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

Third circular, 12 December 2012
We are pleased to announce the Second International Workshop on Biological Soil Cruts, which follows the successful first 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.

Scientific committee
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)
Ferran García-Pichel, Arizona State University (USA)
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

10.6. Arrival, registration, workshop sessions (morning and afternoon).
11.6. Workshop sessions (morning and afternoon).
12.6. Field trip to the Guadarrama Mountain Range (8:00 – 16:00 h). Informal discussion session in a field station in the mountains (16:00 – 18:00 h). Conference dinner in the Botanical Gardens of the University.
13.6. Workshop sessions (morning), departure after lunch.

Plenary speakers are now confirmed (the title of the talks is temptative):

Dr. Matthew A. Bowker, Assistant Professor, Northern Arizona University. Topic of his talk: “Biological soil crusts as a model system on community and ecosystem ecology”. Personal webpage.

Dr. Burkhard Büdel, Professor, University of Kaiserslautern. Topic of his talk: “Soil Crust InterNational (SCIN) – Understanding and valuing biological soil protection of disturbed and open land surfaces”. Personal webpage.

Dr. Steve Pointing, Professor, Auckland University of Technology. Topic of his talk: “Understanding microbial contributions to ecosystem-wide patterns and processes in extreme environments”. Personal webpage.
Abstract submission

Abstract submission will be open from 20 September 2012 to 31 December 2012.

Authors are invited to present regular talks, short ideas and/or posters at the meeting. Regular contributions will be talks of 15 minutes + 5 minutes discussion each. Short notes/ideas can be presented in 5 minute talks (+ 3 minutes discussion). Poster sessions will also take place the first two days of the meeting.

For all the contribution types, please submit abstracts by e-mail (to using this template and indicate, if you wish to present a regular contribution, a short note or a poster. Please note that the number of slots available for regular and short talks is limited, and we may not be able to accommodate all the requests for talks we may have.

The template for the abstract can be found at the webpage of the meeting:

Registration and fees

The registration will be open from 1 January 2013 to 30 April 2013.

Conference fees:

240 € regular participants
120 € students

The fees include the documentation, the lunches of three days, the field trip and the conference dinner. Payment of the fees will be done by either credit card or bank transfer, using the template form available at the webpage of the meeting.

Travel Information

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).

For general travelling and tourism information please visit: (Touristic information on Madrid and schedule of cultural events going out in the city) (General touristic information) (Information on flights going to the Barajas airport, the main airport in Madrid)

Detailed information on how to reach the university from Madrid city centre, and how to get to the city from the airport, will be given in the next circular.
Participants are free to book the accommodation of their choice, as there are plenty of options within Madrid, from cheap hostels to luxury hotels. In the next circular we will provide contact details of a local travel agency, in the case that there are participants that prefer to book their trip through them.
Important dates
Abstract submission: Abstract submission will be from 20 September 2012 to 31 December 2012.

Notification of abstract acceptance: 30 January 2013

Registration: 1 January 2013 – 30 April 2013

Workshop: 10 – 13 June 2013

We hope to see you all at Madrid in 2013!
Fernando T. Maestre ( and Leopoldo G. Sancho (