Day 2 :
Mott Community College, USA
Time : 10:00-10:30
Charles A Wade is a Professor of Biology at Mott Community College in Flint, Michigan. He is involved in giving lectures and taking up laboratory classes, such as General Biology (non-science majors), Applied Botany, Environmental Science, General Botany, Michigan Flora, Local Trees and Shrubs, General Ecology and Field Biology, over a two-year period. His research interests include urban forest ecology, urban ecosystem services, changes in the urban forests over time and the sustainability of the urban forest vegetation. He is also interested in helping educate people on the selection of the correct tree for the desired location as well as the health and conditions of the urban and peri-urban forest.
The urban forest is much more diverse than any surrounding natural forest in many parts of the United States. This “Created Biodiversity” is the result of the continuous introduction of new tree species to the urban forest. The three main driving forces behind this urban biodiversity are: Choices of people (based primarily on socioeconomic factors and the desire to plant “something different” in their yards), the heterogeneity of urban habitats where we have formed many new and different habitats that are not necessarily natural environments for native tree species, and the introduction of non-native species which are sometimes potentially invasive and leads to a change in the natural tree composition of the city. This created biodiversity is not a natural assemblage of tree species, but a makeshift community based on human desires and choices. A survey of the urban forest was conducted in 1980 in ten selected Midwest, USA cities. The survey was then replicated in six of these cities. The urban forest composition was then compared to natural forests in the vicinity of the original cities surveyed. It was found that the species richness was much greater in the cities, with 47 to 82 species, than the natural forests in the surrounding area of those surveyed cities which only had 18 to 23 species.
University of Zagreb, Croatia
Keynote: Pollen as a microscopic key for understanding biodiversity – Case study on the Genus Iris L. (Iridaceae)
Time : 10:30-11:00
Bozena Mitic has her expertise in several fields of Botany. At the beginning of her research career, she had a PhD degree in Plant Taxonomy and Systematics. She was involved in some nomenclature investigations, but she has also participated in research on Croatian flora. In the past 10 years, her research activities were extended on invasive alien plants and palynology. Together with colleagues, she developed national standards and the preliminary list of invasive alien plants for Croatia. She permanently works on the mapping and distribution of invasive alien plants in Croatia, and currently, she is on the revision and updating of the list of alien plants in Croatia. She launched modern palynological researches in Croatia and introduced a course on Palynology at the University of Zagreb, which piqued considerable interest among students. Since 2004, she has collaborated with the palynological group at the University of Vienna (Institute of Botany).
Presence of variety of plants is an essential component of biodiversity, which ensures the survival of the whole Earth. The research of plant evolution, phylogeny and richness is a permanent need for the human race. One of the incredibly informative and often neglected disciplines in biodiversity research is palynology, the study of pollen grains and spores. It could provide us evidence on plant history, evolution and phylogeny. The potential of palynology in researching the diversity of plants will be demonstrated by the case study on the large and complex genus Iris L., which consists of about 300 species, widespread in the northern hemisphere. The current classifications, based mainly on morphology and molecular phylogeny, suggest a division of the genus Iris into six or more subgenera and numerous sections and series. Irises grow on diverse natural habitats, especially in the southern and eastern parts of Europe, where on a small geographical range, a variety of climate and ecological conditions resulted in a big diversity of irises. The aim of this study was to investigate pollen features of the genus Iris and to contribute to the better knowledge of their species richness. The results showed that some palynological features could have taxonomical and evolutionary importance, and at least four pollen types could be recognized and taxonomically delimited to the series level. The taxonomic, phylogenetic and evolutionary implications have been evaluated, and the possible pathway of evolution of the genus Iris was suggested (Fig. 1) from the subgenus Limniris to the subgenus Iris. Furthermore, some hotspots of irises and the needs for the conservation of their diversity will be briefly suggested and discussed. To conclude, palynology as a tool for phylogenetic and evolutionary studies can give us a better insight in the evolution and diversity of plants and ensure a better knowledge for their conservation.