Air pollution and climate change remain a persistent threat to plant ecosystems, urging for international cooperation and unified research efforts. Many air pollutants contribute to the Earth’s radiative forcing. Tropospheric ozone is particularly relevant for the linkages between climate change and air pollution.
Currently, tropospheric ozone is the most damaging air pollutant for plant ecosystems and continues to be a serious issue for plant health. Progress has been achieved by controlling the emission of precursors in some areas of the world; however, much remains to be done.
The Mediterranean region is a key for addressing global goals on plant ecosystems due to the unique biodiversity, e.g. it hosts 20% of the world's total floristic richness and is one of the air pollution and climate change hotspots in the world. Cyprus is projected to face the most adverse climate change effects by 2100.
Therefore, there is an urgent need to implement coordinated research. The conference entitled “Air Pollution threats to Plant Ecosystems” is co-organized by the Committee on Air Pollution Effects Research on Mediterranean Ecosystems (CAPERmed), the Research Group “Air Pollution and Climate Change Impacts on Forest Ecosystems” of the International Union of Forest Research Organization (IUFRO 8.04.00), and the International Cooperative Programme on Effects of Air Pollution on Natural Vegetation and Crops (ICP Vegetation).
The 2021’ conference, for the first time, combines three events, offering an excellent example of effective international collaboration in the research of air pollution and plant ecosystems to allow all experts to meet, address complex effects of air pollution and climate change on forest ecosystems, and discuss future strategies and priorities for the coming decade to improve health, sustainability and productivity of plant ecosystems worldwide.