Welcome to Brazil!
On behalf of the Local Organizing Committee, I would like to invite all vegetation scientists, new and old, to attend the 59th Annual Symposium of the International Association for Vegetation Science (IAVS) that is returning to Brazil after 14 years, but this time in a completely different community type – the savannas of central Brazil.
The Cerrado, the name used for the savannas of central Brazil, is home to an extensive flora, with over 12000 species in its extension of over 2 million km2. The plant communities vary in physiognomy from extensive grassy fields through savanna to forests, both riverine and on uplands, and higher altitude rocky fields. Fire is an important factor in the molding of these communities. Although the plants may not be as well collected as in other parts of the world, the Herbarium of the University of Brasilia has an outstanding collection with emphasis on the flora of the Cerrado.
For the first time in the history of the IAVS, the meeting in 2016 will be within the tropics, but that is not to say that we will be in a hot and humid climate. The Cerrado has a distinct wet season, during our summer, and dry season, during our winter. The meeting will be at the end of our fall season, remember that we will be in the southern hemisphere again, and this is the beginning of the dry season in the region, so we should have warm days and cooler evenings and nights.
The local where the meeting will be held, Pirenópolis, is a small historical city in Brazil. Pirenópolis is located in central Brazil approximately 150 km west of Brasília, our capital, where most of you will arrive. Hopefully everyone will have some time to spend in Brasília also to see why it has been included in UNESCO´s World Heritage sites.
The specific theme of IAVS will be “Conservation of Plant Communities: From Environmental Drivers to Ecosystem Services”, although talks on all aspects of research related to the study of vegetation science will be welcome. There will be specific sessions on Classification of plant communities, Conservação of plant communities, Fire and grazing in the management of non-forest vegetation and Restoration of plant communities, among other topics.
We are confident that all participants in this meeting will be satisfied with the scientific program, field excursions and social events that are being planned. We also hope that all participants will return to their institutes or places of origin with new ideas and new contacts, both national and international.
We hope to see you in Pirenópolis.
John Du Vall Hay
Chair, Local Organizing Committee