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The Eurasian Dry Grassland Group (EDGG), formerly the European Dry Grassland Group, has two predecessors, which formnow subgroups within EDGG: the German Arbeitsgruppe Trockenrasen and the Working Group on Dry Grasslands in the Nordic and Baltic Region.

The Arbeitsgruppe Trockenrasen was founded in 2004 within the joint Arbeitskreis Syntaxonomie of the Floristisch-Soziologische Arbeitsgemeinschaft and the Reinhold-Tüxen-Gesellschaft. The basic aim of the Arbeitsgruppe Trockenrasen was and is to compile a comprehensive phytosociological database of dry grassland communities in Germany and to use this database for a consistent classification of these communities. Additionally, the Arbeitsgruppe Trockenrasen organised annual conferences (including excursions) on topics related to dry grasslands from its first year of existence onwards.

The Working Group on Dry Grasslands in the Nordic and Baltic Region is an informal network, initiated in 2005 by Jürgen Dengler to bring together dry grassland researchers from the countries in Northern Europe and around the Baltic Sea to join data for advanced analyses. This working group has already established a large vegetation database of dry grasslands and related communities from this region.

The annual meetings of the Arbeitsgruppe Trockenrasen were bilingual (German and English) from the beginning and they increasingly attracted colleagues from outside Germany. In addition, more and more persons from other countries than Germany applied to become members of the Arbeitsgruppe Trockenrasen despite of the fact that its geographic focus is on Germany and communication is in German. Both developments combined with the fact that the 5th Dry Grassland Meeting was to be held in Kiel at the Baltic Sea coast, gave rise to the idea to organise this meeting jointly with the Working Group on Dry Grasslands in the Nordic and Baltic Region and basically in English. This approach became a full success as the meeting in Kiel attracted also colleagues from outside the Nordic-Baltic region and Germany. Altogether, participants from nearly a dozen countries attended the conference and appreciated the new concept.

As the general feeling at the Kiel meeting was that also in future a framework for exchange on dry grassland research and conservation beyond national borders in Europe is needed, it was decided at the closing session of the meeting to establish the European Dry Grassland Group (EDGG). This should serve as platform/network at continental level and take over the future organisation of the Dry Grassland Meetings to be held at varyint locations throughout Europe. Three colleagues from different European countries volunteered to serve as chairs of EDGG for the first period.

In October 2008, EDGG started with 191 members from 24 countries (i.e. the combined members of the Arbeitsgruppe Trockenrasen and the Working Group on Dry Grasslands in the Nordic and Baltic Region plus the participants of the Kiel meeting). In December 2008, we published the first issue of our quarterly Bulletin and launched a prototype of our homepage. Then, in January 2009 a more attractive and functional version of the EDGG internet representation was made available. The number of EDGG members and the variety of their countries has been steadily growing since the foundation.

Since October 2009, EDGG is an official Working Group of the International Association for Vegetation Science (IAVS)

In July 2015, the name of the organization was changed to Eurasian Dry Grassland Group and the name of our conferences to Eurasian Dry Grassland Conference (approved by a vote of the general membership). In accordance with those changes, our scope was modified to include “Palaearctic natural and semi-natural grasslands”(approved by the Executive Committee). In December 2015, the motto "Grassland Research and Conservation" was added to our logo with the approval of the Executive Commitee.

 

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Last update 26.12.2015
webpage editor: Didem AMBARLI