XV International Palynological Congress
XI International Organization of Palaeobotany Conference

200 Years of Palaeobotany    12-19 September, 2020, Prague, Czech Republic

SCIENTIFIC SYMPOSIA/WORKSHOPS

List of symposiums

Please note that if there are not enough presentations in the symposium you choose, your presentation will be placed in another appropriate symposium.
Lecture / Poster: if there are too many lectures, your presentation may be changed to a poster. You will be informed in advance.

A01 Advances in Devonian palaeobotany – a symposium in honor of Phillipe Gerrienne

Cyrille Prestianni, Anne-Laure Decombeix & Carla J. Harper

The Devonian (420–359 Ma) was unquestionably a key time in plant evolution, with the gradual colonization of continental surfaces and the appearance of numerous biological novelties, e.g., first leaves, first deep root systems, first trees, first ovules. It marks the establishment of “modern” terrestrial ecosystems and sees the appearance and diversification of all major groups of vascular plants. These events have received continuing interest from the palaeobotanical community, and still raise major questions regarding their timing and the processes underlying them.

Since his first work on Emsian plants in 1982, Philippe Gerrienne has been one of the preeminent contributors to our knowledge of Devonian floras worldwide. His interests have covered all aspects of Devonian palaeobotany, and he has contributed to the description of many new taxa, including some of the oldest seeds and woody plants. This symposium will celebrate his career through presentations by colleagues who had connections with him and his research. To highlight the strong potential of research in Devonian palaeobotany such as Philippe’s, we also wish to include in this symposium studies conducted by early-career researchers and/or focussing on new questions and approaches.


A02 Cryptosporophytes: a new group of early land Plants

Dianne Edwards & Paul Kenrick

The origins of the first land flora is an enduring mystery, in which the principal players have never been seen, yet one in which we can infer something of their character from traces they have left behind. Phylogenetic trees calibrated against the fossil record provide one perspective on the nature of this early flora and the timeframe of early plant evolution. Spores dispersed in rocks provide another, and they are the principal source of fossil evidence. These distinctive spores, without close modern analogues, have been termed cryptospores. The first and only direct evidence of plants that produced these spores comes from minute fossils preserved in charcoal. Research on these now reveals a suite of characteristics that distinguishes them from both bryophytes and vascular plants, hinting at the existence of a hitherto unknown and new early major group of plants. This symposium brings together a multidisciplinary team of experts to examine the evidence for this new group and to explore the consequences.


A03 Permian plant succession and the global climate changes

Yu Jianxin, Wan Mingli & Yuewu Sun

Permian plant succession and global climate changes, concentrating mainly on the demise of glaciation of the Gondwana continent, and warming in the north hemisphere and tropical areas.


A04 Glimpses into the evolution of Fungi

Christine Strullu-Derrien & Ria Mitchell

The symposium will highlight key issues and new findings related to the origin and evolution of Fungi and their links with other organisms.

Fungi are ubiquitous and essential components of modern ecosystems. However, they have remained in the shadows when compared with research on plants and animals, and we are far from having a complete knowledge of this kingdom. Their marine origin has been recently highlighted based on molecular studies. This and their early evolution from marine to terrestrial are in need of deeper investigation. Fossil evidence has received much attention over the past decade. The Devonian Period was a time of extraordinary diversification of plant life and terrestrial environments, and several key fungal groups have now been recognized. Fossil sites of this period hold the oldest well-preserved evidence of interactions (e.g., mycorrhizae). Later, the progressive stabilisation of terrestrial environments together with the development of soils, and the evolution of plants and animals shed light on the diversification of Fungi, especially Dikarya (Ascomycota and Basidiomycota). It is envisaged that the symposium will provide a forum for researchers to review the state of the art, and to present results of recent research on fungal evolution.


A05 Late Palaeozoic continental ecosystems of Gondwana

André Jasper, Dieter Uhl, Haytham El-Atfy & Rafael Spiekerman

During the Late Palaeozoic, Gondwanan ecosystems experienced an icehouse–greenhouse transition, replacing the Late Palaeozoic Ice Age (LPIA) ice sheet with complex palaeoenvironments and highly diverse palaeofloras. The singular Glossopteris flora dominated the landscapes over large parts of the continent and allowed for the accumulation of organic matter, nowadays cropping out as coal-bearing strata with a wide palaeogeographic distribution. As the climatic conditions changed during the Permian (Guadalupian), these changes were reflected by palaeofloristic associations, culminating in deposits with low plant diversity in many parts of Gondwana during the Lopingian. The symposium brings together palaeobotanists working on Gondwanan floras, with the aim to discuss the changes that occurred in the continental ecosystems through the Late Palaeozoic. Palaeofloristic, palaeoecological and palaeoenvironmental studies are welcome to this symposium, which tries to increase our understanding of the evolution of the supercontinent during this crucial time from the retreat of the LPIA ice-sheets up to the end-Permian mass extinction.


A06 Palaeozoic palaeobotany: taxonomy, diversity and palaeoecology

Josef Pšenička

The symposium is intended for contributions dealing with Paleozoic plants that are not suitable for any specialized symposium of the conference. Contributions addressing the Carboniferous and Permian are particularly welcome. Although we already have quite extensive knowledge of plants of these ages, it is still only a fraction of the actual plant variability of this time. This symposium offers the opportunity to introduce both new plant species and vegetation assemblages from different regional areas and localities.


B01 Permo-Carboniferous peat-forming tropical forrests buried in situ by volcanic ash in the light of palaeobotanical and palynological research; results from the Czech Republic and China

Jiří Bek, Jun Wang & Josef Pšenička

The study of fossil tropical forests preserved in situ by volcanic ash brings very important data, and a unique opportunity to discover the composition and palaeoecology of ancient peat-forming vegetation. All findings of fossil plant specimens reflect their original growth positions, because they were not transported. This includes large specimens, like parts of trunks, branches, whole fronds, leaves, connection of fertile and sterile organs and even complete or almost complete plants. Another advantage is that several specimens are preserved in a unique way that enables study of morphology as well as anatomy, which is not normally possible in the global scope. Such localities are very rare, except for a few from the Middle Pennsylvanian of the Czech Republic (especially the Ovčín locality) and Carboniferous-Permian boundary (Wuda coalfield, Inner Mongolia) of China. Teams of Czech and Chinese palaeobotanists and palynologists have done several excavations, published many papers and collaborated for last decade, which has resulted e.g. in a specimen of the oldest cycadalean plant and its in situ pollen in the global scope found in China. The importance of such research was stressed by edition of a special issue of the international journal Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology in 2009 (dedicated to Czech localities) and 2020 (dedicated to results from China).


B02 Palaeozoic palynology: a CIMP and Aramco-CIMP Special Project symposium dedicated to the memory of Professor Bernard Owens

Marco Vecoli, Hartmuth Jaeger & Charles Wellman

This symposium will cover all aspects of Palaeozoic palynology. It is dedicated to the memory of Professor Bernard Owens, a stalwart of Palaeozoic palynology, who passed away in 2019. Bernard was an outstanding supporter of the CIMP (Commission Internationale de Microflore du Paléozoïque), one of the main palynological societies dedicated to research on Palaeozoic palynology, and served as President. Beside his research in Western Europe, Bernard was strongly involved in international collaborations and correlations, in particular with eastern Europe and Russia. He was also instrumental in establishing the Aramco-CIMP Special Project on ‘Palaeozoic Palynology of the Arabian Plate’ that today celebrates another milestone: the publication of a synopsis volume that pulls together all of the work undertaken during the past 30 years. Contributions to the symposium are invited from all palynologists studying any aspect of Palaeozoic palynology.


