IAL6: The 6th Symposium of the International Association for Lichenology and Annual ABLS Meeting – Biology of Lichens and Bryophytes

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Asilomar Conference Center, California, USA., 2008-07-13 - 2008-07-19

This is an important world-class event: the 6th Symposium of International Association for Lichenology (IAL) which will take place 13-19 July 2008 in Asilomar Conference Center, California, USA. IAL symposia are the biggest events in lichenology on the international level, taking place once during 4 years. This is the first time in the history when the IAL symposium will be organized out of Europe. Several pre-symposium excursions for collecting specimens were carried out, and also a Parmeliaceae workshop (after the meeting) dealing with the phylogeny of this large family. There were ca 320 participants in the symposium, both lichenologists and bryologists, from over 50 countries.

The complete scientific program as well as the abstracts are available in the website http://www.lichenology.org/IAL6_ABLS/

Some examples of the oral scientific sessions held during the IAL6 symposium: “Genomics: Potentials for New Research”; “Community Structure and Dynamics”; “Lichenicolous Fungi: Taxonomy and Diversity”; “Selectivity in the lichen symbiosis”; “Systematic and Phylogeny”; “Endolichenic Fungi and Bacteria: Implications for Symbioses” etc.

Out of the co-workers of KeyToNature project two persons – Tiina Randlane and Andres Saag from UT (University of Tartu, Estonia) – took part in the symposium. The following presentations, connected with K2N, were put forward:

(1) Nimis, P. L., Randlane, T. & Saag, A. “Managing resources of high quality lichen image data in the context of the EU project KeyToNature” – an oral presentation in the session “Integrated Data Networks in lichenology”;

(2) Randlane, T., Tõrra, Tiiu & Saag, A. “How many Usnea species are there in Europe? An interactive key” – a poster in the session “Taxonomy and systematics” (the same contribution with oral comments was presented also in the Parmeliaceae workshop);

(3) Saag, L., Saag, A. & Randlane, T. “The world key of the genus Lepraria (Stereocaulaceae, lichenized Ascomycota)” – a poster in the session “Taxonomy and systematics”;

(4) Tõrra, T. & Randlane, T. “Genus Usnea in Europe – diagnostic characters” – a poster in the session “Biogeography and Floristics” (the same contribution with oral comments was presented also in the Parmeliaceae workshop).

Furthermore, the ideology of the K2N project and the interactive keys available in the web were introduced to the participants during the symposium also personally. Some feedback has been received already by now and some persons expressed their wish for testing the lichen keys.