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2014: 11th  European Dry Grassland  Meeting "Steppes and Semi-natural dry grasslands: ecology, transformation and restoration" was held in Russia, Tula,  5-15 June, conference homepage

2013: International Conference "Concepts for modern management of xeric grasslands between nature conservation and agriculture". Co-organised by EDGG and Brandenburg Academy Criewen Castle, 26th – 27th September, 2013

Presentations, Abstracts

2013: International Conference "Open Landscapes 2013 - Ecology, Management and Nature Conservation", 29 September - 3 October 2013. Co-organized by EDGG and University of Hildesheim, NW Germany .  conference homepage

2013: 10th  European Dry Grassland  Meeting  When theory meets practice: Conservation and restoration of grasslands was held in Poland 24-31 May, Zamosc, conference homepage

2012: 9th European Dry Grassland Meeting  Dry Grasslands of Europe: Grazing and Ecosystem Services  (Prespa, Greece)
         CONFERENCE HOMEPAGE
         Minutes from the General Assembly
         Abstracts, posters, presentations
         Planned Dry Grassland Special Features
more information
             
 Special Feature planned for Annali di Botanica - Coenology and Plant
              Ecology
             
 Dry Grassland Special Feature in Tuexenia 33 (2013)
              Virtual Special Feature planned for
Applied Vegetation Science

2011: 8th European Dry Grassland Meeting  Dry grassland of Europe: biodiversity, classification, conservation and management (Uman', Ukraine)
         
CONFERENCE HOMEPAGE
         Minutes from the General Assembly
         Abstracts, posters, presentations
         
Dry Grassland Special Features

2010: 7th European Dry Grassland Meeting Succession, restoration and management of dry grasslands (Smolenice, Slovak Republic)
         
CONFERENCE HOMEPAGE
         Smolenice Grassland Declaration
         Minutes from the General Assembly
         Abstracts, posters, presentations
         
Dry Grassland Special Feature in Tuexenia 31 (2011) introduction, articles
         Dry Grassland Special Feature in Plant Biosystems 145 (3)

2009: 6th European Dry Grassland Meeting: Dry grasslands – species interaction and distribution (Halle (Saale), Germany)
2008: 5th European Dry Grassland Meeting: Dry grasslands in a changing environment (Kiel, Germany)
2007: 4th European Dry Grassland Meeting: Restoration and spontaneous establishment of dry and semi-dry grasslands at traditional and urban-industrial sites (Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany)
2005: 2nd European Dry Grassland Meeting: Observation scales in dry grasslands (Münster, Germany)
2004: 1st European Dry Grassland Meeting: Dry grasslands as biodiversity hotspots (Lüneburg, Germany)


2010: 7th European Dry Grassland Meeting:  Succession, restoration and management of dry grasslands (Smolenice, Slovak Republic)

The idea of dry grassland meetings is more than 7 years old. This idea was formed in Germany and its basic aim was to gather people dealing with the diversity, classification and conservation of dry grassland vegetation. It was also Germany where the first six grassland meetings took place (Luneburg, Munster, Freising, Kiel and Halle). This year, the European Dry Grassland Meeting took place outside Germany for the first time. In some respect, it was a reflection of the ever wider cooperation among dry grassland scientists connected within the European Dry Grassland Group.  

The 7th European Dry Grassland Meeting was held in Smolenice (Slovak Republic) from 27 May to 1 June 2010. The Congress Centre of the Slovak Academy of Sciences provided a pleasant location for scientific debates and was highly appreciated by all participants. Altogether, 100 participants from 19 European countries (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Macedonia, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Sweden, Ukraine, United Kingdom) and Australia took part in the meeting.  

The conference was devoted to applied ecological aspects of dry grasslands – their succession, management and restoration. These topics have recently become increasingly important. Secondary succession is a widespread phenomenon contributing significantly to degradation of dry grassland ecosystems. However, management and restoration are human activities helping to maintain dry grassland diversity. Slovakia is one of the most “successional” countries in Europe. The land-use changes commonly occurring within the whole continent are multiplied here in their consequences due to strong political changes during the last 60-70 years. The collectivisation and agricultural cooperatives during the second half of the 20th century were accompanied by a decreasing management intensity and land abandonment. Although the land was returned to private owners after the velvet revolution in 1989, the general trend of land abandonment continued.

The conference was devoted to the memory of Pavel Deván, one of the best Slovak experts in zoology of invertebrates and important nature conservationist. He devoted his life to the conservation and practical management of grasslands in the Biele Karpaty Mts.  where he also lived with his wife Katarína and three children who took part in the meeting, too.