C01 The innovations of plants in the Mesozoic

José B. Diez & Xin Wang

Our symposium pre-proposal focuses mainly on the Mesozoic Paleobotanical records of Eurasia, and how these are a reflection of the important paleofloristic changes from the recovery of phytodiversity after the Permian-Triassic crisis, to the appearance and dispersion of angiosperms. It is a vision of integrating microflora and macroflora records.


C02 Amber palaeobotany: What did the forests for all the fossil invertebrates look like?

Jiří Kvaček, Eva-Maria Sadowski, Alexander Schmidt & Leyla Seyfullah

This symposium is dedicated to all things amber and resin-related. Reconstructing amber forests and examining their plant diversity is the key that will enable us to define palaeohabitats. This would allow us then to understand the inclusions of plants and other organisms found in ambers. We also welcome talks on all aspect of resin/inclusion taphonomy, chemistry and experimentation.


C03 Palaeobotany and Palynology of the Late Cretaceous–Paleocene Deccan Intertrappean Beds of Central India

Selena Y. Smith & Bandana Samant

The Deccan Intertrappean Beds of India provide an important window into late Maastrichtian-early Danian ecosystems at a time when India was geographically an island. Palaeobotanical and palynological studies are providing interesting insights into the composition, diversity, and biogeographic affinities of the plants in Deccan ecosystems. At the same time, ongoing work is improving the age interpretation of these sites, palaeoenvironments, and responses of plants to local and global changes.


C04 Mesozoic plants: taxonomy, diversity, and palaeoecology

Gongle Shi, Patrick Herendeen, Mário Miguel Mendés & Jiří Kvaček

The study of Mesozoic plants is critical for understanding the evolution of Mesozoic terrestrial ecosystems, and is also very important for evaluating the origin, evolution and phylogenetic relationships of major modern and extinct plant lineages. Fossil plants are also important for understanding the evolution of reproductive structures and their homologies. Recent discoveries of key fossil localities and applications of new techniques (e.g. Phase-contrast X-ray microtomography, molecular scaffold analysis, biomarker analysis) have renewed interest in Mesozoic plants around the world. The topics of the present symposium will include studies of systematics, anatomy and palaeoecology of Mesozoic plants, and palaeosols and palaeoenvironmental reconstructions.


C05 Evolution of Neotropical ecosystems

Mónica Carvalho

The Neotropics today contain a wide variety of high-diversity ecosystems, ranging from lowland tropical rainforests to highland, desert-like Punasin Peru. Throughout the Cretaceous and Cenozoic, processes operating at geological timescales such as global climate fluctuations and mountain uplift and erosion have led to a complex history of extinction and origination in the tropical biotas that comprise modern-day ecosystems. Recent research using novel approaches, and the discovery of fossil floras in previously unxplored areas provide new evidence into the evolution of Neotropical ecosystems.This symposium brings together current research and novel approaches in Neotropical palaeobotany, including single-lineage evolution/reconstruction, assessment of ecological interactions, palaeofloristics and ecophysiology. Main goals: Enhance awareness of recent and ongoing research in Neotropical palaeobotany within the palynological and palaeobotanical comunity; Facilitate a platform for Neotropical palaeobotanists to interact and share hypotheses on the evolution of Neotropical ecosystems; Identify future areas of research that are essential for understanding the evolution of Neotropical ecosystems


C06 The Legacy of Plant diversity and environmental background across the critical intervals of the Mesozoic

Yongdong Wang, Mihai E. Popa, Harald Schneider & Wolfram Kürschner

Plant diversity of the Mesozoic is placed between the Permian-Traissic Mass Extinction (end phase of the initial expansion of plant diversity following the colonosation of terrestrial habitats), and the Cretaceous-Paleogene Mass exctinction – often seen as the transition towards modern terrestrial diversity. Instead of being an intermediate period, the Mesozoic was not a time of stable plant diversity following the recovery from the PT, but plants faced several intervals of enhanced extinction rates. In particular, the Triassic-Jurassic Mass extinction is documented in the fossil record. Finally, terrestrial diversity underwent a major ecological revolution in the last third of the Mesozoic: the Cretaceous, Terrestrial Revolution.


C07 Vegetation history and evolution of terrestrial ecosystems in Southern Africa, from early land plants to modern vegetation

Frank H. Neumann, Marion K. Bamford, Irene Esteban, May Murungi

Southern Africa is of crucial importance for the evolution of plants in Gondwana. The region plays an important role in understanding major extinctions like the Permian-Triassic Boundary event, as well as the evolution of modern humans. Understanding southern African vegetation history will shed light on past climatic and environmental conditions, and their role as evolutionary drivers, in order to better reconstruct Paleozoic up until Cenozoic faunal diets and environments, as well as survival strategies of past hunter-gatherers. This symposium is meant to provide a platform for presenting the diverse palaeobotanical work that has been carried out in southern Africa during recent decades. It aims at bringing together researchers working on various time scales in southern Africa and investigating both macro- and micro-palaeobotanical remains such as fossil wood, charcoal, seeds, cuticles, diatoms, pollen and phytoliths. This symposium focuses on reporting plant evolution and vegetation of southern Africa, dating as far back as the Devonian and extending to the Holocene, to promote an interdisciplinary exchange of ideas, new methods, localities and findings. It covers a wide range of topics in palaeobotany, archaeobotany, palynology, palaeolimnology and palaeoecology, representing the evolution of plants and vegetation communities through time, as well as animal-plant interactions and human impact.


C08 Mesozoic plant cuticles: implications for evolution and palaeoenvironment

Maria Barbacka, Gaetan Guignard, Yongdong Wang, Mihai E. Popa

Cuticles yield very important signals for taxonomy of both living and fossil plants, and so are regarded as useful criteria routinely applied for the classification and distinction of major fossil plant groups, including seed ferns, cycads, bennettitaleans, gingkophytes, conifers and angiosperms. In addition, cuticles are regarded as a significant proxy for detecting palaeoenvironmental information, such as climate variation, terrestrial ecology, and palaeo-CO2 changes. In recent decades, numerous studies have been conducted in the fields of cuticle structure, fine and ultrastructures, palaeo-CO2 and palaeoenvironment. The Mesozoic is a crucial episode in deep time not only for the origin and evolution of major plant lineages, but also for linkage of plant diversity and palaeoecosystems. This session invites all colleagues who are working on, or are interested in fossil plant cuticle studies of the Mesozoic interval to show their results, including discussions of new techniques like TEM transmission electron microscopy, EDS Energy-dispersive spectroscopy and other chemical element analysis, AFM Atomic force microscopy, and all other relevant approaches. The comparative analysis of Mesozoic plant cuticle fine structures and palaeoenvironmental relationships is emphasized and encouraged for discussion in this session, including diversity variation, global warming, enormous wildfires, and rise and fall of palaeo-CO2.


D01 Honoring palaeopalynologist Reinhard Zetter

Friðgeir Grímsson & Thomas Denk

As time passes, the scientific career of each end everyone nears its end. This year our friend and colleague, Reinhard Zetter, will pack up his office and head into retirement. Even though the heart, soul, and mind of Reinhard has long been focused on pollen, he was always a strong believer in varied resources and the power of combining both different methods and plant organs. In that sense, this symposium is open to all those who wish to honor Reinhard with their presence and present a talk on any palaeobotanical or palynological scenario involving Upper Cretaceous to extant plant remains.


