2018 Annual report
The 26th Meeting of the European Vegetation Survey (EVS) took place in Bilbao, Spain, on 13–16 September 2017. The venue was the Bizkaia Aretoa building in the city centre near the Guggenheim Museum. The meeting was organized by the team of Professor Javier Loidi from the University of the Basque Country, including Idoia Biurrun, Juan Antonio Campos, Itziar García-Mijangos, Mercedes Herrera, Isabel Salcedo, Daniel García, Vlatka Horvat, Diego Liendo, Corrado Marcenò and Marta Torca.
The scientific sessions of the meeting held on three full days of 13–15 September, comprised a total of 55 talks, including plenary talks by Javier Loidi, Milan Chytrý and Jürgen Dengler, and 59 posters. The presentations focused on vegetation data sets, syntaxonomy, vegetation and habitat mapping, assessment and conservation of European habitats, vegetation dynamics and cultural history in Europe, soil–vegetation relationships, mires and bogs, methodological issues and other topics. The meeting was followed by a social dinner in Hotel Indautxu in Bilbao and by one-day field excursions on 16 September, which visited three different areas: Monte Buciero and Noja area (guided by Mercedes Herrera), Obarenes Natural Park (guided by Itziar García-Mijangos) and Valderejo Natural Park (guided by Javier Loidi).
The meeting was attended by 125 participants and 9 accompanying persons from 21 countries. The most represented countries were Spain (34 participants), Italy (18), Czech Republic (13), Russia (10), Slovakia (10), Germany (9), Poland (5), the Netherlands (5), Slovenia (4) and the UK (4). The other countries included Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, France, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Serbia. Six participants from Russia, Poland and Serbia were supported by the IAVS travel grants in a total amount of 5000 EUR.
The 27th Meeting of the European Vegetation Survey (EVS) took place in Wrocław, Poland, on 23–26 May 2017. The venue was the conference centre at the Faculty of Law, Administration and Economics of the University of Wrocław, conveniently located in the historical city centre. Zygmunt Kącki and Ewa Stefańska-Krzaczek from the the University of Wrocław led the meeting organization, assisted by Katarzyna Łapińska, Attila Lengyel, Renata Łojko, Mateusz Meserszmit, Małgorzata Raduła, Kamila Reczyńska, Grzegorz Swacha, Krzysztof Świerkosz, Ewa Szczęśniak and Tomasz Szymura from the same university, Magdalena Szymura from the Wrocław University of Environmental & Life Sciences and Monika Myśliwy from the University of Szczecin.
The scientific sessions of the meeting held on three full days of 23–25 May comprised a total of 54 talks, including plenary talks by John Rodwell, Zoltán Botta-Dukát and Idoia Biurrun, and 80 posters. The presentations focused on assessment and conservation of European habitats, plant community responses to changes in management, vegetation classification and database management, vegetation and alien plant invasions, and extending scale in spatial, temporal and environmental dimensions. The evening programme included the guided tour to the historical city centre of Wrocław, the Botanical Garden of the University of Wroclaw, Stara Odra Beach Bar session, and a social dinner on the Wratislawia ship with a trip on the Odra River. Three field excursions were held on 26 May, visiting the Stołowe Mountains National Park (guided by Zygmunt Kącki and Ewa Szczęśniak), Volcanic Heritage of Góry i Pogórze Kaczawskie (guided by Kamila Reczyńska and Krzysztof Świerkosz) and the Odra river valley (guided by Magdalena Szymura, Tomasz Szymura and Renata Łojko).
The meeting was attended by 171 participants and 9 accompanying persons from 28 countries. The most represented countries were Poland (39 participants), Russia (17), Czech Republic (15), Italy (15), Slovakia (13), Spain (12), Hungary (10), Ukraine (8), Lithuania (6), the Netherlands (6), Latvia (5) and Slovenia (5). The other countries included Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, Kosovo, Portugal, Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, Switzerland, the UK and the USA. Thirteen participants from Russia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Ukraine were supported by the IAVS travel grants in a total amount of 5000 EUR.
Besides the two meetings, the activities of the European Vegetation Survey group between June 2017 and June 2018 included:
(1) The EVS Business Meeting in Bilbao approved the document Procedures for Updating the Standard European Vegetation Classification (http://euroveg.org/…APPROVED.pdf) and elected 69 members of the European Vegetation Classification Committee, with Wolfgang Willner as a Secretary and Idoia Biurrun as a Deputy Secretary. This committee is responsible for the updates of the standard classification of European vegetation, using the EuroVegChecklist (Mucina et al. 2016, Appl. Veg. Sci., http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/…257/abstract) as the baseline. Stephan Hennekens prepared an online platform supporting the work of this committee, integrated into the interactive online version of EuroVegChecklist (www.synbiosys.alterra.nl/evc) and the committee started to receive proposals and process them.
(2) The European Vegetation Archive (EVA) grew further. In June 2018, it comprised 77 databases and 1,529,550 plots. EVA provided data for 66 projects. In total, 21 scientific publications were based on the analyses of the EVA database, most of them with large international author teams. These publications included 10 papers indexed in the Web of Science database, 10 reports and 1 thesis. Basic statistics of EVA data and EVA projects and their results were summarized in the EVA annual report.
(3) The Wageningen Environmental Research (Alterra) became a partner of the European Topic Centre on Biological Diversity and obtained the “Framework service contract for providing services in the area of natural capital and ecosystem assessment for the European Environment Agency and European Commission DG Environment”, which should involve the revision of EUNIS habitat classification, updating crosswalks of EUNIS – European Red List of Habitats – EuroVegChecklist – Habitats Directive Annex I, developing indicator species lists for EUNIS habitat types and mapping EUNIS habitat types. This work is done with the involvement of various EVS experts outside Alterra and contributes to reaching the goals of the European Vegetation Survey.
(4) The Special Feature entitled “Vegetation Science and Habitats Directive”, edited by Fabio Attorre, Sandro Pignatti, Francesco Spada, Laura Casella and Emiliano Agrillo, was published in the journal Rendiconti Lincei, Scienze Fisiche e Naturali, in June 2018 (https://link.springer.com/…/29/2/page/1). It contains a series of papers based on selected presentations from the 25th meeting of the European Vegetation Survey (Rome 2015) and other invited papers on the topic. It contains 11 papers plus an editorial.