Second International Workshop on Biological Soil Crusts: Biological Soil Crusts in a Changing World

We are pleased to announce the Second International Workshop on Biological Soil Crusts, which follows the successful I Workshop celebrated in Germany in 2010. This workshop is devoted to disseminate recent advances in our knowledge of the ecology of biological soil crusts (BSCs) and their importance as a key driver of ecosystem structure and functioning.

The main objective of this Workshop is to trigger an exchange of ideas and results, to discuss possible new theories/approaches, and to provide a forum to facilitate the collaboration among the growing international community of scientists working with BSCs.

This international meeting will take place at the Faculty of Pharmacy, The Complutense University, Madrid, Spain, between 10th and 13rd of June, 2013. The meeting will cover any aspect related to BSCs, including the following topics:

• Diversity, ecology and biogeography of BSCs
• Mapping, monitoring and management of BSCs
• Role of BSCs in ecosystems
• Taxonomy of BSC constituents
• Disturbance and restoration of BSCs
• Interaction between BSCs and vascular plant vegetation
• Effects of global environmental change on BSCs

The meeting will include invited plenary talks, contributed oral sessions, poster sessions, a field trip and some open, informal sessions to facilitate the exchange of ideas and protocols on key issues surrounding BSC ecology.


The Complutense University is one of the largest Universities in Spain. Located in the historic Ciudad Universitaria/Moncloa Campus, it is easily accessible from anywhere in Madrid from Metro and Bus. The venue of the meeting (Faculty of Pharmacy) is just 20 m from a metro station.

Madrid, the Spanish capital, is a vibrant city with world class museums, monuments, and restaurants, and with a famous night and cultural life. It can be easily reached by plane from anywhere in the world, and has activities of interest for anyone (see for touristic information and for a schedule of cultural events).

Scientific committee (preliminary)

Jayne Belnap, United States Geological Service (USA)
Matthew A. Bowker, Northern Arizona University (USA)
Burkhard Büdel, University of Kaiserslautern (Germany)
David Eldridge, University of New South Wales (Australia)
Fernando T. Maestre, Rey Juan Carlos University (Spain)
Leopoldo G. Sancho, Complutense University (Spain)
Eli Zaady, Ministry of Agriculture (Israel)

Local organizing committee

Beatriz Gozalo, Rey Juan Carlos University
Allan Green, Complutense University
Fernando T. Maestre, Rey Juan Carlos University
José Raggio, Complutense University
Victoria Ochoa, Rey Juan Carlos University
Ana Pintado, Complutense University
Mª Dolores Puche, Rey Juan Carlos University
Leopoldo G. Sancho, Complutense University

Important dates

September 2012: second circular containing the registration costs, travel information and deadlines for sending the abstracts. The website of the Workshop will also be alive in September 2012.

We hope to see all you at Madrid in 2013!

Fernando T. Maestre ( and Leopoldo G. Sancho (