D02 Mesozoic and Cenozoic palynology, mesofossil and palynofacies analysis: a tribute to the memory of David J. Batten

Natalia Zavialova, Margaret Collinson & Martin Head

The symposium is conceived to commemorate David J. Batten. We are interested in having presentations within the very broad range of David's scientific interests, i.e. morphology, sporoderm ultrastructure, taxonomy, botanical affinity, biostratigraphy, palaeoecology and palaeoenvironmental analysis. We are looking forward to seeing scientists who collaborated with him as well as those who work on related problems. Let us learn about new results, achievements, and ideas in all areas of our science that David considered important.


D03 Reproductive organs of fossil plants and their in-situ spores and pollen

Evelyn Kustatscher, Hendrik Nowak & Jiří Bek

The study of reproductive organs of fossil plants is an important part of palaeobotanical research, while in-situ spores and pollen represent important aspects of palynological research. Reproductive organs, in-situ spores and pollen may be studied, e.g., for haptotypic marks, saccus/sporoderm development, tapetal membranes and orbicules, taxonomic variation, degrees of maturity, phylogenetic considerations, etc. One of the key applications is the reconstruction of vegetation based on the fossil record of dispersed spores and pollen. Detailed analysis of reproductive organs of fossil plants is often crucial for the precise identification and classification of the whole plant. Sporangia can be sampled from most individual reproductive organs, so that the range of variation can be established for different morphological characters. The combination of palaeobotanical and palynological study of reproductive organs of fossil plants and their in-situ spores and pollen will contribute to a better understanding of the biology and geological distribution of past floral elements, and to the evolutionary relationships between major plant groups.


H01 Quantitative reconstruction of Holocene land-use and land-cover change: advances and applications

Jessie Woodbridge, Andria Dawson, Anupama Krishnamurthy, Furong Li & Ralph Fyfe

The world has been significantly transformed by human agency, at least throughout the course of the Holocene, with implications for ecological functioning, climate regulation, etc. Central to furthering understanding of the timing, extent and impact of these transformations is quantification of vegetation cover and land-use at local, regional and continental scales, and at centennial to millennial timescales. This symposium explores recent developments in, and applications of, the quantification of land-cover and land-use from palaeobotanical and palynological data.

This session is a contribution to the PAGES LandCover6k working group.

The primary goal of LandCover6k is to use global empirical data on past land-use and anthropogenic land-cover change to evaluate and improve Anthropogenic Land-Cover Change scenarios for earth system modellers (e.g. the World Climate Research Programme CMIP and PMIP initiatives). The LandCover6k time-period of focus covers the Holocene to AD 1850. We welcome all contributions on methodological advances, and applications to historic and prehistoric long-term dynamics and drivers of land-use, anthropogenic land-cover and land-system change. These contributions may include pollen and other palaeobotanical approaches to land-use and land-cover change, archaeological and historical records and related palaeoecological data, as well as modelling studies on anthropogenic land-cover change (ALCC) and climate-land use interactions.


H02 Forward to the past – research development on quantifying land cover change and its implication for the biosphere

Anna Broström, Florence Mazier, Anneli Poska, Anne Birgitte Nielsen, Ralph Fyfe & Anna-Kari Trondman

The last four decades of research development on quantifying land cover change and its implications for the biosphere has been intense. Environmental archives, including pollen, have become increasingly important for our understanding of past biosphere processes, and enable us to put current environmental change into a long-term perspective. Land-cover and land-use change affects biodiversity, water quality in lakes and streams, coastal marine ecosystems and the climate system on a local to global scale. Studying these processes on several scales in time and space has become possible through methodological developments within palynology, data collection, modelling, data model comparison and the building of large and long-lived research collaboration networks. In this session, state-of-the-art research and applications will be presented in the light of the huge effort of the recent decades' research and development of quantification methods for fossil pollen records from all over the world.


H03 Application of palynological and palaeoecological information in conservation and restoration

Kartika Anggi Hapsari, Althea Davies & Hermann Behling

Palynological and palaeoecological records can span from decades to several centuries or even millennia, allowing them to provide long-term information that is difficult to obtain with simple observation and experiment. Such information is critical to understand matters that do not usually occur in a short period of time, like ecosystem processes, ecosystem responses or historical legacies. Palaeoecological information can contribute significantly to conservation and restoration assessments and strategy. However, this information seldom appears in biodiversity assessments, or conservation and restoration documentation. In part, this is due to unfamiliarity with palaeoecological evidence, and limited access to journal articles where we publish our findings. On the other hand, palaeoecologists also need to understand how conservation policies and practices work, and how to contextualize and integrate their knowledge into them. Palaeoecologists, ecologists and practitioners need opportunities and incentives to engage with one another, which goes beyond scientific publications. In an attempt to generate dialogue among palaeoecologists on how we address these challenges, we invite contributions relating to the potential practical application of palaeoecological information in present-day conservation and restoration practices, particularly examples where palaeoecologists are working with conservationists to help integrate long-term evidence into policy and management. We welcome contributions across all types of habitat, biomes and ecosystems from tropics to tundra, including forests, grasslands, wetlands, savannas and other terrestrial and coastal ecosystems.


H04 Back to the Future? Sub-boreal vegetation and climate as a reference for future environmental dynamics

Astrid Stobbe, Maren Gumnior & Lisa Bringemeier

Global change is still publicly perceived as a recent, man-made phenomenon. From a scientific point of view, however, it has taken place throughout the earth’s history. With a focus on Holocene dynamics, the Sub-boreal appears predestined to discuss contemporary environmental developments in the light of past climate, vegetation and cultural changes.

The Subboreal has been subject to a high degree of climatic variability, but is generally recognized as a comparatively warm and arid period in Europe. In the second millennium BC, some outstanding events like megadroughts are documented around the Mediterranean. Equally significant changes have occurred in Central Europe, which had serious impacts on the environment and human life. Do major vegetation changes under increasingly arid conditions in the Sub-boreal provide clues for recent ecological trends? To what extent can they supply models for the crisis in modern forestry? How can palynological archives be utilized in this context? Contributions from all related fields and disciplines are welcome.


H05 Changing Island Ecosystems

Simon Connor, Sandra Nogué, Lea de Nascimento, Michela Mariani, Janelle Stevenson & Simon Haberle

There are over 100,000 islands on Earth, which support 20% of global biodiversity. Island ecosystems are globally significant for their unique evolutionary histories and high rates of endemism. With this uniqueness comes vulnerability, and islands have suffered disproportionately high rates of extinction as a consequence of human colonisation. In many cases the deep impacts of colonisation have left us with an incomplete picture of islands' original ecological structure and functioning. Palaeoecological approaches can help to complete this picture by reconstructing past ecosystems, providing crucial data for developing sustainable futures for island biota in the context of changing climates, increasingly frequent extreme events and sea-level rise.

This symposium provides a forum for the latest advances in long-term ecological research on the world's islands and archipelagos. The symposium invites contributions that address the question: how can palaeo-data contribute to knowledge of changing island ecosystems through time? We particularly invite contributions on (i) the use of novel techniques and proxies to quantify ecosystem change due to human colonisation, (ii) understanding the resilience of island ecosystems to disturbances and climate variability, and (iii) applying palaeoecological data to test key predictions of ecological and biogeographical theory. This session welcomes all scientific contributions that seek to better understand the long-term history of biodiversity change and identify patterns that have shaped current island ecosystems.


H06 Palynology for Sustainability: the Long-Term Perspective of Human Impact on Landscape for Environmental Change (LoTEC)

Anna Maria Mercuri & Assunta Florenzano

Recent palynological research has repeatedly demonstrated that past cultures have adopted cultural choices to tackle environmental changes, and that multi-functional land use has been the strategy to exploit nature without destroying the environment.

Pollen, non pollen palynomorphs and microcharcoals are excellent bioindicators for detecting human impact and landscape development. Interdisciplinary bio-geo-archaeo investigations on on-site/off-site integration and Holocene contexts are welcomed.

