Focus and Scope

Plant Ecology and Evolution is a diamond open access journal that publishes papers about ecology, phylogenetics, and systematics of all plant groups (including algae, fungi, and myxomycetes), also covering related fields such as comparative and developmental morphology, conservation biology, evolution, phytogeography, pollen and spores, population biology, and vegetation studies. Submissions concerning (sub)tropical Africa are particularly welcome.


Open Access

Plant Ecology and Evolution is a diamond open access journal. Providing immediate and unrestricted open access accelerates discovery and exchange of the latest research and creates a more equitable system of knowledge that is open to all. The publication of the journal is supported by two non-profit organisations, Meise Botanic Garden and the Royal Botanical Society of Belgium, and we therefore charge no publication fees.

Copyright Notice

License and Copyright Agreement

In submitting the manuscript to Plant Ecology and Evolution, the authors certify that: 

  • They are authorized by their co-authors to enter into these arrangements. 
  • The work described has not been published before (except in the form of an abstract or as part of a published lecture, review or thesis), that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere, that its publication has been approved by all the author(s) and by the responsible authorities – tacitly or explicitly – of the institutes where the work has been carried out. 
  • They secure the right to reproduce any material that has already been published or copyrighted elsewhere. 
  • They agree to the following license and copyright agreement:


  • Copyright on any article is retained by the author(s). Regarding copyright transfers please see below. 
  • Authors grant the publishers a license to publish the article and identify itself as the original publishers. 
  • Authors grant any third party the right to use the article freely as long as its original authors and citation details are identified. 
  • The article and any associated published material is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0):

Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0)

Anyone is free:

  to Share — to copy, distribute and transmit the work 
  to Remix — to adapt the work

Under the following conditions:

Attribution. The original authors must be given credit. 

  • For any reuse or distribution, it must be made clear to others what the license terms of this work are. 
  • Any of these conditions can be waived if the copyright holders give permission. 
  • Nothing in this license impairs or restricts the author's moral rights.

Copyright Transfers

Any usage rights are regulated through the Creative Commons License. As Plant Ecology and Evolution is using the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), anyone (the author, his/her institution/company, the publishers, as well as the public) is free to copy, distribute, transmit, and adapt the work as long as the original author is credited (see above). Therefore, specific usage rights cannot be reserved by the author or his/her institution/company, and the publisher cannot include a statement "all rights reserved" in any published paper.

Journal content before 1 January 2019

The content published before 1 January 2019 is subject to publisher copyright. Contact the editorial office for more information.

Privacy Statement

The personal information used on this website is to be used exclusively for the stated purposes of this journal. It will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party.


Some journals are integrated with Contributor Role Taxonomy (CRediT), in order to recognise individual author input within a publication, thereby ensuring professional and ethical conduct, while avoiding authorship disputes, gift / ghost authorship and similar pressing issues in academic publishing.

During manuscript submission, the submitting author is strongly recommended to specify a contributor role for each of co-author, i.e. Conceptualization, Methodology, Software, Validation, Formal analysis, Investigation, Resources, Data Curation, Writing - Original draft, Writing - Review and Editing, Visualization, Supervision, Project administration, Funding Acquisition (see more). For the journals that are not integrated with CRediT, the submitting author is encouraged to specify the roles as a free text. Once published the article will include the contributor role for all authors in the article metadata.

Use of AI

Authors must be transparent about the use of Artificial Intelligence tools such as ChatGPT and other large language models in the manuscript preparation, and disclose details of how the AI tool was used within the "Materials and Methods" section.

Desk Rejection

During the pre-review evaluation, Editors-in-Chief or Subject Editors check the manuscript and decide whether it enters peer review or is outright rejected. At this point, they may reject a manuscript prior to sending it out for peer review, specifying the reasons. The most common ones are non-conformity with the journal's focus, scope and policies and/or low scientific or linguistic quality.

In case the manuscript is suitable for the journal but has to be corrected technically or linguistically, it will be returned to the authors for improvement. The authors will not need to re-submit the manuscript but only to upload the corrected file(s) to their existing submission.

