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Silva Lusitana

versão impressa ISSN 0870-6352

Silva Lus. vol.19 n.Especial Lisboa  2011


MEDINSECT 2 - A symposium on "Entomological Research in Mediterranean Forest Ecosystems", Estoril (Portugal)


Edmundo Sousa; Pedro Naves; François Lieutier


The international Symposium Med Insect Meeting took place in Estoril, Portugal, between 5–8 May 2008, organized by The Instituto Nacional dos Recursos Biológicos (Portugal) and the Université d'Orléans (France), under the umbrella of The International Union of Forestry Research Organizations (IUFRO, Working Group "7-03-14").

This was the second meeting of this diverse group of entomologists from various countries, after a first meeting in Rabat (Morocco) in 2002. In Portugal participated 42 scientists from 13 countries and the program included 42 oral communications, a session with 10 posters, and a one-day field visit to a cork-oak and maritime pine forest south of Lisbon.

After a welcome address given by local organiser Edmundo de Sousa, the scientific meeting opened with presentations of the MEDINSECT group and the IUFRO organisation by François Lieutier. The meeting comprehended four sessions, each opening with an invited presentation by a prominent scientist.

Session one was dedicated to "Insect biodiversity and population genetics", session two to "Impact of emerging and exotic pests", the third session focused on "Insect biology and relation with host trees" and the fourth session to "Forest decline, insect control and forestry practices". The one-day field visit allowed a better understanding of the mortality caused by the pine wood nematode in Portugal, and its risk for the rest of Europe, and to largely discuss the Cork-Oak dieback that presently occurs in several Mediterranean countries.

Overall, and in spite of a diversity of geographic origins among the participants, the presentations revealed a strong identity of scientific interests, demonstrating the coherence of this particular group and justifying the focusing of the meeting on insects, while extending it at different kinds of Mediterranean ecosystems. Discussions involving most participants allowed large exchanges of information.

During the general conclusions, a balance of the activities of the MEDINSECT group revealed that some cooperative researches had been initiated as consequences of the first meeting in Rabat, and that several new cooperative initiatives were also built up during the Estoril reunion. The group recommended favouring exchanges between the south and the north rim of the Mediterranean Sea, while focusing these exchanges on young scientists. The MEDINSECT group decided to continue to meet periodically, if possible alternating meetings on the north and the south rim of the Mediterranean Sea, suggesting that the third meeting could be held in Tunisia.

This special edition of Silva Lusitana includes some of the papers presented at the meeting and subsequently sent by the authors to be published.