The study of the past is at the root of reliable actions for the future. Palaeoecological studies are crucial to allow us to envisage possible scenarios of biosphere responses to global warming and biodiversity loss. Future environmental change research should include a more explicit consideration of the long-term perspective to understand eco-system responses to different human and climate pressures.


H07 Long-term tropical forest dynamics; critical knowledge in a changing world

Vincent Montade, Christina Ani Setyaningsih, Hermann Behling & Paula A. Rodríguez-Zorro

Tropical forest areas have unique ecosystems, distributed from mountain lowlands to coastal regions, and they are acknowledged as ones of the most diverse ecosystems in the world, harbouring a large number of endemic species. However, their existence and diversity are severely threatened by climate change and human activities, which will affect the biodiversity and ecosystem function, as well as human communities. In order to understand the dynamics of tropical ecosystems and to highlight the effect of disturbance and change in the ecosystem, past reconstructions over long timescales are strongly needed. Multi-proxy palaeoecological reconstructions from sediment archives offer compelling insights into the main drivers of ecosystem change, as well as the response of these ecosystems to climate variability and disturbance, like volcanism, sea-level change and fire ecology, as well as human-landscape interaction. A synthesis of long-term ecosystem dynamics in tropical forests is important in order to assess future changes. This symposium welcomes contributions presenting results from tropical forest ecosystems focusing on the late Quaternary period. We addressed a robust contribution to regional and larger scale palaeodata synthesis to separate ecosystem response from climatic and natural disturbance or anthropogenic drivers.


H08 Mountain Palaeoecology on the move: the future of mountain ecosystems as seen through palaeoecology

Jean Nicolas Haas, Ana Ejarque, Niina Kuosmanen, Vachel Carter, Gabriela Florescu & Jennifer Clear

Mountain ecosystems are especially sensitive to changing environmental conditions. It is difficult, but essential, to predict how these ecosystems will respond to future anthropogenic and climatic pressures. Palynological and palaeoecological studies on Quaternary sediment archives, as well as other multi-proxy investigations (e.g. sedimentology, XRF-data) offer valuable short- and long-term perspectives, of past decadal to centennial ecosystem and landscape changes in mountain areas worldwide. Through precisely dated stratigraphies, palynological and palaeoenvironmental records allow the reconstruction and quantification of past plant diversity changes due to fire events, livestock grazing, wetland eutrophication by excrement overloading, sedimentary erosion, debris flows, snow avalanches and pathogen outbreaks. Understanding the immediate response of mountain ecosystems to past climatic and disturbance events and anthropic drivers will help predict how these vulnerable environments may respond to future changes.

We aim to bring together research with varying spatial and temporal scales from all kinds of stratified deposits in mountainous environments (e.g. forests, mires, lakes, tree-line, alpine meadows, glacier ice, etc.) for a deeper understanding on the vulnerability of mountain ecosystems, from the high latitudes to the tropics. We would like to invite oral and poster contributions based on the dynamics, triggers and responses of ecosystem changes on (sub-) decadal to millennial time scales. We welcome quantitative analyses of all kinds of microfossils (e.g. pollen, diatoms, fungi, dinoflagellates, non-pollen palynomorphs) and plant macrofossils (e.g. seeds/fruits, charcoal), as well as other indicators of past ecosystem change, liek high-resolution, multi-proxy palaeoecological studies where all microfossil and macrofossil data are available from the same stratigraphy.


H09 Big events – Big Impacts. Success and adaptation strategies of ancient populations to climate changes

Alessia Masi, Assunta Florenzano & Katerina Kouli

The Holocene exhibits a series of significant climate fluctuations. Some of them are contemporary to important social processes and are linked to the fall of past civilizations. The severe climatic phenomena witnessed currently are often related to big disasters for populations, leading to the perception that humanity is vulnerable and weak. The study of the past, on the contrary, is characterized by examples of successful adaptive strategies that overcame past climatic crises. During the last decade, the publication of a number of high-resolution sequences combined to an improved accuracy and reliability of chronologies resulted in the acquisition of increased quality palaeoenvironmental data. This palaeoscience progress allows comparison with historical and archaeological sources aimed at a better understanding of the history of past societies.

The proposed session aims to stimulate the discussion on successful adaptation strategies of past civilizations using proxy-based palaeoenvironmental and palaeoclimatic reconstructions from a variety of natural archives. This topic can be analyzed for every period from Prehistory to Modern Age, and for different cultural and geographical contexts. We strongly recommend multidisciplinary studies, using both classical and innovative approaches, including pollen, macroremains, charcoal and stable isotope analyses.


H10 High resolution palaeo-records tracking species and community responses to past fire dynamic

Daniele Colombaroli, Simon Connor, Boris Vanniere, Petr Kuneš, Cesar Morales-Molino, Jessie Woodbridge

Ongoing changes in the land carbon stock following the occurrence of recent catastrophic fires (e.g. Portugal in 2017, California 2018, Amazon 2019) are increasingly attracting the media’s attention and raise debates about the best fire mitigation strategies under future climate change scenarios. Over the last few decades, multi-proxy and high-resolution records have advanced our understanding of past ecosystem dynamics following climate and disturbance regime changes, and the legacy of past natural or anthropogenic factors in present ecosystems. High resolution multi-proxy records combining pollen and disturbance regime indicators can also unravel key patterns of vegetation responses at multi-annual to centennial time scales, improving our understanding of future ecosystem reorganization under increasing land-use and disturbance regime changes.

This session welcomes contributions focusing on key biogeographical areas for future global changes and combining pollen, sediment charcoal and other disturbance-regime proxies addressing 1) post-fire species dynamics across cultural transitions, or in response to abrupt climate variability; 2) plant community dynamics under different fire regimes, including long-term fire-biodiversity interactions; 3) the use of combined pollen and sediment charcoal series to address topical issues related to vegetation recovery, forest management, and biodiversity conservation. We particularly welcome contributions across a wide range of disciplines, including Palaeobotany, Archaeology, Biogeography and Fire Ecology.


M01 Modern pollen-vegetation studies for past land-cover reconstructions and calibration of the fossil pollen record

Martin Theuerkauf, Michela Mariani, Vojtech Abraham & Petr Kuneš

True quantitative interpretation of fossil pollen data is essential to produce realistic estimates of past changes in land cover and plant diversity, and hence crucial to understand how climatic change and disturbance have shaped landscapes of the past. However, pollen data are often dramatically skewed in favour of the taxa that produce the most pollen, which is an issue that has hampered quantitative vegetation reconstruction since the beginning of palynological research, over 100 years ago.

Today, models for quantitative interpretation are available. Still, the first step towards their application is calibration of the modern pollen-vegetation relationship for estimation of pollen productivity, source areas and pollen dispersal patterns of key plant taxa. These parameters are presently scattered and variable in terms of the underlying methodological approaches and results. Modern pollen studies for such purposes are currently being undertaken all around the world, ranging from arctic tundra to tropical rainforests. This session welcomes studies that use modern pollen deposition in moss polsters, lake sediment or pollen traps to estimate pollen productivity, explore pollen dispersal patterns, calibrate pollen diversity or quantify taphonomy and other biases in the pollen record. The session also welcomes studies that explore pollen productivity in other ways, i.e. by counting pollen produced directly or with ROPES.


