylaws of the EDGG and EVS
  • Meetings Committee
    • 2016: Offer from Brazil
    • 2015: Offers from the Czech Republic and Italy
    • 2014: Western Australia
    • 2013. Tartu, Estonia!
  • Global Sponsorship Committee
    • New system of applying for free membership and free subscription to JVS / AVS (see
    • Travel grants available for participation in next year’s IAVS symposium
  • Membership Committee
    • Please encourage your colleagues and friends to become IAVS member!
    • Ideas about improved membership service are welcome (
  • Honorary member of the IAVS 2012 has been awarded to J. Bastow Wilson (will be celebrated next year in Tartu)
  • Young Scientist Awards for 2012


Oral presentation award

2012 Award:

Ching-Feng Li: The pattern of neutral and niche-based processes along the temperature gradient in Taiwan

Honorable mention:

Saerom Han: Effects of open-field experimental warming on leaf phenology of Quercus variabilis seedlings


Poster presentation award

2012 Award:

Rob Lewis: Identifying multi-scale spatial structure of plant community determinants on a national scale


Honorable mentions:

Jeong-Soo Park: Analysis of environmental factors that affect the distribution of Deschampsia antarctica on King George Island, maritime Antarctica

Renault Jaunatre: A new synthetic indicator to assess plant community restoration success

Statement of appreciation and thank you to the organizers

Lyon, France - 2011 June 24 14:30-15:40 PDF

President Peet opened the meeting at 14:30; approximately 100 participants were present for the General Assembly.

1. Membership report

Currently IAVS has about 650 active members. Further details will be announced in a few months after our new membership database has been completed.

2. Financial report

The assets of IAVS totaled 35,796 € at the end of 2006 and have increased consistently over the intervening 4.5 years. The first increase was due to the 19,000 € profit from the 2007 Wales meeting that Hilary Thomas kindly donated to IAVS, and in subsequent years the increase has been due to the change of publisher. We closed 2010 with total assets of 160,615 €, and we project that assets at the end of 2011 will total approximately 200,428 €.

3. Council events: Statutes and Bylaws

Adoption of an internet-based election procedure led to an unprecedentedly high level of member participation in the 2011 election; 56% of the eligible members voted, in contrast to previous elections where the participation was generally around 10%. The election resulted in approval of the proposed new statutes and election of a new Council. The new Council and the new Statutes have been published in the most recent Bulletin (14) and will be published on our website. At the last meeting of the 2007-2011 Council (21 June) new bylaws were accepted by the Council. These will be published in the upcoming Bulletin and on the website.

4. Meetings reports

Local organizers described the next three IAVS annual meetings (2014 - Perth, Australia; 2013 - Tartu, Estonia; 2012 - Mokpo City, Korea).

5. IAVS Awards

In 2010, Prof. John Rodwell was appointed to honorary membership. He was unable to attend the 2010 meeting due to prior commitments, so he received his award and presented his invited lecture in Lyon. The 2011 Alexander von Humboldt Award for Excellence in Vegetation Science was presented to Prof. Philip Grime, who also presented his invited lecture in Lyon.

The 2011 Young Scientist Awards for the best oral presentation and best poster were announced.

Best oral presentation:

Renaud Jaunautre. Impacts of a multi-treatment restoration experiment on the vegetation, soil and seed bank of a mediterranean steppe.

Honorable mentions, oral presentation:

Maud Bernard-Vendier. Detecting community assembly patterns along a soil depth gradient in a mediterranean rangeland.

Neema Mogha. Impact of land-use on vegetation communities and their floristic composition in the small wetlands of East Africa.

Best Poster presentation:

Hannes Feilhauer. Combining ordination and remote sensing techniques to map ecotones in a heterogeneous landscape.

Honorable mentions, poster:

Marcos Carlucci. Information from tree sapling individuals reveals trait convergence and trait divergence are related to gradients in forest patches.

Liisa Maanvilja. Restoration of diversity in boreal spruce swamp forests.

6. Remarks of the president

President Peet referred the audience to his article in the most recent IAVS Bulletin in which he has presented a summary of the accomplishments of the Association over the past 4 years and needs of the Association that should be addressed over the next 4 years.

7. Introduction of new Council and Governing Board

President Peet thanked the 2007-2011 Executive Committee members for their service, and welcomed the Governing Board for 2011-2015 (the name changed due to a change in the Statutes). The new Governing Board consists of Martin Diekmann (Germany, President), Susan Wiser (New Zealand, secretary)), and five vice-presidents (Robert Peet, USA; Valerio Pillar, Brazil; Javier Loidi, Spain; Alicia Acosta, Italy; Michael Palmer, USA).

