Twenty-five years of conferences on the Ecology and Management of Alien Plant invasions: the history of EMAPi 1992–2017

During the first 25 years, EMAPi conferences were attended by 1280 participants from 77 countries in five continents and produced 1474 presentations, including 44 keynotes on a broad range of aspects of plant invasion ecology. The series was established in Loughborough, UK, in 1992 and with its 14th conference in Lisbon, Portugal in 2017 it has become the longest held series of regular meetings in plant invasion ecology with the number of participants in the last decade ranging between 150 and 250 per meeting. Of the 14 events so far, eight were held in Europe, three in North America and the remaining three in Australia, Africa and South America, respectively. The EMAPi series continues to be maintained by an informal board consisting of the organizers of previous meetings. Over time, there has been a shift in research focus from the ecology of species invasiveness and community invasibility, analyses of distribution and spread dynamics towards presentations dealing with management, control, risk assessment and impact. The latter topics, although well represented even at the beginning of the EMAPi conferences, increased their proportion among the total number of papers delivered, from about a quarter to more than half. Ten conferences yielded proceedings and up to 2008 these were published as books with Backhuys Publishers, followed by two issues in the journals Biological Invasions and NeoBiota. By forming a long-term meeting platform, addressing a broad range of topics, reflecting development in plant invasion ecology, achieving truly global geographical coverage and bringing together researchers and practitioners into close contact, EMAPi has become an excellent venue for initiating collaborations among invasion ecologists worldwide.