M02 Exploring trends in surface pollen deposition in response to biotic and abiotic drivers

Heather Pardoe, Irena Pidek & Anneli Poska

- to use long records of modern pollen deposition to assess the response of vegetation to biotic and abiotic stressors
- to determine and examine factors that affect the pollen-vegetation relationship
- to explore ways of employing surface pollen data to interpret past vegetation changes
- to investigate the pollen-climate relationship, based on the correspondence between surface pollen data and aerobiological monitoring and meteorological data


M03 Recent advances in dinoflagellates and their cysts as environmental tracers

Fabienne Marret, Anne de Vernal, Martin Head & Vera Pospelova

The last decades have seen major advances in our understanding of dinoflagellates and their cysts as tracers of past environmental conditions. Dinoflagellates as a major phytoplankton group play an important role in regulating the carbon cycle. The capacity of their resting cysts to remain preserved in sediments for millions of years coupled with their diverse morphological attributes have made them excellent stratigraphical tools. Since the 1970s, their modern distribution has been used to trace past hydrological conditions, first in the Atlantic Ocean, then globally. Recent technical advances (genomic, chemistry) have helped clarify the elusive relationships between the cysts and their motile stages, as well as determine their trophic status.

This session aims to gather recent developments in studying this group, and we welcome contributions on all geological time periods as well as marine, brackish and freshwater environments, from the poles to the tropics.


M04 Extra microfossils in pollen slides: from environmental indicators to biotic interactions

Lyudmila Shumilovskikh, Piotr Kołaczek, Monika Karpinska-Kołaczek & Irene Tunno

Non-pollen palynomorphs (NPPs) represent a large, heterogeneous group of organism remains that appear as “extra microfossils” in pollen slides. Taxonomically, NPPs belong to a wide variety of fungi, animals, algae, and plants. Although many NPPs still remain unknown, they provide essential ecological information that can be used to interpret environmental and landscape changes in the past. NPPs record former environmental conditions, allowing assessment of trophic stage, moisture conditions, dry phases, pastoral activities, disturbances and erosion in the study area. Furthermore, they represent an essential tool for tracing biotic interactions in the last several thousands to millions of years. Identification of NPPs, improvements in understanding their ecological meaning, critical evaluation of their indicative values, biases and limitations of these proxies, are crucial questions for palaeoecological reconstructions. We welcome presenters exploring NPPs in a broad range of disciplines, including modern ecology, palaeoecology, palaeopalynology, forensic science and aerobiology to share their newly gained knowledge.


M05 Forensic Palynology

Leticia Povilauskas

Palynological Forensic Science serves to provide useful information about the circumstances in which a crime occurred. The objectives of this symposium are to publicize activities in Palynology, based on the study and analysis of various cases of homicide qualified by the forensic sciences, and put some suitable expert methodologies available to researchers and scientists to encourage their participation in order to add contributions to clarify a crime. One of the topics to be discussed is the sample identification protocol, involving some considerations to take into account at the scene of the crime, and analysis of palynological development on samples obtained and collected from different expert effects. Therefore, multidisciplinary work among scientists and criminalists is indispensable, with Forensic Palynology being a promising tool in the criminal resolution of criminal cases.


M06 Pollen wall morphology, development, and developmental mechanisms

Nina Gabarayeva, Maxim Lavrentovich & Olga Gavrilova

The science of palynology is founded entirely upon the extraordinary organisational diversity and resistance to decay of the exine. Not surprisingly therefore, there has always been great interest in understanding how the complex, elaborate and often taxon-specific patterns of exine organisation are developed and have evolved. Traditionally these questions have been addressed by microscopy: first optical microscopy and later electron microscopy. There has also been a strong interest in the theoretical basis of pollen and spore symmetry control, number and placement of germination sites, and surface pattern formation. However, in spores, the control of perispore (or perine) sculpturing remains poorly understood, with more information urgently needed. More recently, there have been dramatic advances in the molecular genetics of pollen development, based on insights from the model plant Arabidopsis.

The wall of pollen grains and spores – a sporoderm – is an example of astonishing biological diversity and structural complexity. The exceptional complexity, intricate architecture, and sheer diversity of the exine has attracted the attention of many scientists, including biologists, physicists, and chemists. The investigation of sporoderm development is of common interest, because we deal here with “morphogenesis in miniature” (Heslop-Harrison, 1972), where one may observe complex structure development over a relatively short period of time. The developmental steps often include transient structural features or entire sporoderm layers that are absent in the mature pollen and spores, because of massive accumulation of the biopolymer sporopollenin. These features are nevertheless very important for phylogenetic and systematic conclusions.

The idea of the universal importance of physical processes for pattern formation in nature is an old one (Thompson, 1917) which has been elaborated on by many authors (e.g. Mandelbrot 1982; Kauffman, 1993; Ingber, 1993; Kurakin, 2005; Benítez, 2013. Contemporary studies (Lintilhac, 2014) confirm that biophysically-integrated controlling processes provide an independent, non-genetic context for understanding plant morphogenesis, and that physical forces play a prominent role in development. The more facts that accumulate (including modeling studies), the more it appears that physical processes cooperate with and modify the regular work of the genome. Recent studies show that physical processes – phase separation and micellar self-assembly – work in tandem and pick up the initiative after initial genomic control. Genes need not define the complexity of the ultimate structure, but only the initial conditions of development (Regier and Hatzopoulos 1988). Recent results show that simple physico-chemical interactions are able to generate patterns resembling those found in exines, supporting the idea that exine development in nature involves an interplay between the genome and physical forces.


M07 Pollen record from cave environments: The dark side of palynology

Daniela Festi & Kale Sniderman

Caves are fascinating extreme environments, hosting different types of archives useful for palaeo-environmental and climatic reconstructions. This symposium welcomes pollen, phytoliths, charcoal, plant macro-remains and eDNA records obtained from caves, regardless of their chronological frame or geographical location. We encourage contributions of new fossil records derived from speleothems, guano deposits, ice cave deposits and clastic cave sediments, as well as studies of taphonomic processes through which pollen and/or other micro- or macrofossils are transported into and preserved within caves. The symposium aims to provide a discussion podium for palynologists and palaeo-botanists working on these peculiar records to foster collaborations in the development of common methodological standards and interpretation tools.


M08 Fire as an ecological and evolutional driver of terrestrial biota

Angelica Feurdean, Vachel Carter & Gabriela Florescu

The frequency, severity, and spatial extent of disturbances play an important ecological role for species composition and coexistence. Among disturbance factors, fire is one of the most common causes of landscape change. In the context of changing disturbance–climate interactions, shifts in plant community composition and diversity can be expected. However, plant species cope with fire disturbance in different ways, and have developed a range of adaptive strategies. As a result, there is a range of species-specific responses to changes in disturbance regimes and their interaction with changing climate conditions.This session welcomes contributions examining changes in fire-vegetation feedbacks, under past, present and future environmental conditions, in particular: (i) the range of fire regime dynamics in various vegetation types; (ii) understanding fuel structure-fire regime relationships; (iii) identify plant traits related to fire resistance and regeneration after fire important for their resilience; (iv) fire as a promoter of evolution and spread of terrestrial plants.


M09 Molecular proxies in palaeoecology: recent developments and their implications for understanding past environments and ecosystems

Alistair W. R. Seddon & Daniela Festi

Molecular techniques (e.g., chemical palynology, ancient DNA, environmental DNA, sediment biomarkers) are becoming an increasingly important tool in palaeoecologicaland palaeobotanical research. These methods complement the insights gained from traditional methods such as pollen analysis, which have been used to reconstruct past floristic, vegetation, and environmental changes for over one hundred years. In general, advances in historical plant geography can only be made because of methodological advances in the identification and analysis of plant fossils. Molecular techniques are opening the door to address a new set of questions by (i) increasing taxonomic precision in the fossil record; and (ii) reconstructing new variables to allow new insights into drivers of vegetation change. However, robust inferences made from plant remains recorded in sediments are dependent on detailed understanding of environmental, taphonomic and diagenetic factors that influence the representation of palaeoecological proxies.Only when these uncertainties are understood can biogeographic and ecological questions be addressed with confidence. This session will bring together researchers working to develop new molecular proxies for palaeoecological and palaeobotanical research across a range of timescales and ecosystems. Methodological and applied studies on pollen chemistry, environmental DNA, aDNA, stable isotopes, biomarkers and other new techniques are welcome. Studies on both modern and palaeo archives, including different depositional environments (e.g., peatbogs, lake and marine sediments, glaciers, speleothems, etc.) are encouraged, with a specific focus on those that use these data to address new biogeographic and palaeoecological questions, or that attempt to unravel key processes related to improving any uncertainties in interpretation of these novel molecular records.