Peer Review

This journal uses a single-blind peer review process. This means that the names of reviewers are hidden from the authors (the author does not know the identity of the reviewer, but the reviewer knows the identity of the author). Notwithstanding that, the reviewers are encouraged to disclose their identities, if they wish to do so. Each article is reviewed by at least two independent experts, with a final decision on acceptance being made by the Subject Editor / Editor-in-Chief. Front-matter articles, such as editorials, correspondence, biographies, and similar articles, can be published after editorial evaluation only.


This journal allows posting preprints of the manuscripts submitted for peer-review. Authors are strongly encouraged to use the ARPHA Preprints server for that as an option available during the submission process, which will save a double effort in manuscript submission and allows the preprint to be directly linked to the published article and vice versa.

Manuscripts that contain nomenclatural acts in the sense of the biological Codes will not be posted as preprints even when the authors opt for that, to avoid possible confusion in the priority of names and validity of publication.

Indexing and Archiving

The articles published in the journal are indexed by a high number of industry leading indexers and repositories. The journal content is archived in CLOCKSS, Zenodo, Portico and other international archives. The full list of indexes and archives are shown on the journal homepage.

The authors are allowed to publish preprints of their manuscripts on ARPHA Preprints or other preprint servers, except when a new taxon name is mentioned in the manuscript. This is to prevent non-conformity with the rules of the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants for valid publication of taxa names.

Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement


The publishing ethics and malpractice policies follow the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing (joint statement by COPE, DOAJ, WAME, and OASPA), the NISO Recommended Practices for the Presentation and Identification of E-Journals (PIE-J), and, where relevant, the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals from ICMJE.

Privacy statement

The personal information used on this website is to be used exclusively for the stated purposes of each particular journal. It will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party. 

Open access

Plant Ecology and Evolution is a diamond open access journal in order to accelerate the barrier-free dissemination of scientific knowledge. All published articles are made freely available to read, download, and distribute immediately upon publication, given that the original source and authors are cited (Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0)).

Open data publishing and sharing

Plant Ecology and Evolution encourages open data publication and sharing, in accordance with Panton’s Principles and FAIR Data Principles.

Data can be published in various ways, such as preservation in data repositories linked to the respective article or as data files or packages supplementary to the article. Datasets should be deposited in an appropriate, trusted repository and the associated identifier (URL or DOI) of the dataset(s) must be included in the data resources section of the article. Reference(s) to datasets should also be included in the reference list of the article with DOIs (where available). Where no discipline-specific data repository exists authors should deposit their datasets in a general repository such as, for example Zenodo or others. 

Submission, peer review and editorial process

The peer review and editorial processes are facilitated through an online editorial system and a set of email notifications. The website displays a stepwise description of the editorial process and list all necessary instructions and links. These links are also included in the respective email notification.

General: Publication and authorship

  • All submitted papers are subject to a rigorous peer review process by at least two international reviewers who are experts in the scientific field of the particular paper. 

  • The factors that are taken into account in review are relevance, soundness, significance, originality, readability and language. 

  • The journal allows several rounds of review of a manuscript. The ultimate responsibility for editorial decisions lies with the respective subject editor and, in some cases, with the editor in chief. All appeals should be directed to the editor in chief, who may decide to seek advice among the subject editors and reviewers.

  • The possible decisions include: (1) accept, (2) minor revisions, (2) major revisions, (3) reject, but re-submission encouraged and (5) reject. 

  • If authors are encouraged to revise and resubmit a submission, there is no guarantee that the revised submission will be accepted. 

  • The paper acceptance is constrained by such legal requirements as shall then be in force regarding libel, copyright infringement and plagiarism. 

  • No research can be included in more than one publication.

Responsibility of Authors

  • Authors are required to agree that their paper will be published in open access under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0) license.

  • Authors must certify that their manuscripts are their original work. 

