The conference entitled "Air Pollution Threats to Plant Ecosystems"" was held in Paphos (Cyprus) on 11-15 October 2021. This event was successfully organized by the association ARCHES-Conseils, and co-organized by the International Union of Forest Research Organization (IUFRO) and the International Cooperative Programme on Effects of Air Pollution on Natural Vegetation and Crops (ICP Vegetation).
The result of the conference
Air pollution and climate change remain a threat to natural ecosystems, urging for international cooperation and unified research efforts. The Mediterranean region, in particular Cyprus, 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.
The hybrid conference gathered 93 participants from 27 countries, with 61 oral (58 talks + 3 keynote) and 26 poster presentations, to share the current state of knowledge and discuss scientific gaps in the understanding of the interaction of climate change, air pollution and atmospheric deposition and their integrated effects on forest ecosystems.
- Greening cities (27%)
- Genetic & physiological processes (19%)
- Monitoring & modelling (17%)
- Air pollution & climate change (16%)
- Multiple stressors effects (12%)
- Crops (9%)
We reviewed the current knowledge on air pollution and climate change effects on plant ecosystems and identify future strategies and priorities (roadmap) to improve health, sustainability, and productivity of plant systems worldwide:
- Interaction between monitoring vegetation/forest networks.
- Establishment of denser ozone monitoring network in natural forest ecosystems
- Development of models integrating air pollution and climate change data.
- Generation of flux-based critical levels for vegetation protection.
- Long-term monitoring & experiments: better understanding of biogeochemical & physiological processes under climate change.
- More studies addressing combined effects of different biotic & abiotic factors.
- Quantification of green infrastructure effects on air quality and thermal comfort in cities…
The conference serves as an excellent example of effective international collaboration in the research of air pollution and vegetation to allow all experts to meet, address complex effects of air pollution and climate change on natural ecosystems, and discuss future strategies and priorities for the coming decade.
Final number of conference participants from Cyprus: 3
Final number of conference participants from abroad: 70 in-person + 20 online