A British Ecological Society Special Interest Group
Forest Ecology Group Secretary Alan Jones reports back from the BES Annual Meeting in Edinburgh
It was astonishing to see how much the BES meeting has grown in recent years – and amazing to see such a diversity of talks running over three days of jam-packed sessions. The only difficulty I found was in deciding which talks and sessions to go to!
Within the diversity of BES 2015 forest ecology featured highly, not only in dedicated forest sessions, but also regularly popping up in sessions on ecosystem function, citizen science, species adaptations, climate change, molecular ecology, tropical ecology, ecological forecasting and macroecology. The significance of forests in managing the Earth’s biogeochemical systems means their influence permeates everywhere.
Forest talks featured some common themes, reflecting current leading topics in the field. These included how different management and logging techniques can impact both microclimate, gas fluxes and forest biodiversity; how modelling and remote sensing can be combined to predict forest function and carbon dynamics; how forest fragmentation impacts carbon dynamics and biodiversity; and using citizen science approaches to complete long-term forest monitoring. This year, also, the consequences of a range of emerging global tree diseases also featured prominently.
BES 2015 was also a chance to meet old friends and catch up with the wider ecological community. The Forest Ecology Group social event – in partnership with the Tropical Ecology Group – took place at the Jolly Botanist gin bar – just down the road from the conference venue. This occasion drew plenty of attendees – and also allowed all FEG secretaries past and present to collide in a probably-never-to-be-repeated-FEG-secretary-singularity-event (group pictured below).
Top left: FEG secretaries past and present from left-to-right: Markus Eichhorn (2011-2013), Alan Jones (NEW!); Dan Bebber (2013-2015); Adrian Newton (2006-2011).