In the introductory session the participants were welcomed by Monika Janišová (Institute of Botany, Slovak Academy of Sciences and European Dry Grassland Group), Ján Šeffer (DAPHNE – Institute of Applied Ecology) and Drahomír Stano (Administration of the Landscape Protected Area Biele Karpaty and NGO Pre Prírodu). Katarína Rajcová introduced Pavel Deván and his life. After that, the participants enjoyed a talk by Ladislav Mucina focusing on origin and evolution of dry grasslands of Central Europe. This influential vegetation scientist, recently made Professor of Environmental and Aquatic Science at the Curtin University of Technology in Australia, was born in Piešťany, a city located about 30 km from Smolenice. Years ago, Laco has worked at the Institute of Botany in the Slovak Academy of Sciences and carried out research in the regions of the meeting excursions. These were some of the reasons why he did not hesitate to travel such a huge distance from the southern hemisphere to attend this meeting. The next speaker, Daniela Dúbravková provided an overview of Slovak dry grassland vegetation. Then, Ján Šeffer informed the participants in detail about the mapping of grassland vegetation and application of its results.

The second session, chaired by J. Dengler focussed on conservation of grassland species, communities and habitats (strategies, experiences) included 6 talks by C. Hobohm, V. Šefferová Stanová, I. Vitasovic Kosic, Z. Drillet, M. Vrahnakis and S. Burrascano. The third session, chaired by L. Mucina and focussing on methodological issues (evaluation of habitat quality, detection of favourable habitat conditions, classification of successional stages and degraded communities), included 4 talks by S. Bartha, S. Maccherini, W. Willner and S. Hanoteaux. The fourth and the fifth sessions chaired by C. Wellstein and K. Prach focussed on processes in succession and management effects. Both sessions included 11 talks by Ľ. Halada, S. Znamenskiy, A. Catorci, J. Šeffer, L. Rose, D. Galvánek, S. Kandrelis, M. Seifan, M. Wiezik, J. Dengler and J. Házi.

Session 6 chaired by V. Stanová was devoted to restoration of dry grasslands. Eight lectures were given by Jongepierová, P. Török, A. Csecserits, B. Tóthmérész, G. Matus, C. Wellstein, A. Ödman and E. Volkova. Then the destinations of the three field excursions were introduced by M. Janišová, I. Škodová and K. Hegedüšová. The program continued with social events. After the guided tour through the Smolenice castle, the grassland party was opened in the castle courtyard. The results of competition for the best talk and poster contributions were announced. The winners, M. Wiezik (the best talk on “The importance of dry grasslands for preservation of ant communities in cultural landscape of central Slovakia” and I. Paulini (the best poster on “Vegetation survey of the hay meadows in the proposed Natura 2000 site „Eastern Hills of Cluj, Transylvania, Romania”), were awarded by the book on Grasslands of the White Carpathian Mountains edited by I. Jongepierová.

The third EDGG General Assembly took place after the first day’s oral presentations (the special report is devoted to this event in this Bulletin issue, pp. 10–13). During the three following days the conference participants visited dry and semi-dry grassland sites in the Tematínske vrchy Mts. (the first excursion guided by L. Mucina, M. Janišová, K. Rajcová and S. Mertanová), Biele/Bílé Karpaty Mts. (the second excursion guided by I. Škodová, K. Devánová, S. Mertanová, I. Jongepierová and K. Fajmon) and Malé Karpaty Mts. (the third excursion guided by K. Hegedüšová and V. Feráková). The pdf versions of the talks and poster presentations for which the authors agreed to publish their electronic version will be available at http://www.edgg.org/edgg_meeting.html. On this web page you can also find the conference proceedings and the photo gallery from the meeting.

During the conference, the text of Smolenice Grassland Declaration was formulated. By now, 108 participants, invited scientists and persons of different institutions and authorities from 20 countries have signed this declaration (the list of signatories is available at the conference homepage http://www.edgg.org/edgg_meeting.html). We invite you to join our Declaration and sign it electronically.