  • Authors must certify that the manuscript has not previously been published elsewhere. 

  • Authors must certify that the manuscript is not currently being considered for publication elsewhere. 

  • Authors should submit the manuscript in linguistically and grammatically correct English and formatted in accordance with the journal’s Author Guidelines.

  • Authors must participate in the peer review process. 

  • Authors are obliged to provide retractions or corrections of mistakes. 

  • All Authors mentioned are expected to have significantly contributed to the research. 

  • Authors must notify the еditors of any conflicts of interest. 

  • Authors must identify all sources used in the creation of their manuscript. 

  • Authors must report any errors they discover in their published paper to the editors.

  • Authors should acknowledge all significant funders of the research pertaining to their article and list all relevant competing interests.   

  • Other sources of support for publications should also be clearly identified in the manuscript, usually in an acknowledgement (e.g. funding for the article processing charge; language editing or editorial assistance).

  • The corresponding author should provide the declaration of any conflicts of interest on behalf of all authors. Conflicts of interest may be associated with employment, sources of funding, personal financial interests, membership of relevant organisations or others.

Responsibility of Reviewers

  • The manuscripts will be reviewed by two or three experts in order to reach first decision as soon as possible. Reviewers do not need to sign their reports but are welcome to do so. They are also asked to declare any conflicts of interests.

  • Reviewers are not expected to provide a thorough linguistic editing or copyediting of a manuscript, but to focus on its scientific quality, as well as for the overall style, which should correspond to the good practices in clear and concise academic writing. If reviewers recognize that a manuscript requires linguistic edits, they should inform both authors and editor in the report.

  • Reviewers are asked to check whether the manuscript is scientifically sound and coherent, how interesting it is and whether the quality of the writing is acceptable.

  • In cases of strong disagreement between the reviews or between the authors and reviewers, the editors can judge these according to their expertise or seek advice from a member of the journal's editorial board.

  • Reviewers are also asked to indicate which articles they consider to be especially interesting or significant. These articles may be given greater prominence and greater external publicity, including press releases addressed to science journalists and mass media.

  • During a second review round, the reviewer may be asked by the subject editor to evaluate the revised version of the manuscript with regards to reviewer’s recommendations submitted during the first review round.

  • Reviewers are asked to be polite and constructive in their reports. Reports that may be insulting or uninformative will be rescinded.

  • Reviewers are asked to start their report with a very brief summary of the reviewed paper. This will help the Editors and Authors see whether the reviewer correctly understood the paper or whether a report might be based on misunderstanding.

  • Further, Reviewers are asked to comment on originality, structure and previous research: (1) Is the paper sufficiently novel and does it contribute to a better understanding of the topic under scrutiny? Is the work rather confirmatory and repetitive? (2) Is the introduction clear and concise? Does it place the work into the context that is necessary for a reader to comprehend the aims, hypotheses tested, experimental design or methods? Are Material and Methods clearly described and sufficiently explained? Are reasons given when choosing one method over another one from a set of comparable methods? Are the results clearly but concisely described? Do they relate to the topic outlined in the introduction? Do they follow a logical sequence? Does the discussion place the paper in scientific context and go a step beyond the current scientific knowledge on the basis of the results? Are competing hypotheses or theories reasonably related to each other and properly discussed? Do conclusions seem reasonable?  Is previous research adequately incorporated into the paper? Are references complete, necessary and accurate? Is there any sign that substantial parts of the paper were copies of other works?

  • Reviewers should not review manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or institutions connected to the papers.

  • Reviewers should keep all information regarding papers confidential and treat them as privileged information. 

  • Reviewers should express their views clearly with supporting arguments. 

  • Reviewers should identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors.

  • Reviewers should also call to the editors’ attention any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published paper of which they have personal knowledge.

Responsibility of Editors

  • Editors in Pensoft’s journals carry the main responsibility for the scientific quality of the published papers and base their decisions solely on the papers' importance, originality, clarity and relevance to publication's scope.

