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It is our great honour and pleasure to host the 56th Symposium of the International Association for Vegetation Science (IAVS 2013) in Tartu, Estonia, to be held on 26–30th June, 2013.

The International Association for Vegetation Science is a bona fide scientific society supporting research in the field of vegetation science, a principal discipline in Ecology. The IAVS is a very active scientific body, typically organising one (and occasionally two) annual general meetings, and publishing two international journals – Journal of Vegetation Science and Applied Vegetation Science – under the auspices of the renowned international publishing house Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK.

The main theme of IAVS 2013 is “Vegetation patterns and their underlying processes”, although topics on all aspects of vegetation science are welcome. Sessions are planned to address innovative theory, methodology and application of vegetation ecology over a range of spatial and temporal scales. Particular focus will be on processes and drivers behind vegetation diversity and dynamics, both in natural and cultural landscapes. The symposium will address patterns and processes concerning natural undisturbed vegetation, as well as under conditions of changing anthropogenic impact. We await papers using traditional descriptive and experimental approaches to vegetation science, as well those which employ modelling or contemporary molecular methods.

Martin ZobelWe expect that every participant will enjoy the interesting scientific program, field excursions and social events. Estonia is located in Northern Europe, on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea, thus lying in the northern part of the temperate zone and in the transition zone between maritime and continental climate. It harbours a great variety of vegetation types, from highly diverse calcareous alvar grassland and wooded meadows to old growth boreal and boreonemoral forests and raised bogs. Tartu, home to about 100 000 people, is the second largest city in Estonia and the most important centre of science and education in the country. It is a city full of young people with a pleasant and scholarly atmosphere.

Martin Zobel
Chairman of Organising Committee of IAVS 2013

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