Participants: ~ 100 from 28 countries
Location: Centro Congressi Partenope Naples (Italy)
Successful Wood Anatomy Meeting in Naples
Following a Working Group Meeting of the COST-Action STReESS (on the stress reactions in trees subjected to extreme events or gradual climate change) on 15 and 16 April, a highly successful meeting on “Wood Structure in Plant Biology and Ecology” (WSE) was organized in Naples (17–20 April 2013) under the joint auspices of IAWA, the Association of Tree-ring Research (ATR), the COST-Action STReESS, the University of Naples Federico II, and the Second University of Naples. IAWA Members Veronica De Micco and Giovanna Battipaglia headed the organizing committee and hosted a very full and exciting programme consisting of five sessions on 1) Ecological and evolutionary wood anatomy; 2) Xylogenesis: genetics, ultrastructure and phenology; 3) Tree-rings: climate variability and human impact; 4) Environmental changes and wood ecophysiology; and 5) Plant-water relations: from observed to modeled trends, focusing on the hydraulic architecture of xylem. For each theme key-note speakers set the stage for twelve additional contributed papers pertheme on cutting edge developments and large collections of fine posters.
The venue of the meeting was on the boulevard facing the Castel dell’Ovo in the beautiful Bay of Naples, where simultaneously the American World Cup was contested by international sailors. This offered a nice counterpoint to the demanding time schedule. The remains of the days were catered for by the IAWA Social Hour on 17 April and a superb banquet in the Zi Teresa restaurant on 18 April – enriched by Neapolitan music expertly performed by professors and students of the Department of Agricultural Sciences of the Federico II University.
IAWA awarded four prizes for best oral presentation and best poster to young scientists at MSc and PhD level. The laureates (Aude Tixier and Lena Kulmala for best talks and Peter Prislan and Ingvar Bauweraerts for best posters) were given a selection of IAWA Publications by IAWA Executive Secretary Frederic Lens.
The WSE Symposium was attended by well over 180 delegates from 35 countries. During the closing session on Friday thanks were expressed and flowers presented to Veronica De Micco and Giovanna Battipaglia, as well as to Ute Sass-Klaassen – who as coordinator of the COST-Action STReESS had been instrumental in substantial EU support for a large number of WSE delegates. The cooperation of this COST-Action, IAWA and ATR proved to be innovative and inspirational. Presenters of papers and posters have been invited to contribute to special issues of the IAWA Journal, Trees, Tree Physiology and Dendrochronologia – thus the long-term impact of the Naples meeting seems assured. Although the saying “to see Naples and then die” is a classic quote, no fatalities have been reported as yet after this extremely pleasant meeting on functional and ecological wood anatomy.