Plant Ecologists Converge on Tartu for 'Biggest Forum' ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

A five-day conference on vegetation in Tartu is set to draw 450 scientists from around the world in what organizers say is a national record. 

"It's the biggest scientific forum that has ever been held in Estonia," said Martin Zobel, phytoecology professor at the University of Tartu, who was the event's main organizer. "The conference was made possible in the first place thanks to the international renown of Estonian ecologists and botanists."

Among the distinguished guests is David Tilman of the University of Minnesota, who deals with biodiversity and how it influences ecosystems; and Philip Grime from Sheffield University, who looks at how climate change affects plant cover.

The largest delegations are from the US, Germany, Czech Republic, Brazil and Japan. A total of 374 presentations will be delivered. Tours of Estonian vegetation will include outings to the Endla bog, Laelatu wooded meadow and Järvselja old-growth forest.

The forum is organized by the botany department of the university's Ecology and Earth Sciences Institute and runs from June 26 to 30.