2011-2015 IAVS Standing Committees

Awards (Chair: Joop Schaminee)

Meetings (Chair: Valerio Pillar)

Global Sponsorship (Chair: Alicia Acosta)

Membership (Chair: Michael Palmer)

Publications (Chair: Robert Peet)

2011-2015 IAVS Special Committees

Classification committee (Chair: Javier Loidi)

Business and management (Chair open)

Website & social media (Chair open)

Robert Peet and Ladislav Mucina were thanked for their efforts for the IAVS over the last 4 years as President & Secretary, respectively.

8. Recognition of the Lyon organizing committee

IAVS thanked the organizing committee and especially the chair Gudrun Bornet and vice-chair Sara Puijalon.

Thank you both for a well-organized, stimulating, enjoyable and successful scientific meeting!

9. Closing session

Gudrun Bornet closed the meeting and mentioned that this meeting had 400 participants from 43 countries including 23 European countries.

Ensenada, Mexico – 23 April 2010 PDF


The meeting was opened by IAVS President Robert Peet. He reported that the 53 rd IAVS meeting in Ensenada was attended by ~200 participants from ~35 countries. Attendance was remarkably strong given a significant number of Europeans had to cancel participation at the last moment owing to disruption of air travel caused by the eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano.

Membership report

As of December 31, 2009 IAVS had 756 active members including 440 ordinary members (286 with journal subscriptions), 41 service members (mostly editors), 18 student members, 8 honorary members and 249 gratis members.

Financial report

The assets of the IAVS grew from 51,117€ at end of 2007 to 62,026 (2008), to 108,990 (2009), and are projected to reach 163,771€ at the end of 2010. We will be looking into using some of this income for increased administrative efficiency, members services, and student support.


The Honorary membership Award is the highest award the IAVS confers. Current holders of life membership include Hartmut Dierschke , David Goodall, Eddy van der Maarel, Akira Miyawaki, Dieter Mueller-Dombois, Alessandro Pignatti, and Salvador Rivas-Martínez. The 2010 Honorary Membership Award is given to John Rodwell. He will receive his award at the 2011 meeting in Lyon where he will present an invited lecture.

President Peet read from Rodwell’s letter of acceptance.

“It is a great pleasure and privilege to accept the IAVS award of Honorary Member for 2010/11. And it was with great regret that I had to decline the offer of attendance at this year’s conference to receive this award. … I look forward greatly to being with you at the IAVS Conference in Lyon in summer 2011. …”

Susan Wiser announced the winners of the 2010 young Scientist Awards.

Best oral presentation:

S. Vanderplank: The perennial vegetation of greater San Quintin, Baja California, Mexico.

Honorable mention, oral presentation:

A. Fidelis: Short-term changes caused by fire and mowing in Brazilian Campos grasslands.

A. Lumbreras: Ecology of aquatic Ranunculus communities in the west of the Iberian Peninsula: a center of water crowfoot biodiversity.

Best Poster presentation:

M.R. Wong: Vegetation and soil food web responses to resource availability in a perennial tussock grassland, south-eastern Australia.

Honorable mention, poster:

A. Fidelis: Floristic similarities of wet-grasslands in the Brazilian cerrado biome.

Vision Statement and Benefits Statement

President Peet reported on both the new IAVS Vision Statement and the new IAVS Membership Benefits Statement. Both documents are available on the IAVS website.

Management for IAVS

The Executive Committee is exploring the possibility of sharing a professional office with one or more other professional organizations so as to provide increased access to critical services such as accounting, legal advice, investment advice, meeting organization and members services.

2011 Elections

Elections will be held in spring 2011 for membership on the IAVS Council. IAVS Members are encouraged to send nominations to one of the members of the Executive Committee.

Changes in the Statutes and Bylaws

The Current Council is working toward revision of the IAVS Statutes and Bylaws. One of the most important changes proposed is to transfer decision-making power from the General Assembly to the Council. The reason is that the Council is an elected, representative body with well-defined mechanisms for decision making. The General Assembly consists of those persons who happen to be at a particular annual symposium and decide to attend the Assembly meeting. Toward this end the Council at its meeting earlier in the week approved changes in the Statutes to change how changes are made in the Statutes and Bylaws. These were advertised in advance and were presented to the General Assembly for vote. They were moved, seconded and approved unanimously. The exact wording is presented in the minutes of the Council meeting.

Future meetings

A series of presentations summarized plans for future IAVS annual symposia.

2011: In the absence of Local Committee Chair Gudrun Bornett, Elise Buisson presented a summary of plans for the 2011 meeting to be held in Lyon, France.

2012: Local Committee Chair Sun-Kee Hong was not able to stay for the entire meeting, but during the opening session he presented a summary of plans for the 2012 meeting to be held in Mokpo, Korea.

2013: In the absence of Local Committee Chair Martin Zobel, Inga Hiiesalu presented a summary of plants for the 2013 meeting to be held in Tartu, Estonia.

2014: Local Committee Chair Laco Mucina presented a summary of plans for the 2014 meeting to be held in Perth, Australia.

