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1.06.01 - Phytotechnologies for degraded sites in rural and urban communities



Call for Proposals to Host the Ninth International Poplar Symposium

The International Union of Forest Research Organizations’ (IUFRO), Poplar and Willow Genetics Working Party 2.08.04, convenes the International Poplar Symposium (IPS) every four years for the presentation and discussion of the most recent and important scientific findings in Populus and Salix genetics, molecular biology, physiology, ecology, wood science, etc. The next symposium, IPS-IX, will be held in 2026. IPS-IX will follow previous poplar symposia held in Seattle, Washington, USA (IPS-I, 1995), Orleans, France (IPS-II, 1999), Uppsala, Sweden (IPS-III, 2002), Nanjing, China (IPS-IV, 2006), Orvieto, Italy (IPS-V, 2010), Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (IPS-VI, 2014), Buenos Aires, Argentina (IPS-VII, 2018), and most recently, Novi Sad, Serbia (IPS-VIII, 2022, virtual).

The Poplar and Willow Genetics Working Party 2.08.04 welcomes all proposals to host IPS-IX.

Details about the sections of a bid are available at:

Please submit your bid by 1 May 2023 to Dr. Ron Zalesny (USDA Forest Service, USA), 2.08.04 coordinator, via electronic mail (

View all entries


Ronald S. Zalesny Jr., United States


Darja Istenic, Slovenia

Trevor Jones, New Zealand

Azadeh Salehi, Iran

Nancy F. Sonti, United States

Ismael Leonardo Vera Puerto, Chile

About Unit

The overarching scope of the proposed Working Party 1.06.01 is to facilitate research cooperation and the exchange of other information, methodologies, and tree materials related to phytotechnologies in rural and urban communities in the context of restoration of degraded lands. Regardless of specific application, source of environmental degradation, and geographic location of the impacted sites, the primary objective of 1.06.01 is to serve as a global research networking platform for scientists, industry professionals, government officials, and land managers in need of sustainable phytotechnologies. We seek to achieve this objective by: 1) collaborating with other IUFRO working units and external groups to host major events within which phytotechnologies play a major role, 2) hosting in-person and/or virtual meetings at the major events to increase networking opportunities for 1.06.01 members and experts that are interested in joining the unit, and 3) conducting outreach activities consisting of science briefs, webinars, recruitment campaigns, etc.

Working Party 1.06.01 will have direct partnership opportunities and linkages with:

State of Knowledge

Anthropogenic activities throughout the world have altered or degraded lands and waters across the rural to urban continuum. Traditional engineering methods for capturing, mitigating, and treating contamination are resource-intensive, often requiring financial, human, and technical assets that preclude their use. In contrast, ecological restoration techniques to green and clean the environment are much more economically viable and provide sustainable, long-term solutions for reducing land degradation, increasing biodiversity, and improving ecosystem services (e.g., clean water, healthy soils, carbon sequestration). Known as phytotechnologies, these methods involve the strategic use of plants to solve environmental problems. Phytotechnologies include specific silvicultural activities and are often classified according to one or more biological recovery activities: rehabilitation, restoration, reclamation, and remediation. Phytoremediation, the use of trees to clean contaminated soils and waters, is the most common phytotechnology implemented globally to accumulate, immobilize, metabolize and/or volatilize pollutants. Other primary phytotechnologies include: mine reclamation systems, constructed wetlands, rain gardens, urban tree canopies, green infrastructure plantings, and vegetative forest buffers.

Regardless of the geographic scope of individual installations, three overarching knowledge gaps exist for phytotechnologies. First, there is insufficient information on matching specific genotypes of tree species (e.g., poplars, willows, eucalypts, etc.) to the contaminant, soil, and climate conditions of the degraded areas, resulting in the need to quantify genotype × environment interactions to maximize system effectiveness. Second, thresholds of pollutant tolerance and toxicity for tree species and genotypes used for phytotechnologies are often not known, resulting in inadequate tree selection. Third, limited long-term, field-scale testing of survival, growth, and ecophysiology throughout the lifespan of the trees (i.e., from planting to harvest) has restricted rotation-age quantification of phytotechnology effectiveness and broadscale implementation.