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2006. 7th European Palaeobotany-Palynology Conference

The 7th European Palaeobotany-Palynology Conference was held in Prague (Czech Republic) from September 6-11th 2006.

The conference took place in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, as it was agreed upon at the IOP meeting in Athens 2002. The interest to participate extended well beyond Europe. About 300 palaeobotanists and palynologists from more than 40 countries of Europe, North and South America, Asia and Australia. Thanks to contributions of various sponsors and registration money, tens of colleagues with minimal funding possibilities from Eastern Europe and elsewhere were invited to the conference and subsidised by the organisation committee. More than 400 abstracts were submitted covering most fields of the fossil plant research.

7th European Palaeobotany-Palynology Conference Logo

The conference was placed in the Czech Technical University area, in the joint building of the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Architecture for the oral presentations and posters. In the general session, three keynote lectures were delivered by Thomas Litt, Jean Galtier and David L. Dilcher. The palaeobotanists from the Netherlands represented by Johanna H. A. van Konijnenburg-van Cittert decided to deliver traditionally at the occasion of the conference the W. H. Jongmans Award, this time to David J. Batten for his valuable contributions to understanding of fossil megaspores and to palaeobotany in general.

Because of numerous oral presentations, the program of the conference ran in five parallel sections: Palaeozoic, Mesozoic, Tertiary, Quaternary and Special topics. The following symposia were organized:

  • Outstanding challenges to understanding early land plant vegetation and evolution (convenors Dianne Edwards and Chris Berry)
  • Ferns and lignophytes in Palaeozoic landscapes (convenors Jean Galtier and Brigitte Meyer-Berthaud)
  • Palaeozoic gymnosperms, systematics and evolution (convenors Hans Kerp and ZbynÄ›k Šimůnek)
  • Reproductive structures of Palaeozoic plants and their spores in situ (convenors Josef PšeniÄ�ka and JiÅ™í Bek)
  • Reproductive structures of Cretaceous angiosperms (convenors Else Marie Friis and JiÅ™í Kva?�ek)
  • Mesozoic and Tertiary polar floras (convenor David J. Cantrill)
  • Mesozoic gymnosperms with particular interest in Cheirolepidiaceae conifers (convenors Bernard Gomez and Brian J. Axsmith)
  • Evolution of climate in the Mesozoic (convenors Alexei B. Herman and JiÅ™í Kva?�ek)
  • Mesozoic pteridophytes taxonomy, evolution, palaeoecology (convenors Natalia Gordenko and Valentin Krassilov)
  • Triassic-Jurassic evolutionary trends and plant-environment interaction (convenors Maria Barbacka and Mihai Popa)
  • Cenozoic evolution of open landscapes in Eurasia and interaction with climate change (convenors Volker Mosbrugger and Angela A. Bruch)
  • Tertiary volcanic setting and the plant record (convenors Harald Walther and Zlatko Kva?�ek)
  • Palaeogene floras and global change events (convenors Margaret E. Collinson, Kathleen B. Pigg and Melanie L. Devore)
  • Quaternary palynostratigraphy (convenors Eva BÅ™ízová, Eliška RybníÄ�ková, Pavel Mentlík and Natalia Gerasimenko)
  • Human impact on Holocene vegetation (convenors Petr Pokorný, Thomas Litt and Eliso Kvavadze)
  • Taphonomy and palaeoecology (convenors Stanislav Opluštil and Robert A. Gastaldo)
  • Fossil wood (convenors Elisabeth A. Wheeler, Pieter Baas and Jakub Sakala)
  • Palaeophysiology of fossil plants – What can we learn from their functional anatomy and geochemistry? (convenor Wolfram Kuerschner)
  • …many more oral presentations were delivered within separate sessions of each section. Almost 150 posters were announced to be presented in the conference hall. Several meetings of special groups were included into the conference program, namely those of the NECLIME project, the IAWA group and IGCP project No. 469.

A workshop devoted to the history of palaeobotany and presentations of the original as well as study material including the types to Sternberg’s Versuch einer geognostish-botanischen Darstellung der Flora der Vorwelt took place in the main building of the National Museum on the third day of the conference. The National Museum and the Czech Geological Survey issued on the occasion of the 7 EPPC 2006 a facsimile of the Sternberg monograph on DVD and provided for free to the participants. The executive of the IOP convened in the National Museum after the workshop. In the closing general session chaired by the president of the IOP Margaret Collinson the participants accepted the invitation by Lilla Hably who proposed to organize the 8th EPPC in Budapest in 2010. Then Hans Kerp informed about preparations of the IOP meeting planned for 2008 in Bonn.

One pre-conference and three post-conference field trips were organized leading to the Lower Palaeozoic of the Barrandian Area, to the Upper Palaeozoic in Central Bohemia, the Upper Cretaceous at Pecínov, the Tertiary of western Bohemia and the Late Pleistocene and the Holocene of South Bohemia. Detailed descriptions of the field trips with an overview of the geology and palaeobotany of the Czech Republic were included in a guide book (still available together with the abstract volume at the National Museum, Prague).

The organisers acknowledge financial support from the British Palaeontological Society, London, the North-Bohemian Mining Corporation, Chomutov, the town of Plze?, Olympus C&S, Praha, the National Museum, Praha, the Charles University, Praha, the Czech Geological Survey, the West Bohemian Museum in Plzeň. The Conference Partners (namely Ing . Loneková) helped efficiently with the organisation of the meeting. We hope that the conference offered a good opportunity to exchange scientific views and contributed to extension of personal contacts among palaeobotanists and palynologists. We thank all who made the conference successful.

Zlatko KvaÄ�ek (Charles University in Prague), Stanislav Opluštil (Charles University in Prague), JiÅ™í Bek (Institute of Geology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague), Eva BÅ™ízová (Czech Geological Survey, Prague), JiÅ™ina Dašková (Institute of Geology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague), OldÅ™ich Fatka (Charles University in Prague), JiÅ™í KvaÄ�ek (National Museum, Prague), Milan Libertín (National Museum, Prague), Petr Pokorný (Institute of Archaeology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague), Josef PšeniÄ�ka (West Bohemian Museum in Pilsen), Jakub Sakala (Charles University in Prague), ZbynÄ›k Šimůnek (Czech Geological Survey, Prague), Vasilis Teodoridis (Charles University in Prague).