Doorwerth, a small village near Wageningen, The Netherlands, was the venue for the 8th International Symposium on Postharvest Physiology of Ornamental Plants.
The symposium was called 'QualiFlor2003', and was hosted by Wageningen University and Research Center.
Notwithstanding the high temperatures relative to usual Dutch conditions (>35°C), 92 colleagues from 16 different countries participated very actively.
It was good to see delegates from countries that were not represented in previous ornamental Postharvest symposia, like Iran.
The presented papers gave an excellent overview of all aspects of the postharvest part of the ornamental horticultural production chain, covering the range from the impact of quality on the market to the molecular biology of senescence.
In comparison to previous symposia there was an increased attention for the role of preharvest growth conditions on postharvest physiology.
Several papers about the use of advanced techniques to measure and predict quality, like acoustic emission, chlorophyll fluorescence, and microarrays, were presented.
The progression of understanding the genetical basis of senescence is slowly but steadily growing.
Despite the attention for the effects of 1-MCP, there was less emphasis on the use of chemicals to enhance vase life, compared to previous symposia.
The format of the symposium gave time for sharing a lot of active discussion during formal presentations and poster sessions, as well as during many social activities.
There was a mid-conference technical tour to a flower auction, various ornamental nurseries, and a large bouquet producer and exporter.
The tour ended with the conference dinner at Castle Doorwerth.
During this dinner Prof.
Abraham Halevy from Israel was honoured for his significant contribution to the postharvest physiology of ornamentals during the last 30 years.
I am very grateful to all who contributed to the success of this symposium, especially to the other members of the Organising Committee.
I also wish to thank all of the corporate sponsors for the financial support to make this symposium a success on all levels.
Uulke van Meeteren, Convener
The papers contained in this volume of Acta Horticulturae report the Proceedings of the Eighth International Symposium on Postharvest Physiology of Ornamental Plants.
Keynote speakers and authors of selected contributed oral and poster presentations were given the opportunity to submit a manuscript for publication.
These manuscripts were reviewed by the symposium Editors.
Only those papers judged suitable for publication following the authors consideration of reviewer suggestions appear in this volume of Acta Horticulturae.
The ISHS acknowledges and appreciates the contribution of all editors and reviewers.
They have made a significant contribution to improving the quality of this publication.
The ISHS Board of Directors