Air Pollution threats to Plant Ecosystems Conference

Congress participant in the presentations room
Congress participant under the Cyprus sun

The conference entitled "Air Pollution threats to Plant Ecosystems", organized by ARCHES-Conseils will take place in Paphos (Cyprus). This event is co-organized by the Committee on Air Pollution Effects Research on Mediterranean Ecosystems (CAPERmed), the Research Group "Air Pollution and Climate Change" 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 CAPERmed IV meeting will be held on 11-12 October 2021, back-to-back with the 3rd International Conference on "Ozone and Plant Ecosystems" and the 30th international biennial conference of the IUFRO Research Group on "Air pollution and climate change" on 11-14 October 2021. A full-day excursion is planned on 15th October 2021.

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 discuss the significance of long-term ecological research solving the main problem - reaction, adaptation and sustainability of plant ecosystems to changing air pollution and climatic conditions.

Dr. Pierre Sicard

Dr. Pierre Sicard

"Following the postponement of the 2020’ conference due to COVID-19 pandemic, I am pleased to announce that the joint conference entitled "Air Pollution threats to Plant Ecosystems" will be held in Paphos on 11-15 October 2021. This international conference aims to provide an attractive stage for fruitful scientific discussion to identify priorities, solutions and challenges for future research with an ultimate goal of improved health, sustainability and productivity of plant ecosystems worldwide."

Pierre Sicard, PhD in Atmospheric Chemistry, is working on air pollution and climate change impacts on forests ecosystems to reduce the risk for plant ecosystems, by using modelling; deposition model; epidemiological studies; and statistical and multivariate analysis. Dr Pierre Sicard is coordinator of the LIFE AIRFRESH project "Air pollution removal by urban forests for a better human well-being" ( Under the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), Pierre Sicard is Deputy of the Working Party "Air Pollution and Climate Change". He is involved in the Editorial Board of Environmental Research & Climate journals. Dr Pierre Sicard is also involved as Regional Expert Group on Climate in "Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur" region.

Evgenios Agathokleous

Prof. Evgenios Agathokleous

"It is a great pleasure to welcome you to the 2021 events "Air Pollution threats to Plant Ecosystems". The events will be held in Cyprus, a regional hub for climate-change and air pollution research in the Middle East and Mediterranean regions. Air pollution remains a persistent threat to plants and plant ecosystems, urging for international cooperation and unified research efforts. For the first time, the three events are brought together in an effort to enhance cooperation and exchange of ideas, and to encourage the adoption of common priorities for the coming decade. The organizers welcome participants from all over the world."

Evgenios Agathokleous, PhD in Environmental Resources, is a Professor (full-time) at the Institute of Ecology, School of Applied Meteorology, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, China. He is also an officer of the IUFRO, actively involved in the coordination of the Research Group 8.04.05 "Ground-level Ozone". His research focuses on the impacts of environmental change on vegetation and ecological processes and on how optimum ecological protection can be offered so as to maintain ecological health and resilience. He is highly interested in regulatory activities and societal translation of science.

Prof. Elena Paoletti

Prof. Elena Paoletti

"Following the success of the conference "Ozone and Plants" held in Beijing in May 2014 and in Florence in May 2018, I am pleased to announce this follow-up conference. This joint conference has the capacity of attracting scientists from very different countries and scientific backgrounds. We have the ambition to allow crop, forest and grassland experts as well as experimentalists, monitoring experts and modelers from all over the world to dialogue and share their most updated knowledge for the protection of plant ecosystems from air pollution in a changing climate. We cordially invite you not to miss this unique opportunity."

Elena is research director at the Italian National Council of Research, Institute of Research on Terrestrial Ecosystems, in Florence. She has several roles in the IUFRO, e.g. member of the IUFRO Board and coordinator of the Task Force on Climate Change and Forest Health. She is Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the European Forest Institute, visiting professor at the Chinese Academy of Science in Beijing, editor for several journals e.g. Science of the Total Environment, Vice-President of the Italian Society of Forest Ecology and Silviculture. Elena has been working on the impacts of air pollution and climate change on plant ecosystems for around 30 years.

Dr. Silvana Munzi

Dr. Silvana Munzi

"The challenge we are facing to protect the environment and cope with global change requires a multidisciplinary and unified effort. We hope that the researchers gathered in this meeting can take advantage of their different expertise and points of view to establish long-term cooperation and find solutions toward sustainability. More than a stage to show our research, we aim at creating a stimulating environment to exchange ideas."

Silvana Munzi is Research Assistant at the Universidade de Lisboa where she held a Marie Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellow. Her current research is driven by three overarching objectives: i) exploit the possible practical applications of lichens as ecological indicators; ii) investigate common patterns of stress response, in particular nitrogen, in symbiotic systems; iii) provide science-based indications on nitrogen use to industry, policy-makers and citizenry for a more sustainable development. Her interest in Mediterranean ecosystems contributed to her engagement in the CAPERmed. She is Secretary of the International Symbiosis Society, reviewer for several journals and editor for the journal Symbiosis.

Dr. Alessandra De Marco

Dr. Alessandra De Marco

"As new Coordinator of the IUFRO Research Group 8.04.00 "Air pollution and Climate Change", I am glad to invite all the experts working on forest ecosystems to our traditional biennial conference. The conference will be a good opportunity to share knowledge and results about air pollution and climate change impacts on forests ecosystems with an integrated approach, ranging from modeling to monitoring, from genetic to field studies. I look forward to meeting you in Paphos."

Alessandra De Marco is a biologist, researcher in Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA). Involved since 2014, she is coordinator of RG 8.04.00 under the IUFRO. Since 2018 vice-chair of Working Group on Effects under LRTAP convention. Main interest fields are: climate change and air pollution interactions and their synergistic impacts on natural and anthropogenic ecosystems; integrated assessment modeling to estimate beneficial effects of policies and measures to reduce air pollution; modeling air quality and its impacts on ecosystems.

Dr. Felicity Hayes

Dr.  Felicity Hayes

"It’s my pleasure to invite you to the conference on "Air Pollution threats to plant ecosystems". Ground-level ozone pollution is a global problem that requires global measures to reduce the emission of ozone precursors and subsequent adverse impacts on vegetation (crops, forests and other (semi-) natural vegetation). Ozone pollution and its precursors are transported over long distances and ozone is also a potent greenhouse gas. Hence, international negotiations are required to tackle ozone pollution worldwide. Evidence-based research on the impacts of ozone on vegetation is essential to guide international negotiations and assess the effectiveness of air pollution policies."

Dr Felicity Hayes is a scientist (plant ecophysiologist) at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Bangor, UK. She has more than 20 years’ experience in studying the effects of air pollution on vegetation. She is performing experiments on growth and physiological responses of plants and plant communities to ozone in the solardomes and the field-release systems at CEH Bangor, where she is responsible for the day-to-day running of the experiments. Since 2020, she is the Chairman of the ICP Vegetation, an International Cooperative Programme reporting on the impacts of air pollutants on vegetation to the UNECE Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP). An important part of the programme is the development and application of ozone critical levels for vegetation, collating evidence and quantifying impacts of ozone on food production and terrestrial ecosystems.

"On behalf of all organisers, we are pleased to welcome you at the conference and wish you a very fruitful event."

Financial Support

This event is financially supported by :