Finally we would like to express our thanks to all conference participants for their valuable scientific contributions, good mood and high resistance against the moisture stress. We are grateful to Monika Budzáková, Daniela Dúbravková, Dobromil Galvánek, Peter Jánsky, Jana Medvecká, Zuzana Melečková, Sylvia Mertanová, Mária Petrášová, Katarína Rajcová and Janka Smatanová for intensive help before and during the meeting. We thank to Karel Fajmon, Viera Feráková, Ivana Jongepierová and Ladislav Mucina for help in guiding excursions. We are grateful to the heads of Institute of Botany, Slovak Academy of Sciences and Daphne – Institute of Applied Ecology for their support during the conference organisation, to organisations of the State Nature Conservancy for enduring high density of grassland scientists in the protected areas. The meeting was supported by a grant „Management models for grassland habitats” through the EEA Financial Mechanism and the Norwegian Financial Mechanism and from the state budget of the Slovak Republic in the framework of individual project SK0115 and by the Floristisch-soziologische Arbeitsgemeinschaft e. V.

Monika Janišová, Banská Bystrica, Slovakia
Iveta Škodová, Bratislava, Slovakia
Katarína Hegedušová, Bratislava, Slovakia   

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Minutes from the General Assembly of the EDGG

These notes were kept by Michael Vrahnakis – if there are points that participants wanted to be presented here and they are not please do not hesitate to make a conduct with Michael at mvrahnak@teilar.gr and additional material of the G.A. maybe presented in the next 8th Bulletin.

The General Assembly (G.A.) of the EDGG during the 7th European Dry Grassland Meeting in Smolenice took place after the first day’s oral presentations (28/05/2010), starting at 20:00 hrs. Before the G.A. the three members of the Executive Committee (E.C.) present, Jürgen Dengler, Monika Janisova and Michael (Mike) Vrahnakis had a short meeting just to structure the general shape of the G.A. Eight major topics were discussed during the G.A. chaired by Jürgen Dengler.

The first one was about some introductory notes, like membership development, subgroup formation, and relationships with other organizations. The rapid expansion of our Organization was illustrated by figures that show an expansion from 191 members in 09/12/2008 up to 561 members in 13/05/2010. A special acknowledgement was addressed to Mike’s effort to expand our Organization in the Mediterranean countries. The announcement of the new EDGG subgroup formation for the south-east European countries (SEEDGG) was shortly presented with a special reference to its dynamic nature (134 members, 14 countries). A general conclusion was that despite the rapid expansion, there are still European countries missing or with rather low representativeness in EDGG. We shortly discussed the need to establish closer relationships with organizations like IAVS, EGF, and FAO.

Secondly, a short report from the present members of the E.C. was devoted to the activities related to their responsibilities, and a short introduction was made for the responsibility allocated to the new member of the E.C. (Mike) to support Solvita in editing the EDGG homepage. The G.A. welcomed the new member of the E.C. and his responsibilities.

Thirdly, Jürgen outlined the present status of some publication- related issues. Tuexenia 30 (2010) with a Dry Grassland Special Feature guest-edited by a team of EDGG members is presently in press and contains six articles + one editorial. Also, it was stressed that, given the efforts are made for Tuexenia to gain an Impact Factor, only high quality papers for the Special Issue devoted to the Smolenice Conference will be accepted by the guest editorial committee. The Dry Grassland Special Feature in Tuexenia 31 (2011) will comprise up to 150 pages, and only invited papers will be accepted to publish. Jürgen expressed his regret that as he was recently informed it would not be possible to have a Special Feature in Applied Vegetation Science (AVS), given that AVS is already planning to devote two complete issues in 2011 to Special Features (Ecoinformatics and Vegetation classification). Nevertheless efforts were and are still made to find a hospitable space in some other significant journals (like Restoration Ecology, Plant Biosystems, Community Ecology, etc.). Mike expressed his thoughts that it might be productive to have some contacts with the Grass and Forage Science that it is the official journal of the European Grassland Federation (IF=1.378). The G.A. approved all the efforts made by the E.C. to find Special Issues for hosting the members’ papers.

In the fourth and fifth session, we discussed about the future venues that may host next EDGG’s conferences and research expeditions. Several future conference venues were proposed by the present members, thus illustrating the emerging robustness and appeal of the EDGG in the scientific European grassland community. Representatives from Ukraine, Greece, Poland, and Russia expressed their wish to host the 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2015 conferences in their countries, respectively. The G.A. approved the Ukrainian proposal to host the conference 2011 in the Dendrological Park of the National Academy of Sciences in Uman’ near Kiev. Anna Kuzemko as chair of the local organizing committee in consultation with the E.C. will publish a First Circular in the next months to be sent to all EDGG members.