  • The subject editor takes the final decision on a manuscript’s acceptance or rejection and their name is listed as "Communicating Editor" in each article.

  • The subject editors are not expected to provide a thorough linguistic editing or copyediting of a manuscript, but to focus on its scientific quality, as well as the overall style, which should correspond to the good practices in clear and concise academic writing. 

  • Editors are expected to spot small errors in orthography or stylistic during the editing process and correct them.

  • Editors should always consider the needs of the authors and the readers when attempting to improve the publication. 

  • Editors should guarantee the quality of the papers and the integrity of the academic record. 

  • Editors should preserve the anonymity of Reviewers, unless the later decide to disclose their identities. 

  • Editors should ensure that all research material they publish conforms to internationally accepted ethical guidelines. 

  • Editors should act if they suspect misconduct and make all reasonable attempts to obtain a resolution to the problem. 

  • Editors should not reject papers based on suspicions, they should have proof of misconduct.

  • Editors should not allow any conflicts of interest between authors, reviewers and board Members.

Neutrality to geopolitical disputes


The strict policy of Plant Ecology and Evolution is to stay neutral to any political or territorial dispute. Authors should depoliticize their studies by avoiding provoking remarks, disputable geopolitical statements and controversial map designations. In case that this is unavoidable, the journal reserves the right to mark such at least as disputable at or after publication, to publish editor's notes or to reject/retract the papers.

Authors' affiliations

Plant Ecology and Evolution does not take decisions regarding the actual affiliations of institutions. Authors are advised to provide their affiliation as indicated on the official website of their institution.


Editorial decisions should not be affected by the origins of the manuscript, including the nationality, ethnicity, political beliefs, race, or religion of the authors. Decisions to edit and publish should not be determined by the policies of governments or other agencies outside of the journal itself.

Gender Issues
We encourage the use of gender-neutral language, such as "chairperson" instead of "chairman" or "chairwomen", as well as "they" instead of "she/he" and "their" instead of "him/her" (or consider restructuring the sentence).

Conflict of interest

During the submission process, the authors are required to identify possible conflicts of interest with the journal editors. After a manuscript has been assigned to a handling editor, the editor is required to inform the managing editor of any possible conflicts of interest with the authors. Journal submissions are also assigned to reviewers is such a way as to minimize conflicts of interest. After manuscripts are assigned for review, reviewers are asked to inform the editor of any conflicts that may exist.

Appeals and open debate

We encourage academic debate and constructive criticism. Authors are always invited to respond to any editorial correspondence before publication. Authors are not allowed to neglect unfavourable comments about their work and choose not to respond to criticisms. 

No reviewer’s comment or published correspondence may contain a personal attack on any of the authors. Criticism of the work is encouraged. Editors should edit (or reject) personal or offensive statements. Authors should submit their appeal on editorial decisions to the editorial office, addressed to the editor in chief. Authors are discouraged from directly contacting editorial board members and editors with appeals.

Editors will mediate all discussions between authors and reviewers during the peer review process prior to publication. If agreement cannot be reached, editors may consider inviting additional reviewers if appropriate. 

The editor in chief will mediate all discussions between authors and editors.


Research misconduct may include: (a) manipulating research materials, equipment or processes; (b) changing or omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the article. A special case of misconduct is plagiarism, which is the appropriation of another person's ideas, processes, results or words without giving appropriate credit. Research misconduct does not include honest error or differences of opinion. If misconduct is suspected, journal Editors will act in accordance with the relevant COPE guidelines

Plagiarism, duplication, and salami slicing

A special case of misconduct is plagiarism, which is the appropriation of another person's ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit. Plagiarism is considered theft of intellectual property and manuscripts submitted to this journal which contain substantial unattributed textual copying from other papers will be immediately rejected. Editors are advised to check manuscripts for plagiarism via the iThenticate service by clicking on the "ïThenticate report" button.