Thanks to local organizers

IAVS thanked with a standing ovation the organizing committee and especially the Chair José Delgadillo Rodríguez

Thank you José!

This was a wonderful meeting and it would not have been possible without you.

IAVS also especially thanked for assisting in the meeting organization: Steve Bullock and Michael Barbour

Concluding remark

With deep sadness and a period of silence, IAVS recognized the contributions to the symposium of Carlos Alberto Arambula, 23 years old, who we had all seen active at the front desk for the meeting for several days and who very unexpectedly passed away the evening before the final Assembly.

Chania, Crete. 3 June 2009 PDF


The meeting was opened at 5.15 pm by IAVS President Robert Peet. Approximately 70 members attended the General Assembly.

The IAVS meeting in Crete was attended by 254 participants from 38 countries. President Peet and Secretary Mucina informed the Assembly of actions taken by Council and of upcoming events. The announcement of young scientist awards (oral presentation and poster) was postponed to the closing session on the last day. The winners of the awards are listed at the end of this report.

Report from the Council Meeting

Financial report

A short financial report was provided. The assets of the IAVS grew from 51,117€ in 2007 to 62,026€ at the end of 2008. The text of this report is available in IAVS Bulletin 12. Financial projections for 2009 and 2010 foresee continued increases in assets. Attendees of the General Assembly were asked for suggestions as to how to use these funds most effectively. Student support is mentioned. Towards more professional management for IAVS The Executive Committee is exploring the possibility of sharing a professional office with one or more other professional organizations so as to provide increased access to critical services such as accounting, legal advice, investment advice, meeting organization and members services.

Membership report

The website is being upgraded to facilitate member renewal. Anticipate posted and emailed requests for you to join or renew your membership.

Publications, Publication officer

The IAVS is happy with its relationship with its new publisher, John Wiley & Sons. There were some rough periods during the transition from Opulus Press, mostly due to problems at Opulus. The Publication Officer, Martin Diekmann, apologized for these problems and discussed many of the benefits to IAVS and its members of this transition.


IAVS Bulletin 12 is ready and available through our website. Expect IAVS Bulletin 13 to become available around the end of the year.

Future meetings

  • 2010 (18-23 April) Ensenada MX –Jose Delgadillo & Michael Barbour
  • 2011 Lyon FR – July, Gudrun Bornette
  • 2012 Mokpo, Korea – Sun-Kee Hong
  • 2013 – a proposal from Estonia is pending
  • 2014 – a proposal from western Australia is pending

Other Business

The local organizers thank the sponsors and Athens travel for their support and help.


The meeting was closed by the President at 6.00 pm.

Addendum 1 – Young Investigator Awards

IAVS awards annual prizes to young scientists (< 35 years of age) for their outstanding work and presentation skills. One award is presented for the best oral presentation and one for the best poster presentation. The winners each receive an IAVS travel grant of 1000€ one of the next two

IAVS meetings

This year IAVS congratulates

Miquel De Cáceres Ainsa (University of Montreal, Canada) for his oral presentation “Improving diagnostic species analyses by considering combinations of groups”

Jan Plue (Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium) for his poster “How to sample a forest soil seed bank?”

Honorable mentions for the oral presentations went to

Carly Stevens (The Open University, Milton Keynes, England) “Impacts of atmospheric nitrogen deposition on European calcifuge grasslands,” and

Vanessa Minden (University of Oldenburg, Germany) “Plant functional traits in relation to disturbance in salt marshes of NW Germany”.

Honourable mentions for the poster presentations went to

Krista Takkis (University of Tartu, Estonia) “Contrasting responses of two grassland species to habitat fragmentation,” and

Tanaka Furukawa (Yokohama National University, Japan) “Abrupt vegetation change along human disturbance gradient in an urban tropical dry forest, Nairobi, Kenya”.

Stellenbosch, South Africa 11 September 2008, 17:15–18:30 PDF

1. Opening

After the traditional group photograph, the meeting was opened at about 5.15 pm by the President of IAVS (R. Peet). There were about 100 members attending the General Assembly. The President and Secretary-General (L. Mucina) informed the Assembly on actions taken by Council and of upcoming events. The announcement of student prize winners was postponed to the symposium dinner (the same day as Assembly). (The winners of the prizes are listed at the end of this report).

Two main subjects were announced by the President:

(1) The resolution on biofuels as proposed in Wales was accepted by Council in a revised version (printed in IAVS Bulletin 11);

(2) five-member Publication Committee was formed in fall 2007 to screen offers from publishing houses to publish the IAVS journals. The Committee unanimously voted in favour of accepting the proposal submitted by WileyBlackwell Publishers. This recommendation was accepted by the Executive Committee and formally realized July 1, 2008.