In the sixth session Mike presented to the G.A. his thoughts about the expansion of the web site. This expansion may include the construction of: 1. A Dry grassland- related project list where open calls, project names, objectives, participants, findings, publication lists, web links are to be presented. Our members will be able to post all this information for communication purposes. 2. Training and mobility (open calls, running Erasmus projects, etc.) will offer the opportunity to our academic members and their students to exchange experiences and methodologies. 3. Policy issues will offer the opportunity to establish communication with policy makers and to exchange scientifically-based ideas. 4. Alerts for issues for consultation may host relevant links where our members are kindly invited to express their ideas for consulting dry grassland related issues. 5. Finally more Thematic parks, are expected to develop in our web page relevant to (among others) (i) DG and climate change, (ii) DG and desertification, (iii) DG and biodiversity, (iv) DG and renewable energy resources, (v) Methodological issues, (vi) issues of terminology, (vii) country’s DG profile, etc. This way ideas, articles, and papers of our members will find a ground to be expressed and discussed. The G.A. approved these ideas and authorized Mike (together with Solvita) to proceed with the necessary reforms of the web page. Our members are all kindly invited to take part in this initiative by sending relevant information to Mike and Solvita.

The seventh session included governance issues. Jürgen pointed out that the E.C. of the EDGG is not a close group and anyone who has interests in coordinating our members and community is welcome. The G.A. authorized the present E.C. to continue its work. The present E.C. expressed its acknowledgements to the G.A. and it was agreed that such authorizations will take part in every future EDGG conference. It was also reminded that a call for a fifth chair (a zoologist related to dry grasslands, preferably from a country not yet represented among the E.C. members) is still open. In the last (closing) session Jürgen expressed the E.C.’s gratitude for this excellent Smolenice conference, and deeply thanked the organizing committee.

Michael Vrahnakis, Karditsa, Greece  

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2009: 6th European Dry Grassland Meeting: Dry grasslands – species interaction and distribution (Halle (Saale), Germany)

The sixth European Dry Grassland Meeting was held in the central German city of Halle upon the invitation of Dr. Ute Jandt and Dr. Monika Partzsch during the first week of September. The Halle meeting further continued the positive developments of the previous years. While the number of participants was similar to that of the meetings in 2007 and 2008, the number of contributions as well as the number of countries represented increased. With colleagues from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Poland, the Slovak Republic, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, itwas a quite international conference.

Scientific Program
 A total of 15 talks, arranged in four sessions over the 1 ½ days of conference, and 17 posters, presented in two guided poster sessions, gave rise to vivid discussions during the meeting. The topics ranged from population biology and phylogeography of dry grassland species, through regional studies on dry grassland and related vegetation types, diversity patterns, pollination ecology, and simulation studies to conservation issues. Also the geographical scope was extremely wide and even exceeded the number of nationalities represented among the participants (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Poland, Romania, Slovak Republic, Sweden, Switzerland + several supranational studies). Additionally, the local organisers provided the possibility of guided tours through the nice Botanical Garden, in which the institute is situated, and through the city of Halle. A joint dinner in a Mexican restaurant on Monday evening, and a “get together” with barbecue in a greenhouse of the Botanical Garden completed the program and provided plenty of opportunity for discussion and planning of newcooperations.

General Discussion/Assembly of the EDDG
 The General Assembly on Tuesday evening started with a shortreport by each of the three chairs of EDGG on their activities and on the development of EDGG. Jürgen Dengler (reponsible for membership administration and contact with other organisations) reported on the very positive development EDGG experienced during its first year of existence. Starting with 191 members from 24 countries by end of 2008, when the German Arbeitsgruppe Trockenrasen and the Working Group on Dry Grasslands in the Nordic and Baltic Region joined to form the EDDG, our scientific network has experienced a high popularity since, particularly in eastern and southeastern Europe. On 1 September 2009, EDGG had 308 members from 35 countries. Solvita Rūsiņa (managing editor of the EDGG homepage) shortly reported on the functionalities of the homepage and invited the members to contribute to it, both with materials and with technical help. Monika Janišová (managing editor of the EDGG Bulletin) gave an overview on the idea of the Bulletin and invited contributions, particularly to Bulletin No. 4, whose deadline was extended to 15 September 2009. Then, we talked about suggestions, wishes, and offers for venues of the European Dry Grassland Meetings from 2011 onwards. We discussed the invitation of our member Dr. Anna Kuzemko from the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences to host the 2011 meeting in the National Dendrological Park “Sofiefka” in Uman’, some 200 km from Kiev. Anna had prepared a short PowerPoint show to introduce the venue, her institute, and potential destinations for excursions. Her proposal found unambiguous support by all members present, and thus we decided to accept her kind offer. The preferred date (around Whitsun, e.g 13-17 June 2011 vs. sometime in August) was left open and will be decided upon during the next months based on the comments from our members. Further, we discussed about the offer of the president of the International Association for Vegetation Science (IAVS), Prof. Robert Peet, to make EDGG an official working group of this society. Such a closer connection between both organisations could result in mutual benefits. In particular, IAVS offered to consider giving small grants to EDGG activities (such as participation of members from low-income countries in European Dry Grassland Meetings). On the other hand, the status of being an official IAVS working group would involve only minor duties on side of the EDGG, such as preparing an annual report to the IAVS Advisory Council. After a discussion considering pros and cons of such a step, the General Assembly voted 17 : 0 in favour of accepting it, but allowed for additional votes of those members not present in Halle via e-mail ballot until30 September.

