Botanica Sudalpina Conference 2017

18 November - Natural History Museum of the Cantone Ticino - Lugano


The Botanica Sudalpina Conference is an initiative of the Botanical Society of Cantone Ticino with the collaboration of the Natural History Museum of the Cantone Ticino, Info Flora, and the Society of Natural Sciences of Cantone Ticino.

The Botanica Sudalpina Conference wants to celebrate the flora of Ticino and the Southern Alps. It welcomes any scientific work dealing with aspects of the biogeography, conservation, diversity, ecology, evolution, physiology, floristics, and systematics of spontaneous and alien plant species of the Southern Alps and in particularly of the Cantone Ticino.

The Botanica Sudalpina Conference aims at bringing together all parties active in the scientific (fundamental and applied) research on the flora of the canton and surrounding areas, at gaining an overview of the current situation (for the first time in Cantone Ticino!), and at promoting collaborations and (possibly) outlining priorities and prospects. Anyone interested in the above-mentioned topics can submit an abstract or simply be part of the audience.
Congress proceedings (PDF - 3.3MB)
Postcard: -  /  Poster: -

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CongressoBotanica Guest Speakers Holderegger
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Conference - Program - November 18

Registration (entrance)
Welcome (Conference room)
Adaptation of alpine plants to climate change
Prof. Dr. Rolf Holderegger
Does glacial retreat amplifies microrefugia opportunities for alpine plants during warm stages?
Rodolfo Gentili
The importance of stability throughout time in affecting the geographical pattern of endemism richness
Gabriele Casazza
Learning from the past to forecast the future: a case study on Berardia subacaulis, a paleo-endemic species of the SW Alps
Maria Guerrina
Coffee break & Poster session (Posters and coffee room)
Ain’t no mountain high enough: the evolution of Asteraceae in Alpine ecosystems
Luca Pegoraro
Festuca in the (Southern) Alps – still an open construction site
Peter Englmaier
Reproductive ecology and phylogeography of a self-compatible alpine specialist, Primula halleri (Primulaceae)
Jurriaan M. de Vos
What about extrafloral nectaries in European temperate zones? Answers from the Swiss Southern Alps
Brigitte Marazzi
Plant traits and strategies in vegetation analyses: concepts and applications
Prof. Dr. Bruno E.L. Cerabolini
Changes in land use are a main driver of recent plant biodiversity shifts in Swiss Alpine grasslands
Constantin E. Pöll
Successful restoration of abandoned terraced vineyards and grasslands in the canton Ticino, Switzerland
Denise Binggeli
Settlements as a source for the spread of non-native plants into suburban forests in Southern and Northwestern Switzerland
Luca Gaggini
Generative reproduction potential of Pueraria lobata in southern Switzerland
Nicola Widmer
Coffee break & Poster session
Val Grande National Park’s Vascular Flora (Piedmont, NW Italy)
Roberto Dellavedova
Plant cartography between Lago Maggiore and Lago di Como
Michael Kleih
Flora of the dolomite cliffs of Southern Ticino
Philippe Juillerat
Peculiarities in Red List assessments concerning the Southern Swiss Alps
Michael Jutzi
Final discussion
Closing ceremony & Aperò
Program and information

Guest speakers

Prof. Dr. Rolf Holderegger

Prof. Dr. Rolf Holderegger

Adaptation of alpine plants to climate change

Reactions of alpine plants to climate change

Rolf Holderegger
WSL Birmensdorf and ETHZ Zürich

The ongoing global climate change (temperature and precipitation regimes) is supposed to be particularly strong in the Alps. Hence, also its effects on the alpine flora are assumed to be marked. The principal reactions of alpine plants to climate change are: (local) extinction, migration by seed to other sites or habitats, short-term ecological adaptation of individuals (plastic responses), and genetic (i.e. evolutionary) adaptation. However, for alpine plant species and alpine vegetation a very simplistic response is often assumed with species and plant communities simply migrating upwards when temperatures are increasing. But what do we really know about the reactions of alpine plants species to climate change? Are there any recordings of extinction due to climate change yet? Is there any evidence for migration to new sites? Are short-term plastic responses sufficient to deal with changing temperatures and precipitation patterns? Is genetic adaptation really so slow that it cannot keep step with climate change? During the last two decades, researchers from across the Alps have carried out substantial research and accumulated significant results and information on how the alpine flora reacts to climate change. These results are, however, sometimes contradictory. I will first review some of these results with respect to extinction, migration, ecological and genetic adaptation from such diverse fields as floristics, vegetation science, ecology, ecophysiology and genetics. I will then try to bring them together in a more general, though still speculative synthesis. In doing so, my focus will be on the Swiss and Southern Alps.