2. Report from the Council Meeting

Financial report

A short financial report was provided. The assets of the IAVS grew from 28,450 € in 2006, to 34,485 € in 2007 to 63,283 € in September 2008. The text of this report is already available in IAVS Bulletin 11. Committees We have a group of Global Fund members (members short of resources). Use of this fund will be explored. With more income for IAVS as a consequence of the new publishing contract, new ways of using this money for the development of IAVS will be explored. Members are invited to provide suggestions. The President also informed the Assembly about the new Award Committee and the new journal in discussion (see the Minutes of Council ). Membership profits IAVS-Members now profit from their membership with the reduced fee for symposia, with our journals, website information, and the IAVS Bulletin, but there could be many more benefits. The AC decided to introduce a special student fee (10 € instead of 20 €) to attract more young people (especially students) into our ranks. Several suggestions were made by the members for use income:

  • stimulate research through free membership in under-represented areas;
  • pro vide discounts on books (this will be possible with our new Publisher);
  • give members privileged right of registration for symposium excursions;
  • start discussion groups on the internet;
  • connect working-group meetings to IAVS symposia.

3. Activities in Coming Years

The President informed the Assembly about the upcoming meetings in Greece (2009) and Mexico (2010). PanayotisDimopoulos (organizer of the 2009 meeting) and Jose Delgadillo (organizer of the 2010 meeting) gave short introductions about their respective meetings. Suggestions were sought for other meeting locations and organizers, noting that discussion has been ongoing with Russia - at least for field excursions. It was noted that excursions and annual meetings have not always been and need not be at the same venue or in the same country.

4. Other Business

The current meeting attendance was announced as 237 registered participants, from 37 countries. There were 13 young people supported by the regional Section for Southern Africa of IAVS and 7 participants by the Oppenheimer Foundation. local organizers want to thank the sponsors and Unistel Consultus (the company which managed the daily proceedings of the meeting, registration and finances) for their support and help.

5. Closing

The meeting was closed by the President at 6.30 pm.

6. Addendum

Prizes for the Best Presentations/posters at the 51nd IAVS Meeting in Stellenbosch, South Africa: The IAVS has awarded two Prizes for young scientists (< 35 years of age) for their outstanding work and presentation skills. The two winners were awarded an IAVS Travel Grant of € 1000 to attend either the oncoming 52nd or the 53rd IAVS symposium.

The IAVS congratulates:

Gerald Jurasinski (University of Rostock, Germany) for his oral presentation on "Upward shift of alpine plants increases floristic similarity of mountain summits".

Jeff Ott (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA). for his poster presentation "Sharpening the focus of community patterns by adjusting phylogenetic scale".

In addition to the above prizes, the Regional Section for Southern Africa of the IAVS awarded two journal subscriptions to outstanding young scientists (< 35 years of age) of the SADC region.

The two winners were:

Peter le Roux (Stellenbosch University, South Africa) in the Category Best SADC Presentation for his presentation on "Rapid altitudinal range expansion and the formation of no-analog communities in response to warming".

Justine Nyaga (SANBI, South Africa) in the Category Best SADC Poster for his presentation "Impacts of fog and dew on soil moisture, respiration and nutrients recycling".

Honourable mentions:

Marina Semchenko (University of Tartu, Estonia) for the oral presentation "Foraging for space by plant roots: a comparative study of grasses from contrasting habitats".

Kuo-Jung Chao (University of National Taiwan University, Taiwan) for the oral presentation "Vegetation of the lowland tropical rainforests in Taiwan".

Forbes Boyle (University of North Carolina, USA) for the poster presentation "Using high-quality vegetation plot datasets to restore ecosystems: an example from the Coastal Plain of the Southeastern US".

Desale Okubamichael (University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa) for the poster presentation "Host specificity and bird dispersal in the parasitic mistletoe, Tapinanthus natalitius (Loranthaceae)".

Swansea, Wales: 26 July 2007

1. Opening
R. Peet, the newly-elected President of IAVS, opened the General Assembly meeting at 14:00. He introduced P. Glaver of Swansea University who commemorated our late colleague Dr. Paddy Coker who had been one of the driving forces behind the 50th IAVS Symposium in Swansea. Paddy passed away unexpectedly in June 2005 and consequently was not able to experience the realization of his efforts to bring IAVS to Swansea.
President Peet and Secretary-Treasurer Mucina commended the contributions of outgoing President Elgene Box and outgoing Secretary-General Joop Schaminée. They were presented a modest but fitting token of appreciation in the form of a T-shirt carrying the image of J. Braun-Blanquet, one of the greatest minds ever associated with IAVS and vegetation science in general.

The President also announced the composition of the new Executive Committee elected during the Council meeting earlier in the week: R. Peet (US), President; L. Mucina (ZA), Secretary & Treasurer; M. Diekmann (DE), Publication Officer; V. De Patta Pillar (BR), J. Loidi (ES), J.H.J. Schaminée (NL), and M. Zobel (EE), all Vice Presidents. The report on the election of the new Executive Committee was accepted by the General Assembly.

