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In August 1985, Frey and Forró, introducing the special issue of Hydrobiologia that contained contributions of the participants of the First International Symposium on Cladocera, indicated that their initiative was inspired by a need to offer Cladocera—specialists a platform that had already been successfully established for researchers investigating other specific taxonomical groups of organisms. This goal could be achieved thanks to the former Editor-in-Chief of Hydrobiologia, Henri Dumont.
That first meeting was also the occasion at which the “Cladocera Newsletter” was launched, something we might nowadays call a “social network” of specialists in different research fields, pertaining to different institutions, from museums to the Academia, unified by a common interest in Cladocera. A first list of “cladocerologists” from all from over the world was sent a questionnaire for putting together a database containing information on reference topics. This initiative became a success, as over 100 Cladocera specialists sent the requested information within a few months, and this lead to the publication of the first issue of the Cladocera Newsletter, in 1988. This first issue of the newsletter identified eight research topics which, over the years, became differently represented in the scientific arena, namely: (1) Systematics and distribution (temperate, tropical, arctic regions); (2) Morphology; (3) Cytology; (4) Physiology (metabolism, development and growth, reproduction, osmoregulation); (5) Ecology (community structure, population dynamics and production, seasonal succession, long-term evolution, trophic interactions, paleoecology); (6) Genetics (ecological genetics, ecology and coexistence of clones, biochemical genetics); (7) Modelling; (8) Large-scale cultivation. Genera and families of special interest were also provided by each participant. The 25 pages of this first issue, were more than doubled in the second one, in which, among others, announcement and material for the second Symposium on Cladocera in Tatranska Lomnica (CR) was provided. With this newsletter, a gap in communication was filled that is now fast and efficiently covered by a click in the internet.
It is in the same spirit of serving communication and exchange of ideas among scientists working on Cladocera that initiated the IX International Symposium on Cladocera in 2011, organized close to the “Istituto di Pallanza”. We were happy that we could continue the Cladocera symposium after the VIIIth symposium in Aguascalientes, Mexico. Between October 2nd and 8th, 2011 researchers from 24 countries found their way to the southern slide of the Alps from which, two centuries before, the existence of a “true pelagic fauna” in lakes was supported by Weissman’s finding of Leptodora hyalina (=Leptodora kindtii Focke). The success of the Symposium is testified by the large number of attendants, constrained by the organizers for practical reasons to a number of ca. 130. In the present issue, we collect 20 scientific contributions that illustrate the diversity of the contributions that were presented during the symposium.
On the cover of this special issue, we reproduce a plate that, to our knowledge, was never used again after its initial publication in 1820. It was carefully scanned from an original water color print of a book one of us (M. Manca) found on a shelf of the old library at the Istituto di Pallanza: “Histoire du Monocles” (Jurine, 1820). In this book, Jurine reported results of a 10-year study on “Monocle qui se trouvent aux environs de Genève” (Ponds that are near Geneva). Poorly known, especially to young scientists, Jurine was indeed very modern in his scientific approach. He focused on living organisms and aimed at taking into account, among others, the differing body sizes of Cladocera taxa. Not by chance, his plates also include embryonic developmental stages and a picture of Daphnia mating, the latter linked to a beautiful painting of an ephippial organism. Also an illustration of how body parts can become Cladocera subfossil remains in the sediments is provided in remarkable detail.
At the end of the conference it was decided that we will meet again in 2014 in the Czech Republic where the team around Adam Petrusek will organize the 10th International Symposium on Cladocera.