Eurasian Grassland Conference 2022

Grassland dynamics and conservation in a changing world

Tolosa, Spain, 12-18 September 2022


    First complete call

    The 17th Eurasian Grassland Conference (EGC) will take place in Tolosa, Spain from 12 to 18 September 2022. The conference is organized by the EDGG and the University of the Basque Country. It is supported by the IAVS, 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 five 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

    This year's conference offers three keynote talks, two optional workshops and an optional post-conference excursion, in addition to the talk and poster sessions, mid-conference excursion and grassland party. On 12th September, participants will have the opportunity to participate in two workshops:  i) Meet the Editors of high impact ecology and vegetation journals, ii) workshop on Orthoptera, led by Rocco Labadessa. We welcome Alfonso San Miguel, Monika Janišová and Arkadiusz Nowak as our keynote speakers. The mid-conference excursion will take us to Aizkorri-Aratz Natural Park, and a three-day optional post-conference excursion will take place mostly in Navarre (16–18th September). This region is located at the intersection of three biogeographic regions: Atlantic, Mediterranean and Alpine. Participants will have the opportunity to see grassland landscapes of those biogeographic zones, learn about their flora and fauna, and observe grassland uses. Below you will find the programme.



    12 September               Workshops, Early registration

    12:00-17:30                    Introduction to Orthoptera (lunch in between, after the room session)

    17:30-18:30                    Meet the editors

    18:30-20:00                    Registration and welcome drink

    13 September              Talk and poster sessions

    8:00-9:00                        Registration

    9:00-9:20                        Opening ceremony

    9:20-10:20                      Keynote lecture by Alfonso San Miguel

    10:20-13:30                   Talks and posters, with coffee break

    13:30-15:00                    Lunch in Zerkausia (see map)

    15:00-16:00                    Keynote lecture by Monika Janišová

    16:00-19:00                    Talks and posters, with coffer break

    19:00                              Touristic tour

    14 September               Mid-conference excursion, Grassland Party and Auction

    8:00                                Departure of buses from Navarra bridge (see map)

    19:00                              Grassland Party in Arantzazu with Auction

    21:00 to 22:00                Departure of buses from Arantzazu to Tolosa

    21:30 to 22:45                Arrival at Tolosa

    15 September              Talk and poster sessions

    9:00-10:00                      Keynote lecture by Arkadiusz Nowak

    10:00-13:30                    Talks and posters, with coffee break

    13:30-15:00                    Lunch in Zerkausia (see map)

    15:00-17:45                    Talks and posters, with coffee break

    17:45-19:00                    General Assembly and Closing Ceremony

    16-18 September          Post-conference excursion

    16 September, 8:00        Departure from Tolosa (Navarra bridge)

    18 September, 20:00      Arrival at Bilbao 

    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 Gorbeia 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. Arkadiusz Nowak, professor at the Institute of Biology in the Opole University, Poland, will present an overview of the diversity of open habitats occurring in Tajikistan with some remarks to their conservation status and perspectives.

    Alfonso San Miguel
    Monika Janišová
    Arek Nowak

    Keynotes of the conference: Alfonso San Miguel,  Monika Janišová and Arkadiusz Nowak


    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 20-30 min. away by train (, 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 €25.
    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. (800 m slope), led by Javier Loidi, where participants will enjoy hiking through forests, several grassland types, heathlands and rupicolous habitats near the summit; and 2) Visit 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 will finish in Bilbao.

    alpine grassland

    Alpine grassland in the Western Pyrenees. Photo: Asun Berastegi.

    Grassland party

    The Grassland Party will take place on 14th September, 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 IAVS members.
    • 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 until 30th April, including a short motivation letter. Applicants for IAVS travel grants must be IAVS members for the year 2022. Information about travel grants will be given at the latest by 31th May.

    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, early career scientists (less than 35 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, Department of Environment and Hydraulic Works


    Government of Navarre