2. Financial Report
Secretary-General Mucina presented a financial report covering the period since the previous IAVS meeting in February 2007 (for details see the Financial Report compiled by J. Schaminée and N. Smits below). The report was accepted by the General Assembly.

3. Publication Report
In the absence of the Publication Officer (M. Diekmann), the Publication Report (below) was read by the President. He informed the General Assembly of developments with respect to the decision of the Council to not renew the current contract with Opulus Press but instead to either negotiate a new contract with Opulus or select a new publisher – issues dealt with in more detail in the Minutes of the Council meeting. The President also announced the formation of a Publication Committee composed of M. Diekmann (Chair), H. Bruelheide, A. Chiarucci, R. Peet, and M. Zobel to advise the Council in the selection of a publisher and the negotiation of a contract.

4. Operating Procedures
The President informed the General Assembly of the intention of the new Executive Committee (in cooperation with the new the Council) to re-examine business procedures and governance of IAVS. The Council anticipates that a new set of by-laws will be prepared, discussed, and voted upon in the near future. The Secretary-Treasurer will lead this initiative.

5. Resolution on Biofuels
Vice President Pillar presented a draft resolution on biofuels. The resolution was initially prepared by Council member Michael Palmer and was circulated for comment among members of the Council prior to the Swansea meeting. The General Assembly discussed the resolution in an interested and spirited manner. Objections were voiced by some members with respect to wording, especially sections of the motion pertaining to funding of vegetation science or straddling the line between the science and politics. Several members emphasized that the IAVS should avoid making political statements whereas others felt it important that IAVS fully and aggressively honor the aim of the Association articulated in the statutes to “.increase awareness and to disseminate knowledge about vegetation.” J.B. Wilson moved that the original motion not be put to a vote by Council, but be returned to Palmer for revision. The motion was amended by S. Wolf-Will to direct that the revised resolution be forwarded to the Council for further deliberation and possible adoption. A majority of the General Assembly voted in favour of the Wilson motion as amended by Wolf-Will.

6. Membership
The President expressed concern about the declining membership of IAVS. Measures are needed to maintain and preferably increase the membership. For details see the Minutes of the Council.

7. Meetings
The Secretary-Treasurer informed the General Assembly of the upcoming meetings in 2008 (Stellenbosch, South Africa), 2009 (Herakleion, Greece) and 2011 (Lyon, France). The Council has also received information about the meeting in 2010 – possibly in Mexico or South America.

8. Report on the Swansea Meeting & Awards
Hilary Thomas of the Local Arrangements Committee informed the Assembly about the outcome of the Swansea IAVS Symposium. Despite initial financial uncertainties, the meeting was a success with 127 participants from 32 countries attended the meeting. A late sponsorship grant guarantees that the Committee will be able to repay the loan from IAVS and even contribute a significant profit to the IAVS Global Fund. This outcome and the proposed contribution were highly commended by the General Assembly.
Alison McDonald of the Local Arrangements Committee thanked all those who assisted with the running of the symposium and the preparation of the meeting. Special thanks went to the Charlotte Thomas and the coordinators of the scientific sessions.

Alison McDonald also announced the prizes for the best posters.
First Prize  (1-yr free subscription to JVS + AVS)
Flore  Viard-Cretat, Christiane Gallet, & Sandra Lavorel
Laboratory of Alpine Ecology, CNRS, Grenoble, France
Does mowing increase allelopathic effects of dominants on recruitment in subalpine grasslands?
Second Prize  (1-yr free subscription to JVS)
Gert Rosenthal
Institute of Landscape Planning and Ecology, University of Stuttgart, Germany, 
Restoration of wet meadow communities after sustained abandonment
Third Prize (1-yr free subscription to AVS)
Kai Rünk, Martin Zobel, & Kristjan Zobel
Institute of Botany and Ecology, University of Tartu, Estonia
What are the key factors for three congeneric (Dryopteris) forest ferns with contrasting regional abundance: soil, illumination or something else?
Honorable mention
A.T. Kuiters1, H.P.J. Huiskes1, W.A. Ozinga1,2, & J.H.J. Schaminée1,2
1 Alterra,  Wageningen, The Netherlands
2 Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Endozoochorous seed dispersal by sheep in limestone grasslands in South Limburg, the Netherlands
Welsh love-spoons were presented to those who assisted with the meeting.

Jan Bakker, Renée Bekker, Guillaume Decocq, Ulrich Deil, Carsten Eichberg, Jason Fridley, Peter Glaves, Thomas Ludeman, Rob Marrs, Laco Mucina, Meelis Pärtel, Robert Peet, Angelika Schwabe Kratochwill, Rob Whelan

Student assistants:
Alisandra Fidelis, Charlotte Thomas, Libby Rumpff

The Special IAVS Wales Prize was awarded to Charlotte Thomas for her many contributions to the organization and conduct of the meeting.