Member of WSL Directorate and head of Research Unit Biodiversity and Conservation Biology - WSL Swiss Federal Research Institute - Birmensdorf, Switzerland

President of the Swiss Botanical Society

Prof. Dr. Bruno E.L. Cerabolini

Prof. Dr. Bruno E.L. Cerabolini

Plant traits and strategies in vegetation analyses: concepts and applications

Plant Traits and Strategies in Vegetation analyses: concepts and applications

Bruno E.L. Cerabolini
DiSTA - University of Insubria, Varese, Italy

In the last decades several aspects of plant primary functioning have been confirmed at the global scale. These include the observation that the leaf economics spectrum forms part of an overall ‘plant economics spectrum’, or a trade-off between investment of resources in perennial tissues or the early use of resources in reproduction. A secondary spectrum, the ‘plant size spectrum’, is heavily involved in plant competitive ability and has been confirmed to involve the integration of size-related traits at the level of seeds, organs and whole plants. These major axes of plant functional variability work together to form the ‘Global spectrum of plant form and function’. This provides a framework in which plant primary functioning can be quantified and compared amongst species and individuals, and has been recognized to represent major axes of variability predicted by theories such as Grime’s CSR (competitor, stress-tolerator, ruderal) adaptive strategy theory. Recently, common traits collected world-wide have been used to produce a practical tool to allow adaptive strategy classification, in which plant life forms can be compared at the same scale. Can this become a routinized method to investigate vegetation processes like coexistence and biodiversity? Adaptation along successional stages? Plant communities response to disturbance or nutrient enrichment? Ecosystem properties and services? Nowadays the amount of researches across biomes world-wide comparing plant communities along environmental gradients seems to be encouraging.

Full Professor of  Environmental and Applied Botany - Dipartimento di Scienze Teoriche e Applicate Università degli Studi dell'Insubria - Varese, Italy

How to get to the conference

The conference will be at the Natural History Museum of Cantone Ticino in Via Carlo Cattaneo 4, 6900 Lugano.

By public transportation

The bus stop for the Museum/conference is ‘Lugano, Palazzo Study’.

  • From Lugano main train station, take Bus 2 (direction Castagnola) to Lugano, Palazzo Studi (5 stops). Ca. every 15 min.
  • From Lugano train station you can also take Bus 3 from the side of piazza Bezzo (direction Canobbio, Mercato Resega) to Lugano, Palazzo Studi (5 stops).
  • From Lugano Nord station, take Bus 443 (direction Lugano Autosilo Balestra) to Lugano, Cappuccine, then transfer to Bus 2 to Lugano, Palazzo studi.
By car

Free parking at the Museum is very limited. Alternatively, parking lots are available at the ‘Parcheggio Campo Marzio’ located in front of the public swimming pool (at about 100m from the bus stop Palazzi Studi).

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Alberto Franzoni, 1922

Thus it is also in Ticino that travelers, descending from the Nufenen, the Saint Gotthard, or the San Bernardino to Locarno or Chiasso, see in a short period of time spread out in front of their admiring eye a succession of vegetation from climates most diverse, from the frigid cold of Lapland to the warm breezes of noon day sun, and there greet the plants from the cold North, those from cloudy Germany, those from alpine Helvetia, even the many which rejoice on the hills and plains of Lombardy and the Mediterranean flora." (Translation by Brack Hale)

Organizing Committee

Brigitte Marazzi

Natural History Museum of Cantone Ticino, Lugano
Info Flora, Lugano

Alessio Maccagni

University of Basel

Daniela Scheggia

Parco Botanico del Cantone Ticino, Isole di Brissago

Laura Torriani

Servizio fitosanitario cantonale, Bellinzona

Sofia Mangili

Natural History Museum of Cantone Ticino, Lugano

Scientific Committee

Andrea Persico

Pro Natura, Bellinzona

Boris Pezzati

WSL, Cadenazzo

Brack W. Hale

Franklin University, Lugano

David Frey

WSL, Birmensdorf

Filippo Rampazzi

Natural History Museum of Cantone Ticino, Lugano

Giorgio Moretti

Ufficio della selvicoltura e del Demanio, Bellinzona

Guido Maspoli

Ufficio della natura e del paesaggio, Bellinzona

Jürg Stöcklin

University of Basel - Editor in-chief Alpine Botany

Lorenzo Besomi

Ufficio della natura e del paesaggio, Bellinzona

Marco Moretti

WSL, Birmensdorf (Chief editor Bollettino STSN)

Mauro Jermini

Agroscope, Cadenazzo

Nicola Schoenenberger

Innovabridge Foundation, Caslano

Stefan Eggenberg

Info Flora, Berna

An initiative of


In collaboration with

Info Flora