Litter Breakdown in Rivers and Streams: Meeting in Bilbao / SILnews 24

Litter Breakdown in Rivers and Streams: Meeting in Bilbao / SILnews 24

Proposal for a new SIL Working Group

This meeting was attended by 44 participants representing 13 countries. It was held at a thermal resort (Baños de Molinar). Meals, lodging and presentations all took place in the same building, which, together with the size of the meeting, greatly facilitated interactions among the participants. The organizing committee spared no effort to ensure ideal conditions for three days of intense scientific discussions and pleasurable evenings. They even arranged a surprise visit by Mr. Bean. Another interesting novelty was the singing of a Spanish song before each meal. Maybe, if a later meeting will be held in Lunz, Maria and Gernot will ask us to yodel before meals?

Two days of formal presentations, a mix of reviews and original reports (which will be published in Limnetica), were followed by a round-table discussion, which touched on topics such as the role of wood, studies in microbial ecology, eucalypt and other introduced species, large rivers, and statistical methods. What struck me was the much broader degree of participation than is usual at larger, more intimidating meetings.

The last day was spent on a field trip to the famous Agüera river sites, which introduced us to a whole new concept of what an enjoyable field trip should be like.

Working Group Proposal

Dr. Eric Pattée (Université de Lyons) suggested the formation of a SIL working group on organic matter decomposition; it is anticipated that a meeting will be held at next year’s congress in Ireland to further discuss this proposal. Anybody with suggestions please contact Dr. Eric Pattée ( We all came away greatly impressed with the superb organization of this meeting and by the dedicated group of associates and students working with Drs. Jesus Pozo and Arturo Elosegi.

Felix Baerlocher
Mount Allison University