Palmerston North, New Zealand: 15 February 2007 (=2006 meeting)

1. Opening
The meeting was opened at about 5 pm by the President (Elgene Box). Since attendance was small at both the Council and Assembly meetings, the Assembly involved mainly a report on actions taken by the Council and brief discussion of upcoming events. The announcement of student prize winners, which often occurs at the end of the Assembly meeting, was to be held the next day, the final afternoon of the meeting.

2. Report from the Council Meeting
Financial and publications reports were not given formally, since some officers were not present and since the text of these reports was already available in the Bulletin.

Box summarized the discussion and actions taken during the Council meeting, in particular the three action items that were voted on (see also Council minutes):

  • resolution to renegotiate the contract for publication of the IAVS journals
  • appointment of an ad hoc Contract Committee to handle the negotiations; and
  • appointment of a Newsletter Committee to develop an e-mail newsletter.

3. Activities in Coming Years

  • 2007 Wales               
    Members were reminded of the next IAVS meeting, to be held 23-27 July 2007, at Swansea University in Wales.
  • 2008 South Africa     
    This meeting will be held in Stellenbosch, in the Cape region, probably in September.
  • 2009 Greece            
    Members were informed of discussions for a 2009 meeting in Greece, perhaps in Ioannina (Epirus, northwestern Greece).

Suggestions were sought for other meeting locations and organizers, noting that discussion has been ongoing with Russia, at least for excursions. It was noted that excursions and annual meetings have not always been and need not be at the same place.

4. Other Business
Meeting attendance was announced as 178 registered participants, from 30 countries

Lisbon, Portugal: Thursday, 28 July 2005

1. The President, E.O. Box, opened the Assembly at 17.00. All members had been notified of, and were invited to, the General Assembly through the IAVS Bulletin of Decmber 2004 and through the Third Circular of the Lisbon Symposium. Some 80 members were present, which constituted a quorum for decision making.

2. The assembly opened with obituaries for Paddy Coker and Janusz Falinski, presented by Hillary Thomas and Maria Wojterska respectively. Both scientists have been of great importance to the IAVS and our society is much obliged to them. Their life and work will be commemorated elsewhere in this Bulletin.

3. In contrast to this sad event, three new IAVS Honorary Members were appointed and spoken to. The great achievements of Hartmut Dierschke, Eddy van der Maarel and Salvador Rivas-Martínez were mentioned by subsequently Joop Schaminée, Ladislav Mucina and Xavier Loidi.

4. Information was given on issues discussed during the Council meeting, as reported in the relevant minutes. Extensive information was given about future meetings, including the meetings in 2007 in New Zealand (February) and Wales (July-August). Some options were presented for publishing papers of certain sections of the symposium.

5. Nina Smits reported on the decisions by the jury judging the student posters. The job was difficult because many excellent posters had to be compared. The following posters were awarded. Two second prizes went to Alessandra Fidelis of the Technical University of Munich in Freising (Germany) and to Ligia Carvalho of the University of Madeira in Funchal (Portugal), and the first price went to Ana Luisa Diogo of the Musea Nacional de Historia e Jardim Botanico in Lisbon (Portugal).

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, USA: 23 July 2004

1. Opening
The meeting was opened at 1:35 pm by the President (Elgene Box).

2. Approval of the minutes
The minutes of the 2003 meetings (posted on web site) were approved.

3. Report from the Council Meeting
Box noted that the Secretary-General and other officers were not present for a complete Executive Committee Report. The financial report (see Council minutes) was read by Box, who also explained the negative balance for 2003 and the recent problem arising from supporting participants at the annual meetings without any mechanism for a corresponding increase in IAVS income. A report on the journals was given by Bastow Wilson.

4. Activities of the IAVS
Reports on recent activities were given by Peet for North America and Fujiwara for East Asia. Some information was given on activities during coming years (see further under ‘Minutes of the Council meeting’):

Vienna. An invitation to the International Botanical Congress in Vienna, in July 2005, was presented by Georg Grabherr.

Portugal. The members were reminded of the dates for the IAVS annual meeting in Portugal, in July 2005, which had already been presented in detail the previous year.

Montreal. The members were reminded of the dates for the INTECOL Congress to be held in Montreal in 2005, immediately after the IAVS post-symposium excursion in Portugal (August 7-12).

New Zealand. An invitation, dates and details for the ‘2006’ annual meeting, in New Zealand, were provided by Jill Rapson, the local organizer. The meeting is to be held during February 2007.

Wales. Members were reminded of the 2007 IAVS meeting in Wales.

Proposals from South Africa and from Trondheim (Norway) were mentioned for 2008 and after.

5. Other business
It was announced that there were no plans for publishing the Symposium proceedings. Participants were invited to pursue publication possibilities for particular topics or sessions.

