Apart from scientific presentations, the AGC will provide space for special events that facilitate information exchange and networking. Below, you can find descriptions of the planned events. Participants will have the opportunity to register for these events at registration. This information will enable us to plan a schedule that minimizes clashes. We reserve the right to cancel any side-events that do not receive an adequate level of interest.

Meet the Editors: This interactive event aims to bring participants and editors of relevant journals together. Participants can ask any questions about all stages of the publishing process, such as submission, evaluation criteria, language issues, how to reply to editors and how to respond to a rejection. Participants will also have the opportunity to learn more about the “kitchen” of publishing. On the podium there will be several experienced editors from a wide range of relevant international scientific journals:

  • Shuli Niu (Associate Editor for the journals Ecology LettersFunctional Ecology, and Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences)
  • Jianshuang Wu (Editor of Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution and Frontiers in Environmental Science)
  • Orsolya Valkó (Editor of Biological Conservation, Specialty Chief Editor of Frontiers of Ecology and Evolution, Guest Editor of Hacquetia)
  • Péter Török (Editor of Restoration EcologyApplied Vegetation ScienceFlora and Land Degradation & Development)
  • Jürgen Dengler (Chief Editor of Vegetation Classification and Survey, Guest Editor of Journal of Vegetation Science and Tuexenia, Editorial Board of Applied Vegetation Science)

Workshop on the vegetation typologies in Asia and their crosswalks to/overlaps with phytosociological syntaxa:The aim of this workshop is to better understand vegetation typologies of Asia from a global point-of-view. Specifically, we would like to harmonize Asian typologies with that of GrassPlot, an EDGG-associated database of multi-scale vegetation-plot data of Palaearctic grasslands and other open habitats (https://edgg.org/databases/GrassPlot). All the vegetation plots incorporated in the GrassPlot database are assigned to a vegetation typology, which include 22 vegetation types grouped into six coarse units (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/action/downloadSupplement?doi=10.1111%2Fjvs.13050&file=jvs13050-sup-0002-AppendixS2.pdf). While this two-level classification, along with its syntaxonomic crosswalk, is reasonably tested for Europe, many “grey” and undefined zones remain for the Asian continent, both in the GrassPlot classification and the syntaxonomic classification. Any contribution about the phytosociological classification of grasslands and other open habitats from any part of the Asian continent, as well as any critical review of the current GrassPlot typological classification, are highly welcome in this workshop. If successful, we anticipate a joint publication on the topic from this workshop. Coordination and contact: Idoia Biurrun (idoia.biurrun@ehu.es) and Riccardo Guarino (guarinotro@hotmail.com).

Young Investigator Competition: This competition will reward young scientists for excellent presentations of their research. Young scientists (less than 30 years old) will be asked during registration if they wish to participate in the contest. During her/his presentation, the applicant will be required to clearly indicate her/his contribution to the presented work. Talks and posters will be evaluated separately.

Happy Hour: At the end of the daily sessions, all participants are invited to join a happy hour, where they can interact with other participants freely and talk. For this purpose, we will offer a cozy virtual event space where people can meet and talk. Guests will have the possibility of chatting with their peers or to join conversations in small groups.

Noticeboard: We will set up a noticeboard on the online conference platform where participants can share their announcements (including job opportunities, scholarships, possibilities of exchange visits, events etc.). Please send your announcements, including any relevant links and files, in good time us at  edgg.agc@gmail.com.

Photo competition: On occasion of the AGC, EDGG is conducting a photo competition on Asian grasslands with four subtopics. The winners will be announced during the Closing Session of the AGC. For details, see separate call in the second call of the conference.

In Europe, IAVS has the flourishing European Vegetation Survey (EVS), in North America the North American Regional Section, in Middle and South America the Regional Section for South America and the Caribbean, and recently an African Regional Section became active. However, Asia, the largest and most populated of all continents, still stays without a regional subgroup of IAVS, and we hope to change this.

We would like to bring together vegetation ecologists dealing with any vegetation type, from tropical to boreal forests, via savannas, steppes, deserts, tundra and wetlands to semi-natural and natural habitats, in any part of Asia, to discuss options of international collaboration. Our plan is to discuss the proposal to establish one (or two or three) Regional Section(s) of IAVS for Asia. Examples of existing Regional Sections and Working Groups of IAVS show that this format allows for multiple joint activities, such as organizing regional workshops and conferences, networking and cooperation on joint projects, joint research expeditions, organization of special features in international journals, and mailing list and internet platforms for job offers. All of this can benefit from logistic and financial support by IAVS, a truly international society of researchers.