Excursions
The destinations of the first excursion on Wednesday wereporphyry outcrops in the surroundings of Halle. Led by Monika Partzsch, Ute Jandt, Helge Bruelheide and Rudolf Schubert, we enjoyed these particular landscape features with their astonishing small-scale β- diversity in sunny and warm late-summer weather. Lunch was held as a picnic on a farm that uses various breeds of sheep and goats as well as nandus for dry grassland restoration. The second, optional excursion on Thursday, again under the guidance of Monika Partzsch, led to the Unstrut valley SW of Halle. In a weather alternating between sun and heavy rain, we visited several nature reserves with stands of Dictamnus albus (burning bush) in forest-edge communities as well as dry and semi-dry basiphilous grasslands. The nice excursion was complemented with anItalian-style picnic with bread, cheese, olives and local wines.

Outlook
The abstracts of the conference contributions are made available on the EDGG homepage. Further, we invite all authors of talks and posters to send pdfs of their contributions to Solvita so these can also be made available on our homepage. Finally, also photos with impressions from the conference and the excursions are welcome for our homepage. Conference-related materials for the homepage should be sent to Solvita (rusina@lu.lv). As in previous years, EDGG plans to publish as many conference contributions as possible in peer-reviewed journals. On the one hand, there will be a Dry Grassland Special Feature in Tuexenia 30, guest-edited by Ute Jandt, Thomas Becker, Monika Janišová, Kathrin Kiehl and Jürgen Dengler (deadline for submission 15 October 2009). On the other hand, contributions with relation to the Hercynian region can be submitted for consideration in the next regular issues of Hercynia N. F. (managing editor: Monika Partzsch).

 

Welcome download

Final discussion and conclusions download

Abstracts: [download]

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2008: 5th European Dry Grassland Meeting: Dry grasslands in a changing environment (Kiel, Germany)

Photos (links to external photo galleries of participants of the conference):
Linda Trein http://gallery.me.com/ltrein

Abstracts download

Articles [link]

Posters and talks:

Large-scale classification of dry grasslands and related communities: approaches, problems, solutions, and firstresults by Jürgen Dengler (pdf file)
Expansion of Rosa rugosa in Coastal Dunes
  by Maike Isermann (pdf file)
Long-term effects of the abandonment of grazing on steppe-like grasslands in Romania by Eszter Ruprecht, Márton Enyedi, Mónika Deák (pdf file)
Vegetation Dynamics  of Abandoned Calcareous Grasslands  on River Terrace Slopes with Different Aspect by Solvita Rusina (pdf file)

Erprobung unterschiedlicher Pflegemaßnahmen zur Reduktion des Land-Reitgrases (Calamagrostis epigejos) auf Sandtrockenrasen in Norddeutschland by Oliver Schuhmacher & Jürgen Dengler (pdf file)

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2007: 4th European Dry Grassland Meeting: Restoration and spontaneous establishment of dry and semi-dry grasslands at traditional and urban-industrial sites (Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany)

 

2006: 3rd European Dry Grassland Meeting: Dry grasslands in Germany: vegetation classification and soil factors (Halle (Saale), Germany, canceled)

 

2005: 2nd European Dry Grassland Meeting: Observation scales in dry grasslands (Münster, Germany)

 

2004: 1st European Dry Grassland Meeting: Dry grasslands as biodiversity hotspots (Lüneburg, Germany)

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Last update 26.09.2009
webpage editor: Solvita Rusina