M10 Biopolymers in palynological and palaeobotanical research (session co-organised by the Palynology Specialist Groups of the Linnean Society and the Micropalaeontological Society)

Phillip Jardine & Barry Lomax

Preservable organic components of plants and plankton are made of biopolymers such as sporopollenin, cutin and dinosporin. As such, these biopolymers, and their diagenetic ‘geopolymer’ products form the basis of much palynological and palaeobotanical research, and are key to an understanding of kerogen formation in the geological record. This symposium will highlight recent developments in palynological and palaeobotanical biopolymer research, including (a) the presence of climatic signals and the potential to reconstruct palaeo-UVB, (b) chemotaxonomy and the automated classification of organic remains, (c) the molecular structure of recalcitrant biopolymers, and (d) diagenetic processes and the fate of biopolymers in the geological record.


M11 Applied palynology: methodological innovations

Oshurkova M. V. & Levkovskaya G. M.

The suggested Symposium is different from all other specific-area symposia, as it is focused on a vide scope of methodological innovations important for enhancing the practicability of applied palynology. Emphasis will be on the developments of research groups and individuals that enable obtaining novel and more representative results, accelerate research and reduce costs. New and uncommon palynological methods and areas of their application will be specifically discussed.

The symposium will be focused on:
- new theoretical (general) approaches to research;
- new areas of using of palynology;
- new opportunities for multidisciplinary research;
- new approaches to research equipment use;
- improvement and extension of traditionally used research methods;
- new research methods


M12 Global forest dynamics: from pollen-based past reconstruction to future prediction

Hongyan Liu, Yue Han, Ying Cheng & Qian Hao

Brief characterization of the main goals: Forest transformation is becoming a hotspot in global change studies. Most of the previous studies on global forest transformation are based on remote sensing data. Pollen-based past forest dynamics are absent in future prediction of forests on the global scale. The main goals of this symposium are to bring together data and methods of reconstructing past forest dynamics, including forest biome types, forest cover, forest productivity, and so on, and to explore the approach of applying pollen-based past forest dynamics on future prediction of forests on the global scale.


Q01 A global view on Early Pleistocene Climate and Vegetation dynamics

Yul Altolaguirre, Angela A. Bruch & Kale Sniderman

The Early Pleistocene is characterized by severe global environmental changes – in its beginnings with the onset of northern hemisphere glaciations, as well as at its termination influenced by the Mid-Pleistocene Transition (MPT). During this time, events of supreme importance happened, first and foremost, the emergence of the genus Homo and its spread out of Africa towards the furthest edges of Eurasia, from China to southern Spain. Also, orbital forcing of climate considerably increased its impact on regional environmental changes with a growing cyclicity of vegetation shifts paced by obliquity before shifting to eccentricity during MPT.

In many regions of the world, Early Pleistocene floras, up until 1 Ma or later, include a number of (regionally to globally) extinct taxa. The global extent of this pattern of extinction is still uncertain. It is unclear whether Early Pleistocene taxa were eliminated from regions because of deteriorating glacial climates, or because of deteriorating interglacial climates; and if the answer to this question varies between regions.

This session is meant to gather insights into regional and local characteristics of the Early Pleistocene terrestrial environments of all continents, their stepwise floristic deterioration, and how vegetation and flora are driven by global forcing. Let’s bring insight specifically in climate and vegetation dynamics during this important timespan when the global stage was set for early Homo.

This session is a contribution to NECLIME and ROCEEH.


Q02 Exploring ecological concepts in the Quaternary

Thomas Giesecke & Triin Reitalu, Simon Brewer

Palaeoecology offers a long-term perspective on ecological processes and ecosystem response to environmental shifts, and provides examples of ecosystem responses to rapid environmental change. Nevertheless, assumptions and concepts used in predicting the impact of climate change on vegetation are rarely tested using palaeoecological data. Ecological theory is seldom addressed, despite the potential to illustrate past rates of ecosystem change, ecosystem stability, resilience or alternative stable states in the face of well-documented environmental changes, including linear and non-linear responses. Also, the postglacial recolonisation of previously glaciated terrain and the introduction and spread of alien species are topics where ecological theory could find application.

While experiments are difficult to design, as the reconstructed processes have already occurred, hypotheses can be tested by using multiproxy datasets, dataset syntheses or selecting a site in a specific location with a known history of environmental change. We invite contributions where palaeoecological data is used to test or explore ecological theory, in particular new and unpublished work.


Q03 Marine pollen records for direct land-sea correlation of Earth system dynamics

William Fletcher, Filipa Naughton, Stéphanie Desprat Maria & Fernanda Sanchez Goñi

The study of terrestrial pollen and spores in marine sediments provides rich insights into the dynamics of the Earth’s climate system. The study of co-registered marine and terrestrial proxies in the same cores helps to circumvent chronological uncertainties involved in the comparison of different records, and thus provides a unique opportunity to study leads and lags between the different “spheres” of the Earth system – ocean, hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere. In this session, we invite contributions showcasing the direct land-sea correlation approach, and reflecting the global distribution from tropical to arctic environments and diverse timescales of studies of terrestrial pollen and spores in marine cores. In particular, we encourage contributions relating to the full range of geological timescales including (i) the long-term evolution of regional climate and floristic changes, (ii) the role of orbital-forcing in Quaternary global climatic and environmental changes, and (iii) investigation of the timing and nature of rapid changes in the Earth system (including centennial-millennial climate variability and abrupt events). We welcome multiproxy studies incorporating novel sedimentological, geochemical and biotic proxies alongside terrestrial pollen and spores. New insights into the taphonomy of terrestrial pollen in the present-day marine and coastal environment, including studies of pollen sources and mechanisms of pollen transport are also desirable.


Q04 Glacial-interglacial cycles as natural experiments

Vasiliki Margari & Laura Sadori

Glacial-interglacial cycles can be thought of as a series of natural experiments in which the seasonal and latitudinal distribution of incoming solar radiation, the extent of continental ice sheets and atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations varied considerably, with consequent effects on climate. Gaining insights into factors controlling the composition and character of long-term vegetation changes will improve our understanding of the response of terrestrial ecosystems to past climate change. We invite contributions from pollen studies, where both temporal and spatial comparisons will advance our knowledge on Glacial-Interglacial variability and its underlying mechanisms.


Q05 Impact of aridity on vegetation: past and present evidence reveals our future

Adele Bertini, Nathalie Combourieu-Nebout, Edoardo Martinetto & Odile Peyron

Drought and aridification are today a crucial risk for vegetation, especially in the so-called Hot-spot areas. Both have taken place in several parts of the Earth since the last decades, with already a major impact on ecosystems and societies. Indeed, since the onset of Glacial/interglacial cyclicity, at ca 2.6 Ma, drought has punctuated vegetation history, increasingly affecting formation of ecosystems. Some past extreme droughts triggered an almost complete disappearance of the forest, which could be particularly worrisome for current ecosystems prospects given climate projections for the future.