Instances when authors re-use large parts of their publications without providing a clear reference to the original source, are considered duplication of work. Slightly changed published works submitted in multiple journals is not acceptable practice either. In cases of plagiarism in an already published paper or duplicate publication, an announcement will be made on the journal publication page and a procedure of retraction will be triggered.

Whenever possible, data and results gathered in the same framework (e.g. a single research project) should not be broken up into smaller publishable units. This behaviour must be strictly avoided when the data and results share common hypotheses, methods, and material. "Salami slicing" not only distorts the way a reader sees the paper (considered as a single original unit when it is only a subset of a more substantial study), it also causes cross-referencing issues.

Responses to possible misconduct

All allegations of misconduct must be referred to the editor in chief. Upon the thorough examination, the editor in chief and deputy editors should conclude if the case concerns a possibility of misconduct. All allegations should be kept confidential and references to the matter in writing should be kept anonymous, whenever possible.

Should a comment on potential misconduct be submitted by the reviewers or editors, an explanation will be sought from the authors. If it is satisfactory and the issue is the result of either a mistake or misunderstanding, the matter can be easily resolved. If not, the manuscript will be rejected or retracted and the editors may impose a ban on that individual's publication in the journals for a certain period of time. In cases of published plagiarism or dual publication, an announcement will be made in both journals explaining the situation.

When allegations concern authors, the peer review and publication process for their submission will be halted until completion of the aforementioned process. The investigation will be carried out even if the authors withdraw the manuscript, and implementation of the responses below will be considered.

When allegations concern reviewers or editors, they will be replaced in the review process during the ongoing investigation of the matter. Editors or reviewers who are found to have engaged in scientific misconduct should be removed from further association with the journal, and this fact reported to their institution.

Retraction policies

Article retraction

According to the COPE Retraction Guidelines followed by this journal, an article can be retracted because of the following reasons:

  • Unreliable findings based on clear evidence of a misconduct (e.g. fraudulent use of the data) or honest error (e.g. miscalculation or experimental error).
  • Redundant publication, e.g., findings that have previously been published elsewhere without proper cross-referencing, permission or justification.
  • Plagiarism or other kind of unethical research.

Retraction procedure

  • Retraction should happen after a careful consideration by the Journal editors of allegations coming from the editors, authors, or readers.
  • The HTML version of the retracted article is removed (except for the article metadata) and on its place a retraction note is issued.
  • The PDF of the retracted article is left on the website but clearly watermarked with the note "Retracted" on each page.
  • In some rare cases (e.g., for legal reasons or health risk) the retracted article can be replaced with a new corrected version containing apparent link to the retracted original version and a retraction note with a history of the document.

Expression of concern

In other cases, the Journal editors should consider issuing an expression of concern, if evidence is available for:

  • Inconclusive evidence of research or publication misconduct by the authors.
  • Unreliable findings that are unreliable but the authors’ institution will not investigate the case.
  • A belief that an investigation into alleged misconduct related to the publication either has not been, or would not be, fair and impartial or conclusive.
  • An investigation is underway but a judgement will not be available for a considerable time.

Errata and Corrigenda 

Plant Ecology and Evolution largely follows the ICMJE guidelines for corrections and errata.


Admissible and insignificant errors in a published article that do not affect the article content or scientific integrity (e.g. typographic errors, broken links, wrong page numbers in the article headers, etc.) can be corrected through publishing of an erratum. This happens through replacing the original PDF with the corrected one together with a correction notice on the Erratum Tab of the HTML version of the paper, detailing the errors and the changes implemented in the original PDF. The original PDF will be marked with a correction note and an indication to the corrected version of the erratum article. The original PDF will also be archived and made accessible via a link in the same Erratum Tab.

Authors are also encouraged to post comments and indicate typographical errors on their articles to the Comments tab of the HTML version of the article.


Corrigenda should be published in cases when significant errors are discovered in a published article. Usually, such errors affect the scientific integrity of the paper and could vary in scale. Reasons for publishing corrigenda may include changes in authorship, unintentional mistakes in published research findings and protocols, errors in labelling of tables and figures or others. In taxonomic journals, corrigenda are often needed in cases where the errors affect nomenclatural acts. Corrigenda are published as a separate publication and bear their own DOI. Examples of published corrigenda are available here. The decision for issuing errata or corrigenda is with the editors after discussion with the authors.