A short report on the Hawaii meeting was provided by Julie Denslow. There were 227 registered participants from 35 countries, presenting 133 papers. Kent Bridges presented certificates of appreciation for local organization helpers.

IAVS awards for the best student posters were presented by Susan Will-Wolf. First Prize: Hiroko Kurokawa, Kyoto University, for ‘Factors explaining plant defensive investments in tropical rainforests in Borneo’. Second Prize: Teresa Hollingsworth, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, for ‘Environmental controls on floristic variability in Black spruce communities of interior Alaska’. Third Prize: Haruka Ohashi, Tokyo University, for ‘Effect of Shika deer (Cervus nippon) on species composition and plant species diversity of forest vegetation’.

Naples, Italy: 12 June 2003

Information was given on issues discussed during the Council meeting, as reported in the relevant minutes. Also the outcome of the election of the new Executive Committee was announced. The departing members were honoured by the audience. In addition to warm applause, they received a Tshirt showing a portrait of Braun-Blanquet. Information was also given about future meetings, and options were presented for publishing papers of certain sections of the symposium.

Nina Smits reported the decisions by the jury judging the student posters. The job was difficult because many excellent posters had to be compared. The following Posters were awarded. Two second prizes went to Imelda Somodi (Eötvös Lorand University, Budapest) and Roberto Costi (Roma), and the first prize went to M. Ghobadnejhad (University of Teheran, Teheran).

Sandro Pignatti invited everyone to the Conference Dinner just following the Assembly meeting, and Elgene Box closed the Assembly.

Puerto Alegre, Brazil: 7 March 2002

1. The president, E.O. Box, opened the Assembly. With many officers missing, the Assembly was a bit shorter than usual. A minute of silence was held in remembrance of Prof. Makoto Numata (Japan), honorary member of IAVS.

2. Information was given in the Bulletin about the election of the new Council. Votes could be cast via Internet. There should be a representative of each of the major geographic regions of the IAVS. The election of the Executive Committee will be postponed until next year, since so many members were absent.

3. Information about the General Assembly from Freising was given in the Bulletin. The Assembly accepts the report without objection.

4. The contract with Opulus Press has been renewed. A new contract had to be made for the new journal AVS. The number of members is around 1800. Some members (e.g. from Argentina) have currency problems. Further information will be given on the IAVS home page, where members can obtain more detailed information about IAVS finances and related matters.

5. The new Statutes were taken to the authorities in The Netherlands, where some changes had to be made in order to conform to Dutch law. Eddy van der Maarel took care of these changes, but the Assembly must again vote to accept the Statutes with these minor changes. The Assembly accepted the Statutes without objection.

6. Valerio Pillar suggested to publish papers from session A in the section ‘Community Ecology’. Furthermore, a special feature on vegetation dynamics in time and space was suggested. There will be no publication of the whole meeting. There was no meeting of the JVS Editorial Board, so no information from JVS was available. George Bredenkamp suggested to publish papers on ‘Disturbance and vegetation dynamics’. Various presentations from different sessions could contribute to this topic. Appropriate journals will be identified. Papers should be published quite soon, especially conceptual papers.

László Orlóci pointed out that all journals have waiting lists and suggested publishing papers in special issues and perhaps as a book. This is likely to increase the circulation and could be made available perhaps more quickly.

7. About meetings. A first official excursion under the name IAVS was made by the IAVS regional section in southern Africa. The next INTECOL Congress (International Association for Ecology) will be held in Seoul, South Korea. Kazue Fujiwara informed about possibilities to arrange symposia during this meeting. There is still time to organize sessions and to submit abstracts of individual presentations. Franco Pedrotti provided information on the next meeting of the European Vegetation Survey, which will not be held at its usual spring date but rather late, in September 6-9 (2002), partly in the Apennine mountains near Rome. An E-mail was read that introduced this meeting. The excursion will be in the central Apennines. The special theme of this conference will be ‘Wetland vegetation’. Pedrotti also announced a meeting on ‘Dynamics and Mountain Vegetation’ to be held from 8-13 July 2002 at Peyresq/Annot (Provence), by French and Belgian members of the Amicale Internationale de Phytosociologie. The Boreal Forest working group of the IAVS will hold a meeting in Prince George (British Columbia), Canada, August 9-14, 2002, on ‘Disturbance Dynamics in Boreal Forests”. The annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America (August 2002) will again have a session and excursion organized by the North American section of IAVS, according to Michael Barbour. Prof. Pillar announced that a short course will be given in Porto Alegre after the end of this symposium, presented among others by László Orlóci.

