International Society for Plant Pathology
(Professor Richard Falloon, President)
ISPP

DPG

 
Report to ISPP from an Associated Society for 2003-2008.
Name of Society. Deutsche Phytomedizinische Gesellschaft e.V. (German Phytomedical Society)
Established: 12.10.1949
Web address for Society. http://www.phytomedizin.org
Name (s) of personnel preparing report. Dr. Falko Feldmann, Managing Director
Nominated Officers. Is the list for your society on the ISPP website correct? No
President Dr. Bernd Holtschulte (KWS AG, Einbeck, Germany, B. Holtschulte@kws.de
Managing Director Dr. Falko Feldmann (DPG ,Braunschweig, Germany
Feldmann@phytomedizin.org).
Will a Society member be making corrections to the ISPP entry for your society on-line?
No (no adaption of ISPP function expressions possible)
Society Contact: Dr. Falko Feldmann; Email Feldmann@phytomedizin.org
Society membership. 1225 members in 2006; 1178 members in 2007; 1254 members in 2008
Report for 2003-2008.

 

•  Society Activities and publications.
The German Phytomedical Society (DPG) is the largest scientific association in plant
production in Germany. The Society is membership-based, and its members are
professionals within the entire field of phytomedicine. Here, we define phytomedicine as
the science of plant disorders (whether biotic or abiotic), their diagnosis, management and
control. Phytomedicine deals with all infectious agents that attack plants, and also covers
damage caused to crops by pests, diseases and weeds. Under our definition, we
additionally include abiotic disorders such as drought, frost, flooding, poor drainage,
nutrient deficiency, salt deposition and other soluble mineral excesses or wind, which may
occur naturally or be man made. Other examples of man-made ‘problems’ include soil
compaction, pollution of air and soil, salt applications on roads in urban areas, overuse of
pesticides, as well as poor education and poor training of people working with plants.
The special fields of interest (competences) of the 1,200 individual DPG members clearly
reflect the broad scientific range of disciplines and topics encompassed by phytomedicine.
In essence, the activities of DPG members are centred around some 20 or so basic
disciplines (e.g. mycology, virology, bacteriology, nematology and entomology). In a
multidisciplinary sense, 10 core disciplines emerge, covering important areas such as
disease monitoring, diagnosis, plant protection strategies and soil management. The extent
of expertise within the DPG membership varies from discipline to discipline, but all areas
of phytomedicine are covered. Within the membership, there is a balance between
system-oriented, applied approaches to phytomedicine and basic research which may or
may not have direct or indirect application. The former constitute mainly members from
applied research and advisory institutions or organisations, who seek to provide or support
solutions to plant protection problems, ideally in direct collaboration with advisors
(practitioners), growers and agricultural companies. The latter include academic scientists
in federal or university research institutes, whose links to DPG depend largely on their
individual interests in plant protection issues. Thus, DPG comprises a community of
experts professionally committed to the achievement and preservation of both the ‘healthy
plant’ and ‘healthy plant production’.
DPG is a scientific association with the purpose of promoting research in the entire field of
phytomedicine and the application of the results gained thereby, primarily to advance
education within plant health and to support extension services. The Society pursues its
goals through:
a) organising or supporting scientific meetings and conferences;
b) the joint organisation of national and international congresses, symposia etc. (e.g. the
German Plant Protection Congress in co-operation with the Federal Research Centre for
Cultivated Plants and the German Plant Protection Services; the International Symposium
Plant Protection and Plant Health in Europe in co-operation with the British Crop
Production Council);
c) offering scientists opportunities to join 16 working groups (see below);
d) establishment and development of relationships not only with other organisations that
have similar aims and objectives but also with professional colleagues abroad;
e) co-operation with universities and other training establishments, with the aim of
providing advice in the establishment of study plans and education curricula;
f) promotion of young scientists;
g) provision of information to the general public on the aims and objectives of
phytomedicine;
h) publication of research results from the entire area of phytomedicine and the promotion
of such publications (e.g. Journal of Plant Diseases and Protection, the DPG in-house
journal Phytomedizin, specific proceedings of conferences and symposia as well as
monographs in the annual publication Phytomedicine Spectrum );
i) awarding of prizes and medals;
j) promotion of the career, legal and social interests of its members, in collaboration with
other (mainly national) organisations.