COPE Compliance

This journal endorses the COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics) guidelines and will pursue cases of suspected research and publication misconduct (e.g. falsification, unethical experimentation, plagiarism, inappropriate image manipulation, redundant publication). For further information about COPE please see the website for COPE at http://www.publicationethics.org and journal's Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement.

Terms of Use

This document describes the Terms of Use of the services provided by the Plant Ecology and Evolution journal, hereinafter referred to as "the Journal" or "this Journal". All Users agree to these Terms of Use when signing up to this Journal. Signed Journal Users will be hereinafter referred to as "User" or "Users".

The publication services to the Journal are provided by Pensoft Publishers Ltd., through its publishing platform ARPHA, hereinafter referred to as "the Provider".

The Provider reserves the right to update the Terms of Use occasionally. Users will be notified via posting on the site and/or by email. If using the services of the Journal after such notice, the User will be deemed to have accepted the proposed modifications. If the User disagrees with the modifications, he/she should stop using the Journal services. Users are advised to periodically check the Terms of Use for updates or revisions. Violation of any of the terms will result in the termination of the User's account. The Provider is not responsible for any content posted by the User in the Journal.

Account Terms

  1. For registration in this Journal or any of the services or tools hosted on it, Users must provide their full legal name, a valid email address, postal address, affiliation (if any),  and any other information requested.
  2. Accounts created via this journal automatically sign in the User to the ARPHA Platform.
  3. Users are responsible for maintaining the security of their account and password. The Journal cannot and will not be liable for any loss or damage from failure to comply with this security obligation.
  4. Users are solely responsible for the content posted via the Journal services (including, but not limited to data, text, files, information, usernames, images, graphics, photos, profiles, audio and video clips, sounds, applications, links and other content) and all activities that occur under their account.
  5. Users may not use the service for any illegal or unauthorised purpose. Users must not, in the use of the service, violate any laws within their jurisdiction (including but not limited to copyright or trademark laws).
  6. Users can change or pseudonomyse their personal data, or deactivate their accounts at any time through the functionality available in the User’s personal profile. Deactivation or pseudonomysation will not affect the appearance of personal data in association with an already published work of which the User is author, co-author, editor, or reviewer.
  7. Users can report to the Journal uses of their personal data, that they might consider not corresponding to the current Terms of Use.
  8. The User’s personal data is processed by the Journal on the legal basis corresponding to Article 6, paragraph 1, letters a, b, c and f. of the General Data Protection Regulation (hereinafter referred to as GDPR) and will be used for the purpose of Journal’s services in accordance with the present Terms and Use, as well as in those cases expressly stated by the legislation.
  9. User’s consent to use the information the Journal has collected about the User corresponds to Article 6(1)(a) of the GDPR.
  10. The ‘legitimate interest’ of the Journal to engage with the User and enable him/her to participate in Journal’s activities and use Journal’s services correspond to Article 6(1)(f) of the GDPR.

Services and Prices

The Provider reserves the right to modify or discontinue, temporarily or permanently, the services provided by the Journal. Plans and prices are subject to change upon 30 days notice from the Provider. Such notice may be provided at any time by posting the changes to the relevant service website.


The Authors retain full ownership to their content published in the Journal. We claim no intellectual property rights over the material provided by any User in this Journal. However, by setting pages to be viewed publicly (Open Access), the User agrees to allow others to view and download the relevant content. In addition, Open Access articles might be used by the Provider, or any other third party, for data mining purposes. Authors are solely responsible for the content submitted to the journal and must confirm [during the submission process] that the content does not contain any materials subject to copyright violation including, but not limited to, text, data, multimedia, images, graphics, photos, audio and video clips. This requirement holds for both the article text and any supplementary material associated with the article.

