Status, Threats and Conservation of European Molluscs
By September 2017 we will have completed a species threat assessment of
all c. 3000 species of land and freshwater Molluscs that occur in Europe. This
will create one of the largest data sources for analysing where the species that
are most at risk in Europe live, what types of threats are impact most species
and the types of actions that will be required to bring species back from the
Over 30 different scientists from many different European countries were
involved in this process, which commenced in 2007 and has involved 6
different workshops, in Hungary, Switzerland, Sweden, UK and France.
This session could offer scientists to overview the datasets from several
perspectives, from impact of longer term threats such as Climate Change,
Invasives, Landscape management and Pollution through to analysis of
regional trends, specific biomes (Terrestrial and Freshwater), islands vs
continental faunas, karst regions and caves and differing trends between
Gastropods and Freshwater Bivalves. National trend overviews would also fit
into this session.
Taxonomy in the 21st century
Taxonomy – that is, in a broad sense, the description, identification, nomenclature, and
classification of organisms – is a shrinking branch of science. In the age of molecular
phylogenies taxonomy largely based on non-genetic characteristics is often deemed
outdated. Particularly paleontologists regularly face criticism as to their limited sources
of information. However, despite all the advances in genetics, taxonomy is still
indispensable as it forms the basis for studies on biodiversity and biogeography and for
assessing a species' conservation status, amongst others. Each analysis based on the
evaluation of species traits rises and falls with sound taxonomy. The probably greatest
difficulty in taxonomy has been the degree of subjectivity adherent to each taxonomist.
Several techniques have been established over the past decades allowing scientists to
gain a more objective view on a species' morphology and incorporate climatic, ecologic
and (bio)geographic information. Complex mathematical methods such as geometric
morphometrics and fractal dimension determination, derived from originally quite
different fields of application, have enabled more precise species recognition and
discrimination. Moreover, novel probabilistic approaches are being developed to
facilitate semi-automated, machine-learning species identification based on a
combination of various types of information, from genetic over morphological to
ecological data. A major advantage of such techniques is the possibility to assess
variation in the contributions of or conflicts among these different datasets.
We welcome all contributions to this session dealing with the abovementioned
techniques or problems related to taxonomy, systematics and species concepts, both
recent and fossil, with focus on particular case studies or from a general perspective.
Thomas A. Neubauer - University of Giessen
Ancient roots of modern groups
Andrzej Kaim (Institute of Paleobiology PAS, Poland); Steffen Kiel (Swedish Museum of Natural History, Sweden); Alexander Nützel (Bavarian State Collections, Germany)
Molecular phylogenies, though undoubtedly crucial for understanding the relationships between modern taxa, scratch only the surface layer covering the vast amount of taxa from the geological past—both from extinct and living clades. The fossil record is incomplete but so is also the biological record because only a few species and supraspecific clades are still alive. The meanders of evolution linked to changes through Earth history, including great extinctions and tremendous radiations, shaped the diversity we see today. Therefore, combining molecular with paleontological data, especially through time-calibrated molecular phylogenies, is indispensable in order to fully assess the image of animal tree of life. We propose to discuss several issues on the interface of paleontology and zoology in particular how to understand the fossil record of Mollusca, how to use fossils in calibrations of molecular clocks and how to deal with the vast number of extinct taxa and clades. We heartily welcome all talks dealing with methods or problems related to taxonomy, systematics and species concepts, both modern and fossil. In particular we invite all presentations of case studies dealing with the fossil record of particular major and/or important recent groups of molluscs. We would be happy to accept all contributions on extinct groups, which would address major evolutionary and phylogenetic questions.
|THE MALACOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF LONDON |
Travel Awards to EUROMAL
We are delighted to inform that the Council of the Malacological Society of London (MSL) has agreed to provide Travel Awards to EuroMal:
|• Applications must follow MSL rules and use the MSL application form. For example, grants are preferentially conferred on students and researchers without professional positions. The maximum amount for one of these awards is maximally £500 for Society members and £300 for non-members (it can be less). The application should have the support of the project supervisor. The closing date is 15th June. Grants are only given to conference participants, who are giving a talk or presenting a poster.
• All applications for travel to EuroMal 2017 should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, and the 8TH EUROMAL Organising/Scientific Committee will decide, who receives funding and how much, following MSL rules.
• Once the students to be funded have been selected, and the amount of funding for each student estimated, a list of names, email contacts and the amount to fund will be send to the MSL Awards Officer. A list of unsuccessful applicants (name and email) will also be send.
• The MSL will contact students to let them know whether they were successful and handle all the finances.
Invasive Alien Molluscs at the EUROMAL
Invasive alien species (IAS) are considered to be one of the most serious drivers
of global biodiversity change, including extinction of native species. They also
incur significant economic losses, negatively affect socio-cultural values and put
human health and lives at risk. However, the full scale of the problem has only
been recognised a few decades ago. This resulted into rapid increase in the
number of studies on the causes and consequences of IAS introductions. Still,
despite the growing interest and knowledge on the problem, and regardless of
recent advancements at national and international regulatory and non-regulatory
frameworks, the IAS problem has not been effectively addressed yet.
Infamous representatives of IAS can be found across all taxa, and molluscs
are by no means an exception. Gastropods and bivalves have particularly bad
reputation in this respect. The IUCN's selection of the 100 worst global IAS
includes 6 molluscs and DAISIE lists 11 molluscs among 100 worst European IAS.
We propose to meet in Kraków and discuss the most important issues
on the reasons and consequences of mollusc invasions in order to identify threats,
main mechanisms of impact and find remedies. The general aim of the meeting
would be to identify and focus research on strategic directions and to answer (or at
least begin a discussion) some of the following questions: How to reliably
distinguish between an alien and native species? What makes a small fraction of
alien species introduced into a new area so harmful, while most of them are not?
Will the climate change exacerbate or mitigate the problem? What are the
mechanisms of alien species impact? How should this impact be measured?
Please join us in always sunny Gold Polish Autumn in Kraków, for both work and
pleasure in September 2017 !
Ronaldo Sousa, Wojciech Solarz
Tadeusz Zajac, Chairman of the Organizing Committee
We are pleased to announce the registration dates, fees and opening of abstract submission for the upcoming 8th EUROMAL.
20 February 2017 - registration & abstract submission open
31 May 2017 - registration, abstract submission, workshop proposals deadline
15 June 2017 - notification of abstract acceptance
15 July 2017 - late registration deadline
Call for abstracts
Submission - details at the abstract submission section; the deadline - 30 May 2017
The organizing committee invites proposals for max. half-day workshops to be held on the
congress. The topics of the proposed workshops should be aligned with the general theme of
the conference. Details on the proposal submissions can be found at the conference website.
Seven very successful Congresses of the European Malacological Societies have been held, each hosted by a national Society. Now it is our turn, and on behalf of the The Association of Polish Malacologists, it is our great pleasure to invite you to the historic city of Kraków, Poland, for the eighth Congress (8th EUROMAL) from 10th to 14th September 2017.
The Congress acts to bring together both young and experienced malacologists from across Europe and the wider world. The latest advances in all aspects of Malacology will be presented, including the use of malacological research in practical issues of pest control and medicine. It offers the chance to meet potential collaborators from many countries, and to present work in progress for constructive comment.
There will be sessions covering all aspects of Malacology, determined by the number and relatedness of contributions as talks or posters. Here is the opportunity to showcase your work and find new contacts. Please join us in always sunny Gold Polish Autumn in Kraków, for both work and pleasure in September 2017 !
We will update the site as we progress.
We look forward to seeing you!
Tadeusz Zając on behalf of the Association of Polish Malacologists.