This session is dedicated to multiple vegetation responses to drought or major/abrupt precipitation decreases at all geographical and time scales, as recorded by palynological and palaeobotanical records.

In this multidisciplinary session, we invite contributions investigating the impact of drought and/or aridity on vegetal ecosystems, in order to help assess the impact of future climate changes on vegetation in a longer-term context. The main aims are to refine the understanding of climate/environment interactions with or without human influence, in long-time records, and especially in those including short time events.

Multi-proxy records from both Mediterranean and extra-Mediterranean areas, as well as palynological/palaeobotanical (pollen, vegetal macroremains, charcoal, NPP) data spanning any time frame within the past 3 million years are welcome.


T01 The evolution of plant diversity under palaeoenvironmental changes in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau Region

Tao Su, Yong-Jiang Huang & Robert A. Spicer

The Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, the largest and highest plateau on Earth, has occupied scientists’ attention for more than one hundred years. However, our understanding of the evolution of the QTP is still far from complete. On one hand, the orogenic development is still under debate. On the other hand, the influence of that orogeny on biodiversity in deep time is not clear, largely due to lack of fossil evidence. In recent decades, numerous palaeobotanic investigations have been carried out on the plateau, and together with other evidence, indicate that the biodiversity of Tibet and adjacent areas was much higher than today, especially during the Paleogene. Moreover, the region played an important role on shaping modern global biodiversity. In this symposium, we will focus on the latest progress in understanding the plant diversity, orogenic evolution and palaeoclimate of Tibet and regions nearby, such as the Himalaya and Hengduan Mountains. Any research related to this topic is welcome, as we hope to promote our understanding of the evolution of QTP through multidiscipline evidence, e.g., geology, palaeontology, phylogeny, geochemistry, and modelling.


T02 Cenozoic continental climate and vegetation patterns on both sides of the North Pacific – an open NECLIME symposium

Torsten Utescher, Yusheng (Christopher) Liu, Cheng Quan & Atsushi Yabe

The Pacific Ocean represents the world´s largest reservoir of heat and water, and so can be expected to drive regional climate shifts around the globe. Today, coastal regions of the surrounding continental areas reflect oceanic circulation patterns. At high northern latitudes, both the warm Alaskan Gyre and the southward-flowing cold Oyashio Current collectively cause a significant meridional gradient of coastal temperatures between western North America and East Asia. In the northern mid-latitudes, the California Current and upwelling of cool subsurface water masses along the west coast of North America lead to summer drought in the continental interior. The mid-latitudinal coastal areas of East Asia, in contrast, are characterized by wet summers facilitated by the warm Kuroshio Current and dynamics of the East Asian Monsoon System. In the Cenozoic, the North Pacific realm was strongly impacted by tectonic processes involving oceanic gateways and continental uplift that affected the circulation modes of ocean and atmosphere, and thus the climate of the adjacent continental areas. Analysis of continental patterns on both sides of the North Pacific holds the key for a better understanding of changes in the ocean-atmosphere system in the past.

Here we invite contributions on quantitative reconstructions of Cenozoic palaeoclimate and vegetation in continental areas bordering the North Pacific to gain a first insight into available palaeobotanical records and their potential in reconstructing larger-scale patterns that can be compared with results from modelling approaches.


Z01 IAWA Fossil Wood Symposium IPC-IOPC 2020

Jakub Sakala, Vít Koutecký & Dimitra Mantzouka

The fossil wood symposium will be organised under the auspices of the International Association of Wood Anatomists (IAWA), and all people interested in fossil wood are welcome to present their results during this specialized symposium, which will cover every aspect of fossil wood of all ages and areas, including systematical description, xylem evolution, climatic reconstruction, tree ring analysis, stable isotopes, biomechanics and functional biology. The evening social event for active participants – dinner in the University Wine Centre in Mělník covered by the IAWA – will be part of this symposium. The symposium will be devoted to the two titans of European palaeoxylotomy, who have recently passed away: Prof. Dr. Herbert Süß (1920–2017) and Prof. Dr. Alfred Selmeier (1923–2018).


Z02 Palaeobotany at the forefront of gender equality

Patty Ryberg

The disparity between men and women in science is a controversial topic that has been receiving global attention over the last couple of decades. Studies have revealed scarce participation and lack of representation of women in STEM careers. What makes palaeobotany unique from other disciplines is the long history of women leading research, such as Marie Stopes, Suzanne Leclercq,and Renate Remy.This symposium will exemplify how long women have been leaders in palaeobotany, with the unique perspective of highlighting and publicizing the role of women in the discipline. While nearly 50% of all undergraduate students in the sciences are female, by the time the Ph.D. level is reached, the number drops to 25% (Bokova, 2015). Remarkably, nearly 50% of primary authors at the 2018 European Palaeobotany and Palynological Congress in Dublin, Ireland were women although today only 25% of STEM careers are filled by women. The participation of women in palaeobotany has overcome one of the largest hurdles in gender equality; support throughout career advancement in both professional and societal roles. Publications don’t illustrate female participation in research, as they try to be gender neutral with last names, which wipes away the lines of gender diversity, but also removes the knowledge of women's participation. Topics for this symposium include: presentations of historical women in the field, current leading research by women, and pioneering techniques driven by female palaeobotanists. Additionally, this symposium will have female representatives from at least three continents, if not more, showing the global representation of women in our discipline. While our discipline is well aware of the role of women, illustrating this to the larger scientificcommunity will show how long palaeobotany has been on the cutting edge of gender equality.


Z03 Phylogenetic Palaeobotany

Brian A. Atkinson, Mario Coiro & Kelly K. S. Matsunaga

Fossils provide crucial data for understanding evolutionary relationships, patterns, and processes through time. Numerous methods have been developed to include fossil data in phylogenetic and evolutionary analyses, providing important insights into macroevolutionary dynamics across the tree of life. These methods include various phylogenetic approaches to investigate the systematic relationships of fossils, dating analyses that use fossils to understand evolutionary tempo, and phylogenetic comparative methods addressing a wide range of topics, including diversification dynamics and morphological evolution. Many palaeobotany research groups throughout the world have made important contributions to our knowledge of plant evolution, using phylogeny-based approaches. However, applying these phylogenetic tools to the fossil record remains an underexplored frontier in palaeobotany. This symposium brings together speakers who use phylogenetic and other analytical methods in plant macroevolution that directly incorporate fossils. We aim to have diverse participation, encompassing different methods, perspectives, and plant groups, with contributions from speakers of different nationalities and backgrounds. We hope the symposium will expose the wider palaeobotanical community to the many ways these methods are currently being used to understand plant evolution, and inspire interested palaeobotanists (especially students) to use similar approaches in their own research.


Z04 IAPT Early Career Investigator Symposium: New fossils, New Methods, New Ideas

Fabiany Herrera & Clement Coiffard

The International Association for Plant Taxonomy (IAPT) supports scientific research in the diversity and evolutionary history of plants, fungi, and algae. For the 2020 IPC/IOPC in Prague, IAPT proposes to organize and sponsor a symposium as a contribution in our annual symposium series, entitled the “IAPT Early Career Investigator Symposium.” This symposium series seeks to highlight new research and ultimately aims to promote graduate students, postdocs, and faculty/curators in the first several years of their appointment.

The proposed symposium theme, “New fossils, New Methods, New Ideas” is designed to include a broad range of subjects that are relevant to understanding the systematics, evolution, and biodiversity of plants, fungi and algae through time. While understanding extant diversity is important, contributions from the fossil record are essential for a more complete understanding of evolutionary history. The symposium highlights important palaeobotanical and palynological advances from discoveries of not only new fossils, but also from new tools and new methods used to address old questions.

