Eurasian Grassland Conference 2022

Grassland dynamics and conservation in a changing world

Tolosa, Spain, 5-11 September 2022

As you know, due to Covid-19 pandemic, we postponed our 2020 Eurasian Grassland Conference (EGC) to 2021. Last spring, the local organizing committee of the planned conference in Tolosa, Spain (Idoia Biurrun, Itziar García-Mijangos, Javier Loidi, Juan Antonio Campos, Isabel Salcedo, Peter B. Pearman, Asun Berastegi, Raquel Ponti), in consultation with the EDGG Executive Committee, decided to postpone the Tolosa conference until 2022.

The conference will be held with the same theme, sessions, keynote speakers and a similar schedule as planned for 2020. Detailed information on dates and registration will be announced on the EDGG website and Palaearctic Grasslands during winter 2022. We hope that many of you will be able to join us, and we will welcome all of you to Tolosa. Consequently, the conference planned to be organized by Peter Török and his colleagues next year in Hungary, has been postponed until 2023.


    First call

    The 17th Eurasian Grassland Conference (EGC) will take place in Tolosa, Spain in 5 to 11 September 2022. The conference is organized by the EDGG and the University of the Basque Country. It is supported by the Basque Government, Gipuzkoa Provincial Council, the Town Council of Tolosa, the University of the Basque Country, the Government of Navarre and Hazi (Public agency for rural, coastal and food development). The theme of the 17th EGC is Grassland dynamics and conservation in a changing world. The conference aims to improve our knowledge of the diversity and management of Palaearctic grasslands in face of global change. We intend to emphasize the following topics in four sessions: 

    1. Succession and species turnover in abandoned grasslands

    2. Biodiversity of urban grasslands

    3. Above and belowground grassland diversity

    4. Grassland conservation and global change

    5. Classification of Palaearctic grasslands and other open habitats

    6. Conservation genetics

    Below given is an overview of the program intended for 2021. In 2022, we will follow a similar program but there may be slight changes due to organization conditions at that time. 


    6 September      Talks and poster sessions including keynote lectures by Alfonso San Miguel and Monika Janišová, followed by a touristic tour

    7 September      Mid-conference excursion, grassland party and auction

    8 September      Talk and poster sessions including keynote lecture by Frank Yonghong Li, followed by the general assembly and closing ceremony

    9-11 September  Post-conference excursion

    Sheep heard grazing on Violion caninae
    Mares and foul in Violion caninae
    Calf and cow in Gorbia mountain

    Views from Okolin mountain, Navarre (left) and Gorbea Mountain, Basque country by Juan Antonio Campos


    We are delighted to welcome three keynote speakers to the conference. Alfonso San Miguel, professor at the Department of Natural Systems and Resources in the Polytechnic University of Madrid, will provide an overview of the diversity of natural and semi-natural grasslands in Spain and their associated biodiversity, and on their conservation status after the changes in their management during the last decades. Monika Janišová, a researcher at the Institute of Botany in the Slovak Academy of Sciences, will present several examples of traditional nature-friendly farming practices on species-rich semi-natural grasslands in the Carpathian Mountains and emphasize the importance of traditional ecological knowledge. Frank Yonghong Li, a professor in the School of Ecology and Environment, Inner Mongolia University, China, will provide an overview of species diversity and vegetation dynamics of the Eurasian steppes in relation with climate and land-use changes, with a special focus on conservation challenges.

    Alfonso San Miguel
    Monika Janišová
    Frank Yonghong Li

    Keynotes of the conference: Alfonso San Miguel,  Monika Janišová and Frank Yonghong Li


    The conference will be held in Tolosa (Basque Country, Spain, with 20,000 inhabitants), a historic town in the province of Gipuzkoa, 25 km away from the province capital, San Sebastian (Donostia in Basque), a famous touristic location, a 20-30 min. train journey away (, Gipuzkoa; The registration and conference sessions will be held in TOPIC, the Tolosa Puppets International Centre, in Tolosa city centre: Euskal Herria, 1. Please find detailed information about the venue, accommodation options, travel details and visa issues in the Venue page.

    Map of Tolosa, please click to see in Googlemaps.


