The 60th annual symposium of the International Association for Vegetation Science (IAVS) will take place in Sicily, Italy. The venue will be the Palermo Botanical Garden, and excursion will be organized in both the Sicilian coast and mountains. The theme of the symposium will be “Vegetation patterns in natural and cultural landscapes”.

Vegetation science can inform the sustainable management of landscapes that preserve natural ecosystems and their associated services. Moving towards a shared and integrated strategy for sustainability requires a substantial revision of the general objectives of growth and development: conservation, innovation and new ideas on human habitats should jointly proceed, recognizing the natural vegetation as a readily available monitoring target. At the same time, some reflection would be necessary also for the role of vegetation science and vegetation scientists in promoting ideas of sustainability.

During the IAVS symposium 2017, we will explore and discuss the applications of vegetation science to a wide array of landscapes and land-use patterns, with specific thematic sessions on:
 
- Land-use patterns and vegetation in cultural landscapes
- Green infrastructures and vegetation science
- Functional diversity along environmental gradients
- Vegetation, traits and ecosystem services valuation
- Vegetation dynamics and human-induced successions
- Grasslands, land uses and environmental changes
- Invasive species: past, present and future trends
- Habitat monitoring and conservation assessment
- Vegetation for conservation planning
- Vegetation classification, vegetation management and restoration ecology
- Plant diversity patterns across biomes, habitats and communities
- Vegetation diversity on islands
- Ecological informatics and facilitating vegetation syntheses
- Macroecological analysis and modelling of vegetation patterns

 
Several special session will be also organized, and one of these, "Remote Sensing for Vegetation Science", will be of interest for ECOPOTENTIAL and convened by Ducco Rocchini (associate partner of the project) and Sebastian Schmidtlein.

"Whatever the vegetation property being investigated, from the distribution of a certain species or group of species, traits and functional types to the variability in space and time, field sampling inevitably presents a number of issues, such as the development of a robust sampling design, the definition of the statistical population being sampled, and the time and cost of performing sampling in the field. This is particularly true when considering spatially complex ecosystems. It is practically impossible to gather exhaustive information about the geometry of environmental and species variation over space at a certain time. However, remote sensing is a powerful tool for obtaining continuous information about these targets, since it guarantees whole spatial coverage in a short period of time. The aim of this session is to discuss the potential of remote sensing for vegetation science, especially under the light of plant species modelling and the prediction of biodiversity changes in space and time".

More information about the symposium at:
http://iavs.org/2017-Annual-Symposium