Preliminary program

Pseudosteppes in Kazakhstan, A. Nowak
Desert steppe in Kazakhstan, I. Smelansky
Meadows in Japan, A. Ushimaru

Photos by J. Dolezal, I. Smelansky and A. Ushimaru

The conference will begin each day with a keynote talk. We welcome Prof. Norbert Hölzel, Prof. Shuli Niu, and Prof. Zhigang Jiang as our keynote speakers. Then, regular talk and speed talk (poster) sessions will take place, with two sessions running in parallel. Following these sessions each day, special events will take place. Participants are welcome to join any of these special events, e.g. Meet the Editors, Workshop for vegetation scientists on the establishment of one or more IAVS Regional Section(s) for Asia, Workshop on vegetation typologies in Asia and their crosswalks to/overlaps with phytosociological syntaxa, and an Introduction to EDGG and GrassPlot.  Each day will culminate in an informal happy hour, where participants can interact freely. In addition, participants can make announcements or initiate get-togethers using the noticeboard. Please find further details on special events page.

Our aim is to make the conference convenient for participants from different time zones, so the programme each day will take approximately 6 hours. The conference will start at 10:00 Istanbul Time and 15:00 Beijing Time and finish at 16:00 Istanbul time and 21:00 Beijing Time every day. We will use an online conference platform for the event, where participants can plan their participation in activities according to their own time zones. Finally, at the end of the conference, a closing ceremony will be held where prizewinners will be announced.  Below is a provisional version of the programme, though it is likely to change depending on the abstract submissions for each individual session.

Daily program


There will be regular talk sessions and speed talk sessions. Each person may submit an abstract for up to two talks, but only one talk in the regular talk sessions.

Regular talk sessions: There will be two 2-hour regular talk sessions run in parallel each day. Each session will consist of four 15-min talks. The talks will be delivered live, but the presenters should provide a pre-recorded presentation (up to 12 min) before the conference, for use in case of technical issues. The recorded presentation should clearly deliver the presentation, and a recommended format is a slide video show, with the talk recorded.

Speed talk sessions:  There will be two 1-hour speed talk sessions running in parallel each day, for poster presenters to introduce their posters using a pre-recorded short video. Each video may show up to 3 slides, and should last no longer than three minutes. Each session is planned to have 15 video presentations, and be followed by a half-hour session to gather all of the presenters and participants for questions and answers on the posters and speed talks. The posters will be accessible via the conference platform throughout the duration of the conference. Visitors will be able to send their questions to the presenters via the online platform. A chat option will also be available for online participants.

Themes of the sessions

The themes cover all aspects of research and conservation relevant to Asian natural and semi-natural grasslands. Below you can find a preliminary list of the session topics with short descriptions. Presentations on all subjects of grassland research are also welcome.

  1. Biodiversity of grasslands: the patterns, dynamics and drivers of a wide range of biodiversity levels in any taxonomic group
  2. Ecology and taxonomy of plant and fungi species in grasslands: including the distribution, population dynamics, ecophysiology, phylogenetic relationships etc. of individual species, or a specific taxonomic group
  3. Ecology and taxonomy of grassland vertebrate species: including the distribution, population dynamics, phylogenetic relationships, behaviour, ecophysiology etc. of individual taxa. This session also covers wildlife management.
  4. Ecology and taxonomy of grassland invertebrate species: including the distribution, population dynamics, phylogenetic relationships, trophic interactions, behavior etc. of any taxa.
  5. Grassland ecosystems under global change, including climate change, land-use change, habitat destruction, biotic invasions and eutrophication, carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emissions, and their impacts, mitigation and adaptation in natural and semi-natural grasslands.
  6. Functional ecology of grasslands, including nutrient cycling, hydrology, pollination, herbivory, predation, decomposition etc, plant-animal- microbial interactions, biological functional traits and ecosystem multifunctionality.
  7. Grassland conservation, management and restoration, including the conservation planning and management of protected areas and national parks, management of grasslands for animal husbandry and relevant ecosystem services, and for sustainable use of natural resources, and theory and techniques for restoring degraded or desertified grasslands.
  8. Vegetation and habitat classification of grasslands, at any level and with any scientific approach
  9. Remote-sensing, mapping and modelling of grasslands, including biogeography, vegetation zonation, land-cover classification, grassland monitoring and assessment. 
  10. Livelihoods and sustainability of pastoral communities, including evaluation of the values of multiple ecosystem services, policies for ecological compensation, payment schemes for conservation, low-carbon pastoral farms,  green food production, ecotourism.
  11. Open-subject session: This section is for any contributions that do not suit the themes listed above