 

Funding opportunities are available only for members of the Society
Plant pathology in the Region Served by the Society 2003-2008

 

Many professions deal with phytomedical practices, especially plant protection: e.g.
farmers, gardeners, forest proprietors or even private persons who observe that plant
disease and pathogens impair the quality of the culture plant or that plant protection
guarantees the high yield or quality of useful plants (including food crops and
ornamentals). The large number of professions concerned with phytomedicine (such as
those mentioned above) completes the spectrum.
In its 60 years’ history, DPG has attracted a large number of people from a very wide
range of professions. Virtually none of these professions operates in isolation; indeed,
most work closely together with others. Consequently, it is easy to identify a large number
of interactions between them, resulting in mainly four ‘fields of action’ at an
interdisciplinary level: consumer protection and product quality, work safety and
environmental protection.
These four action fields are directly correlated with phytomedical practices before, during
or after plant production. If these or the core competences are, for example, communicated
to the public or the media, a trans-disciplinary level is reached. The interrelationships
between phytomedicine and important societal demands (e.g. those belonging to
landscape, communication and consultation) are located at that level.

 

It is the outstanding importance of social requirements which introduces new definitions of
‘quality’. For example, over and above product quality, today’s consumer is more and
more asking how a product has been produced. He or she will no longer accept poor social
standards (such as child labour), but is willing to pay a higher price for fairly produced
goods. The inclusion of such social standards at the trans-disciplinary level, for example,
creates the action field of ‘production quality’. Phytomedicine must become aware of new
action fields as they develop and itself become proactive under changing social demands.

 

•  Important motors of change were the onset of globalisation of trade, the creation of
international networks on every scale and the huge possibilities arising for those who were
prepared for interactions and relationships with other parties. DPG started to integrate with
several national and international networks more than fifteen years ago. However, it
initially remained a mainly nationally oriented scientific society. In spite of this, DPG
members (especially the researchers) intensified their co-operation with colleagues outside
Germany and thereby turned DPG into a more internationally orientated organisation. The
activities of the various DPG Working Groups bear particular testament to this.

 

DPG is currently reorganising internally, to support communication with colleagues
abroad. For example: the Journal of Plant Disease and Protection (cost-free for DPG
members since 2006) will increasingly allow members to publish their findings, reviews
and short communications explicitly for the readership worldwide interested in
phytomedicine; conversely, international scientists will be able to communicate directly
with DPG members by publishing their results in the same journal. During 2006, the DPG
website had been given a new face, with internationally oriented pages that will include
the new “Expert Network” of members ( www.phytomedizin.org ). Furthermore, the DPG
Working Groups will emphasise the international flavour of their meetings and some will
co-operate internationally with colleagues from other, especially European, countries; also,
the presentations at the largest German congress dealing with phytomedicine (the
Deutsche Pflanzenschutztagung) will be published on a new website
( www.pflanzenschutztagung.de ) and will inform the international audience about German
activities in plant protection. One of the most important actions has been the introduction
of an international symposium which DPG created, together with colleagues from BCPC
(the British Crop Production Council), in 2005. The three-day symposium, under the
umbrella title of Plant Protection and Plant Health in Europe will take place every two
years, hopefully in a long-term co-operation with the Faculty of Agriculture and
Horticulture of the Humboldt University, Berlin. The first symposium had the title
Introduction and Spread of Invasive Species and brought together more than 120
specialists from 36 nations around the World. In 2007, the next symposium focussed on
Best Management Practices in Plant Production and is recently followed by the
symposium 2009 Crop Resistance to Biotic and Abiotic Factors.

 

•  Finally, DPG established a Committee for International Co-operation connected to the
Berlin-Symposium as Advisory Committee which will co-ordinate all relevant interactions
of DPG with foreign associations with similar interests. In 2006, we started to invite
people who are also involved in associations abroad to become members of this
committee.

 

•  With its wide membership, DPG includes a huge reservoir of scientific potential, not only
for the benefit of the Society and its members but also for the public in general. As the
oldest and largest lobby for phytomedicine in Germany, DPG is able to support and mould
the development of phytomedicine on an inter- and a trans-disciplinary level, within
scientific circles and in the public arena. As a partner, DPG can offer like-minded
organisations a long-term partnership to further all aspects of phytomedicine, whether
academic or applied. To this end, we would welcome contacts from all organisations that
are seeking to establish such collaborative ventures in phytomedicine, as well as from
individuals who wish to become DPG members.