The symposium is planned as a half-day session, and IAPT has funds budgeted to help speakers attend the conference and participate in the symposium. If the proposal is accepted for an afternoon session, we hope to organize an informal reception to follow.


Z05 Palynology and palaeobotany in the digital era

Kasia K. Sliwinska & Natasha Barbolini

Over the last decade there has been major progress in bringing palynology and palaeobotany into the digital era. Currently, the palynological and palaeobotanical communities have access to online search databases and data repositories, various statistical software, and program coding. Additionally, a set of new methods of scanning, digitising, and 3D printing can improve the presentation of palynological results, and visualise (external and internal) structures of new botanical fossils. There is also an increasing trend towards applying data science and machine learning to handling large palynological datasets, and progressing towards the automated recognition and counting of pollen and stomata. The purpose of this session is to discuss state-of-the-art techniques and approaches in digital palynology and palaeobotany that are advancing our understanding of fossil morphology, stratigraphy, and biogeochemistry, as well as improving field- and lab-based collecting, statistical, and preservation methods, using photogrammetry and/or UAVs (Unmanned aerial vehicles).

List of symposiums


W01 Navigating Nomenclature – Publishing, typifying and naming fossil-taxa (The International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants)

Nicholas Turland & Sandra Knapp

All-day workshop on Saturday, September 12th, 2020

Justification: Systematists need to have knowledge of the internationally accepted rules of nomenclature in order to properly publish and typify names, and find the correct names, for fossil-taxa.

Objectives: To learn about some of the core principles for scientific naming of fossil-taxa of algae, fungi and plants.

Audience: Anyone involved in fossil taxonomy who wants to learn more about nomenclature and/or learn about what is new in the 2018 Shenzhen Code. Students and early-career taxonomists may find the course particularly useful.

Description: Knowledge of the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (DOI https://doi.org/10.12705/Code.2018) is important for those wanting to name new fossil-species or fossil-taxa at higher ranks, but it also provides the rules for navigating the sometimes difficult to interpret naming of the past 200 years. This one-day workshop will cover some of the key areas of rules of the 2018 Shenzhen Code that are needed for describing new fossil-taxa, and for finding names and types for fossil-taxa already described. The workshop will have morning and afternoon sessions. Topics include effective and valid publication, all about types, and how to find the correct name for a fossil-taxon. There will also be an open session for participants to present their own specific nomenclatural problems, which we can discuss as a group and perhaps solve. The course is sponsored by the International Association for Plant Taxonomy (IAPT), who support and facilitate the nomenclature of both fossil and non-fossil algae, fungi and plants between International Botanical and Mycological Congresses (IBC, IMC).

Participants should bring to the course an internet-enabled device to access the Code (or the print version), their own nomenclatural problems and enthusiasm for problem solving.

Key words: Code, nomenclature, new names, publication, typification

Preliminary schedule:

Session 1: Effective and valid publication

Coffee break

Session 2: All about types and typification

Lunch break

Session 3: How to find the correct name for a fossil-taxon

Coffee break

Session 4: Open session for group discussion and problem solving

Logistical needs: laptop, digital projector, screen, microphones for instructors and audience, amplifier/speakers, flip chart and marker pens and/or whiteboard (or blackboard) for group work


W02 Estimating pollen productivity with R tools/disqover package

Martin Theuerkauf, Michela Mariani, Vojtěch Abraham & Petr Kuneš

Pollen productivity estimates (PPEs) are a key parameter in quantitative land-cover reconstructions with pollen data. PPEs are commonly calculated by calibrating modern pollen deposition in pollen samples from moss polsters, pollen traps or lake surface sediments against modern vegetation around the sample spots. For calibration, a variety of methods exists. We have implemented several of those methods in the R environment for statistical computing, in the disqover package. Functions from the package now cover the full workflow from map analysis and data preparation to the actual calculations. In the workshop, we will introduce and discuss the workflow using example data in the following steps:

1. Introduction into the various concepts of PPE calibration

2. Extracting vegetation data from digital maps (shapefiles)

3. Calculating PPEs in R with the different approaches (ERV, R-value approach, reverse REVEALS)

4. Setting up sensitivity studies with simulated data

5. Calculating PPEs from core pollen data with ROPES

For active participation, please bring your own laptop with updated versions of R (if wanted also R-studio) and install the disqover-package from GitHub (not yet ready, needs to be updated). If you want to work with your own data, please contact us in advance.


W03 Registration of Plant Fossil Names

Jan Wagner, Jiří Kvaček & Alexander Doweld

The Plant Fossil Names Registry is based in and maintained by the National Museum Prague, since 2014. The database is operated under the auspices of the International Organisation of Palaeobotany. The act of registering a plant fossil name with the Registry will be a necessary part for valid publication of any taxon in the near future. The main objective of the workshop will be learning about registration of plant fossil names, particularly entering new data into the database, showing the main guidelines, and basic instructions how to register either a new taxon, new combination or other new nomenclatural. Participants will need their own laptops for this training. There will also be an open session for those interested in presenting their own problems with the database.


W04 Artistic session

Vojtěch Abraham (For artists who would like to participate, please send e-mail to: vojtech.abraham@gmail.com)

Scientific illustration is traditionally an inseparable part of palaeobotany. It helps to capture relevant features. Compared to photographs of fossil objects, illustrations are selective, and help transmit scientific interpretation to the viewer. Illustration is important in communication with the public, for its high educational value, but the present session is not limited only to this artistic discipline. Natural objects from the field of palynology and palaeobotany ignite the imagination, which, combined with creativity, bring forth beauty and gratify viewers' senses. We invite scientists and artists to present their original pieces of arts (pictures or 3D objects), artistic activities (workshops, performances) connected with pollen grains, fossil plants, reconstructions of extinct landscapes or any phenomena they have come across in palynological/palaeobotanical research.

This session will be inaugurated the first day (12. 9. 2020) for scientific attendees of the conference, the second day (13. 9. 2020) for the public, and will remain open during the entire conference.

After abstract submission, you may be requested to send some additional information (sizes, pictures, organization). If you come only to exhibit your artwork and will not attend the scientific program, you can apply for free admission.


NC Celebration of 200 Years of Palaeoboatny – Botanical Nomenclature in Palaeobotany and Palaeopalynology

Patrick Herendeen, Martin Head & Jiří Kvaček

This colloquium will be held in honor of K. M. Sternberg as a founder of modern palaeobotany, and consequently celebrating 200 years of palaeobotanical nomenclature.

Nomenclature is both a system of names as well as the rules for forming these names. Our system of naming plants, fungi, and algae relies on a set of rules that govern how these names are created and how the correct name is selected when multiple names are available for a taxon. The International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (ICN, or “the Code”) is the set of rules and recommendations that govern the scientific naming of all organisms traditionally treated as plants, including most algae and fungi. The ICN applies to both fossil and non-fossil taxa. The ICN is a comprehensive set of nomenclatural rules that cover the many different aspects of establishing new taxonomic names, and determining whether a previously published name should be used. But the rules of nomenclature can be challenging to understand without some training. The Code is a living document, which can be modified by the scientific community every six years at the International Botanical Congress.

The field of Palaeobotany (and palaeopalynology) presents some unique complications for defining and naming taxa as compared to neobotany. Our system of names depends on nomenclatural types to fix the application of names, but here too our field is a source of complications. Discovering validly published taxonomic names can be challenging, especially in the older literature, but systems for registration of names are now greatly facilitating this important task. The Code now includes provisions to allow for online publication of new names, but there remain some complications that need to be discussed and addressed in future changes to the rules. This colloquium will address these and other subjects that are important for palaeobotany and palaeopalynology researchers to understand and discuss.