Professors Pignatti and Pedrotti have proposed to hold the next IAVS meeting in Napoli (Naples), Italy, 8-13 June 2003. The meeting will be held in the Botany Department of the Federico II University, situated in the old Botanical Garden. Mid-symposium excursions will be to the island of Capri and other places in the surroundings. The pre-symposium excursion will start on June 5 at Rome airport and lead to Napoli on June 7. The post-symposium excursion will go by boat to Sicily and concentrate on mountain ecosystems (e.g. Mount Etna). Places with Pinus leucodermis and the Abruzzo National Park will be visited on the way back to Rome (arrival June 22). The famous botanical gardens can be visited in Palermo and Napoli. Close to Napoli one can also visit the volcanic ecosystems (Solfatara di Podzuoli) which develop on extreme substrates, including geysers and hot springs. The journal Braun-Blanquetia offers the possibility to publish some of the presentations to be made in Napoli.

For the following years there are already seven proposals for hosting the annual IAVS meeting. The meeting for 2004 will be held outside Europe. The Council voted in April 2002 for Hawaii. For 2005 there are proposals from Portugal, Saint-Petersburg and Wales. This decision must also be made quite soon, since meetings require some time in advance for organization. A long-term strategy is required.

8. Student awards. Prof. Fujiwara reported the decisions by the jury judging the student posters. The job was difficult because many excellent posters had to be compared. The Jury was introduced and comprised members from seven countries. The following Posters were awarded. The third price was awarded to Fabina Pezzani, the second price to Gervasio Pineiro, and the first price to Diego Gurvich.

9. Valerio Pillar provided information and invited everyone to the Conference Dinner just following the Assembly meeting. Elgene Box closed the Assembly.

Freising, Germany: 2 August 2001

1. The President, E.O. Box, opened the Assembly at 16.45. All members had been notified of, and were invited to, the General Assembly, through the Third Circular of the Freising Symposium. More than 130 members were present, which constituted a quorum for decision making. Short obituaries were expressed by Joop Schaminée for Prof. Victor Westoff and by Elgene Box for Prof. Antoni (Ton) Damman.

2. The Minutes of the last IAVS meeting, in Nagano (Japan), were approved without further comments.

3. The President and the Secretary General (J. H. J. Schaminée) reported on the major items that were discussed during the meetings of the Advisory Council on 30 and 31 July 2001 (see Minutes of this meeting): financial situation, account of the publication officer, election of the new Council next year, and reports of working groups, commissions and regional sections. With regard to the election procedure, members were asked to send suggestions for candidates to the Secretary General. There was agreement on the procedure to ensure that all major regions will be represented in the Council. Ballots will be sent to all members, with the new IAVS Bulletin, before Christmas and must be returned before the end of January 2002.

A new Membership List and the IAVS Bulletin were made available at the registration desk. All IAVS members were asked to forward any changes in address or e-mail to the Secretary General. The General Assembly authorized the Publication Officer (E. van der Maarel) and Secretary General to sign official documents, as needed, at the office of a Notary in the Netherlands. All proposals for minor changes (including text corrections sent by e-mail) will be collected and carried out by van der Maarel.

3. The organizing committee for next year’s meeting in Porto Alegre invited all members to attend the next IAVS Symposium, in Brasil. A brief overview of the scientific themes of this meeting and the excursion program were presented. Deviating from the usual schedule, the 2002 Symposium will take place early in the year, in March 2002, corresponding to late summer in the Southern Hemisphere.

4. Information was presented about the publication of contributions to the Freising Symposium. In consultation with the chairs of the individual sections, the editors of the Journal of Vegetation Science,Applied Vegetation Science, Phytocoenologia, and Basic and Applied Ecology (Gesellschaft für Ökologie) have offered the possibility to publish special issues. The selection of relevant topics will be made in consultation with the chairs of the individual sections. Two topics were already selected for a special issue of Phytocoenologia, respectively on ‘Plant-animal interactions’ (sections 2.4 and 4.1) and on ‘Vegetation patterns at the landscape level’ (section 6.1). The proceedings of the Uppsala symposium from 1998 are available now and will be sent to all participants of that meeting. A special volume on ‘Vegetation and Climate’ (topic of the Bilbao symposium), edited by Ulrich Deil and Javier Loidi, was published inPhytocoenologia in November 2000.

5. At the Freising Symposium, out of a total of 90 student posters, three posters were awarded prizes. The prizes were all given to students from Germany. The First Prize was given to Silke Werth from Germany for a poster ‘Are epiphytic macrolichens faithful indicators of hemeroby in deciduous forests?’. Posters by Stephanie Clauss and Christian Wild on ‘Assessment of vegetation cover as a tool for environmental planning of Utila Island, Honduras’ and by Astrid Søe on ‘The effect of forest structure on soil respiration in beech forests under different managent regimes’ were ranked second.

6. Michael Richter made some suggestions for improving future meetings.

Next Meeting

63rd IAVS Symposium: Sept. 20-23, 2021
The virtual event, organized by IAVS.
Visit the registration website here to register for the Symposium and to submit your abstract before the 20 June deadline.


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