    Cows near Bilbao (left) and mares and foal in Aralar Natural Park (center and right). Photos by Itziar García-Mijangos


    17th EGC offers two optional workshops:

    • Meet the editors workshop will provide an opportunity to participants to meet with editors of high impact journals, ask questions about peer-review process and get useful information for submission of succesful papers. It will be facilitated by Didem Ambarlı. The workshop is free of charge.
    • Introduction to Orthoptera workshop will provide key aspects on the taxonomy and ecology of grasshoppers, katydids and crickets through a brief course indoors and practical activities in the field. It will be led by Rocco Labadessa who is an expert in insect ecology and conservation, with specific studies on orthopteran ecology and biogeography. This event is optional, with a fee of €20.
    Saga pedo
    Tylopsis liliifolia
    Prionotropis appula

    Saga pedo, Tylopsis liliifolia and Prionotropis appula by Rocco Labadessa


    17th EGC offers a mid-conference excursion to the Aizkorri-Aratz Natural Park (1 day) and a post-conference excursion in Navarre (3 days). The mid-conference excursion aims to show participants the biodiversity-rich grasslands of the Cantabrian valleys and mountains in the Basque Country. Two optional excursions are planned: 1) Mountain walk to summits of Aizkorri mountain range, 1551 m a.s.l., led by Javier Loidi, where participants will enjoy hiking through forests, several grassland types, heathlands and rupicolous habitats near the summit; and 2) Visit two farms, meadows and pastures in Aralar and Aizkorri mountain ranges, led by Idoia Biurrun. In this second excursion farmers will show us the traditional management of meadows and pastures, including an exhibition of shepherd dogs working with the sheep herd, and we will also walk along beautiful landscapes in the foothills and slopes of these two mountains. Both excursions with join at 19:00 for the Grassland Party nearby the Arantzazu sanctuary. The participants need to indicate in the registration, which mid-conference excursion option they will attend.


    Subalpine grasslands in Larra-Contienda

    Post-conference excursion (3 days), led by Asun Berastegi. This optional three-day excursion will take place mostly in Navarre, a highly diverse region where three biogeographic regions meet: Atlantic, Alpine and Mediterranean. The participants will have the opportunity to see grassland landscapes of those biogeographic units, and learn about their flora and fauna, as well as grassland use. We will visit heathlands, mires, meadows, mesic and dry grasslands, thorn-cushion scrubs, mediterranean grasslands and alpine grasslands, from the coast of the Bay of Biscay through the Basque-Cantabrian mountains south to the Ebro valley, from here to western Pyrenees, and back to the Cantabrian valleys and the sea-coast in the French Basque Country.

    alpine grassland

    Alpine grassland in the Western Pyrenees. Photo: Idoia Biurrun.

    Grassland party

    The Grassland Party will take place near the Arantzazu sanctuary, where the participants of the two mid-conference excursions will join at around 19:00. The Sanctuary, located over a steep ravine at 750 m a.s.l., is the main entrance to Aizkorri-Aratz Natural Park, and is famous for its great artistic and architectonic value. During the Grassland Party we will taste local food (cheese, vegetables, meat, etc.) and drink (cider, wine), and we will have the opportunity to see and listen to Basque traditional dances and music. An auction will again be organized for fund-raising purposes for future EDGG events. It will take place during the Grassland Party in Arantzazu. Conference participants are encouraged to bring grassland-related treasures from their countries. All items brought for the auction will be delivered upon registration, so that they can be exhibited during the first conference day.

    Aquilegia pyrenaica
    Centaurea nigra
    Salix pyrenaica

    Aquilegia pyrenaica, Centaurea nigra, Salix pyrenaica. Photos by Asun Berastegi

    Financial support

    Thanks to the EDGG’s mother organization IAVS, we can support a number of participants with travel grants. Travel grants will be awarded according to the IAVS criteria, based on income level and country of origin. They will preferentially be given to early-career and other financially constrained scientists. The support usually covers only part of the participant’s costs, according to the number of successful applications.

    Eligibility and requirements:

    • The applicants should be a IAVS member.
    • To qualify for a travel grant, active participation at the conference (oral presentation or poster) is required.
    • Only the presenter of the contribution will be supported so each applicant should apply with a separate talk or poster and she/he will be the presenter.
    • After the conference, grantees must provide a short report of the event, and some photos that can be used in Palaearctic Grasslands.

    Travel grants can be applied for during online registration, including a short motivation letter. Applicants for IAVS travel grants must be IAVS members of current year

    As in previous years, prizes will be awarded to young scientists for excellent presentation of their research (orally or in poster form). For these purposes, young scientists (less than 30 years old) will be asked during registration if they wish to participate in the contest. An applicant can apply for one category (best talk or poster) in one conference. During her/his presentation, applicant needs to explain clearly her/his contribution to the work.

    We welcome you in Tolosa!


    Rana temporaria in Nardus grassland (left) and female Argiope bruennichi in wetland, Gorbeia mountain. Photos by Juan Antonio Campos


    Basque Government

    International Association of Vegetation Science

    University of the Basque Country

    Town Council of Tolosa

    Gipuzkoa Provincial Council


    Government of Navarre