4th International Symposium on Weeds and Invasive Plants
May 18-23, 2014 in Montpellier, France
A four-day meeting in the Mediterranean region, France
on environmental weeds and invasive plants, and a one-day field trip

> Cross-cutting issues
- Agricultural and environmental weeds in the Mediterranean region
- Biology and management of invasive plants of aquatic ecosystems
- Invasive plants impacting human health: ragweeds (Ambrosia spp.), wormwoods (Artemisia spp.)

> Conference topics (provisional sessions)
Ecology and Evolution of invasive plants
- Trait-based approaches to identify invasive plants and habitat invisibility
- Mapping risk area (under climate changes)
- Genetic variation, local adaptation and hybridization of alien species

Impacts of invasive plants
- Measuring impacts of invasive plants on biodiversity, agriculture and health
- Economic assessment of biological invasions

Management of invasive plants
- Early detection, prioritization and weed risk assessment
- Biological control: the worldwide experience and the European perspective

Sociological and ethical aspects
- Human perceptions of invasive alien plants

The international symposium « Agricultural Weeds and Plant Invaders» was initiated in 2006 and takes place once every three years in a European country (Portugal in 2006, Croatia in 2008, and Switzerland in 2011). This event brings together scientists and managers who share a strong interest in the Biology, Ecology and methods of controlling invasive plants in cultivated and natural habitats as well as urban areas.

Once introduced by humans outside their native distribution range, invasive plants can spread rapidly and often hae strongly negative impacts on the economy (reduced yield and damage to cultivated crops) and the environment (local reduction of biodiversity, increased landscape uniformity, changes in ecosystem functioning) and may also threaten human health (e.g., ragweed allergy).

Biological studies of weeds and invasive plants have positive outcomes on both the integrated and sustainable protection of crop cultures and the preservation of biodiversity in natural ecosystems, as well as for human health. Research presented during these « Agricultural Weeds and Plant Invaders» symposia covers a large spectrum of model species (invasive plants of agricultural systems, and natural, terrestrial and aquatic habitats), of sciences and disciplines (ecology, agronomy, physiology, genetics, biological control….) and different levels of integration (from gene to population, and from laboratory to field).

The next conference will be held in Montpellier from the 18th - 23rd of May, 2014. This event will be a great opportunity to survey the ongoing research that is blossoming inside and outside of Europe (with a venue of invited conference speakers). Montpellier and the surrounding region are hosts of many different research teams working in the domains of agronomy, biodiversity, ecology and biological control and which belong to a variety of French and foreign research agencies. The expected audience will bring together the principal participants in research, higher education, governmental services and development agencies that deal with the management of weeds and invasive plants.

> Objectives of the 4th symposium
- Strengthening interactions between all fields for the management of invasive plants (e.g., ragweed) by facilitating exchanges between the researchers in basic and applied research, and managers and action agencies in the field.

- Broadening the scope of this conference to include the entire Mediterranean basin where the agronomical and environmental concerns are similar those of the southern Europe.

- Bridging the fields of invasion biology science and social and human sciences.

> Where
Montpellier (Languedoc-Roussillon, France)
The symposium will take place at Montpellier SupAgro (International Centre for Higher Education in Agricultural Sciences), La Gaillarde Campus, which is well situated in a beautiful park in the centre of Montpellier.



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