We invite all vegetation ecologists based in or working in Asia, whether IAVS members or not, to join the Initial Workshop on the foundation of IAVS Regional Section(s) in Asia. It will take place on IAVS’ Zoom platform on Friday 22 April 2022 from 7:00-8:30 UTC (see https://bit.ly/3Gi3dmx for the time at your time zone). If interested, please register free of charge at https://forms.gle/zJF8sFtR8gcysvW96. This workshop is also a part of the activities within the first Asian Grassland Conference, 19–21 April 2022, organized by the IAVS Working Group EDGG (see p. xx); if you attend this conference, use its online platform for registration.

We tentatively plan the following program:

  • Welcome by David Zelený (IAVS Secretary) and Jürgen Dengler (IAVS Membership Committee)
  • Presentation of IAVS, benefits of IAVS membership, an overview of IAVS Working Groups and Regional Sections, how they work, and how they benefit from IAVS
  • Sharing of experiences by Milan Chytrý (Secretary of the IAVS Working Group European Vegetation Survey) and Reginald Tang Gurooh (Chair of the recently founded IAVS Regional Section for Africa)
  • Questions from the floor
  • Plenum discussion: Should there be one Regional Section for entire Asia or rather two or three Regional Sections and, if so, with which delimitation
  • Optional: if we decide to have several Regional Sections, we may split participants into breakout rooms for each section to get to know each other and plan further steps

The Initiative Committee:

  • David Zelený (IAVS Secretary), National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, zeleny@ntu.edu.tw
  • Jürgen Dengler (Chair of the IAVS Membership Committee), Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland; dr.juergen.dengler@gmail.com
  • Alla Aleksanyan, Academy of Sciences of Armenia, Yerevan, Armenia
  • Didem Ambarlı, Düzce Unitersity, Düzce, Turkey
  • Sumanta Bagchi, Centre of Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, India
  • Kwek Yan Chong, Singapore Botanic Gardens, National Parks Board, Singapore
  • Behlül Güler, Dokuz Eylul University. Izmir, Turkey
  • Yasuhiro Kubota, University of the Ryukyus, Naha, Japan
  • Frank Yonghong Li, Inner Mongolia University, Hohhot, P. R. China
  • Cheng-Tao Lin, National Chiayi University, Chiayi, Taiwan
  • Alireza Naqinezhad, University of Mazandaran, Babolsar, Iran
  • Arkadiusz Nowak, University of Opole, Poland, working in Middle Asia
  • Marcelo Sternberg, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
  • Viktoria Wagner, University of Alberta, Canada, working in Kazakhstan
  • Jianshuang Wu, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science, Beijing, P. R. China
  • Jian Zhang, East China Normal University, Shanghai, P. R. China

Special Features

We are proud to announce that a total of three Special Features in international journals will be produced in conjunction with the AGC, and AGC participants are strongly encouraged to submit their suitable conference contributions there:

Biodiversity and Conservation (https://www.springer.com/journal/10531)
Chair of Guest Editors: Didem Ambarlı (didem.ambarli@gmail.com)
Abstract submission until 01 May 2022 to the Chair of Guest Editors
Topics: Any high-impact papers dealing with biodiversity and conservation of grasslands in Asia

Further details: https://edgg.org/publ/ongoingsfeatures

Vegetation Classification and Survey (https://vcs.pensoft.net/)
Chair of Guest Editors: Jürgen Dengler (dr.juergen.dengler@gmail.com)
Abstract submission until 30 April 2022 to the Chair of Guest Editors
Topics: Papers dealing with classification of Asian grasslands
Further Details: https://vegsciblog.org/2021/11/13/new-special-collection-on-grasslands-of-asia-launched-by-vcs/

Hacquetia (https://ojs.zrc-sazu.si/hacquetia)
Chair of Guest Editors: Orsolya Valkó (valkoorsi@gmail.com)
Abstract submission deadline 28 February 2022 to the Chair of Guest Editors
Topics: Papers dealing with Fauna, flora, vegetation and conservation of Asian grasslands
Further Details: see Palaearctic Grasslands, vol. 51, https://edgg.org/publ/ongoingsfeatures