The Provider reserves the rights in its sole discretion to refuse or remove any content that is available via the Website.

Copyrighted Materials

Unless stated otherwise, the Journal website may contain some copyrighted material (for example, logos and other proprietary information, including, without limitation, text, software, photos, video, graphics, music and sound - "Copyrighted Material"). The User may not copy, modify, alter, publish, transmit, distribute, display, participate in the transfer or sale, create derivative works or, in any way, exploit any of the Copyrighted Material, in whole or in part, without written permission from the copyright owner. Users will be solely liable for any damage resulting from any infringement of copyrights, proprietary rights or any other harm resulting from such a submission.

Exceptions from this rule are e-chapters or e-articles published under Open Access (see below), which are normally published under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license (CC-BY), or Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (CC-BY), or Creative Commons Public Domain license (CC0).

Open Access Materials

This Journal is a supporter of open science. Open access to content is clearly marked, with text and/or the open access logo, on all materials published under this model. Unless otherwise stated, open access content is published in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence (CC-BY). This particular licence allows the copying, displaying and distribution of the content at no charge, provided that the author and source are credited.

Privacy Statement

  1. Users agree to submit their personal data to this Journal, hosted on the ARPHA Platform provided by Pensoft.
  2. The Journal collects personal information from Users (e.g., name, postal and email addresses, affiliation) only for the purpose of its services.
  3. All personal data will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of the website and will not be made available for any other purpose or to third parties.
  4. In the case of co-authorship of a work published through the Journal services, each of the co-authors states that they agree that their personal data be collected, stored and used by the Journal.
  5. In the case of co-authorship, each of the co-authors agrees that their personal data publicly available in the form of a co-authorship of a published work, can be distributed to external indexing services and aggregators for the purpose of the widest possible distribution of the work they co-author.
  6. When one of the co-authors is not registered in the Journal, it is presumed that the corresponding author who is registered has requested and obtained his/her consent that his/her personal data will be collected, stored and used by the Journal.
  7. The registered co-author undertakes to provide an e-mail address of the unregistered author, to whom the Journal will send a message in order to give the unregistered co-author’s explicit consent for the processing of his/her personal data by the Journal.
  8. The Journal is not responsible if the provided e-mail of the unregistered co-author is inaccurate or invalid. In such cases, it is assumed that the processing of the personal data of the unregistered co-author is done on a legal basis and with a given consent.
  9. The Journal undertakes to collect, store and use the provided personal data of third parties (including but not limited to unregistered co-authors) solely for the purposes of the website, as well as in those cases expressly stated by the legislation.
  10. Users can receive emails from Journal and its hosting platform ARPHA, provided by Pensoft, about activities they have given their consent for. Examples of such activities are:
    • Email notifications to authors, reviewers and editors who are engaged with authoring, reviewing or editing a manuscript submitted to the Journal.
    • Email alerts sent via email subscription service, which can happen only if the User has willingly subscribed for such a service. Unsubscription from the service can happen through a one-click link provided in each email alert notification.
    • Information emails on important changes in the system or in its Terms of Use which are sent via Mailchimp are provided with "Unsubscribe" function.
  11. Registered users can be invited to provide a peer review on manuscripts submitted to the Journal. In such cases, the users can decline the review invitation through a link available on the journal’s website.
  12. Each provided peer review can be registered with external services (such as Web of Science Reviewer Recognition Service, formerly Publons). The reviewer will be notified if such registration is going to occur and can decline the registration process.
  13. In case the Journal starts using personal data for purposes other than those specified in the Terms of Use, the Journal undertakes to immediately inform the person and request his/her consent.
  14. If the person does not give his/her consent to the processing of his or her personal data pursuant to the preceding paragraph, the Journal shall cease the processing of the personal data for the purposes for which there is no consent, unless there is another legal basis for the processing.
  15. Users can change/correct their personal data anytime via the functionality available in the User’s profile. Users can request the Journal to correct their personal data if the data is inaccurate or outdated and the Journal is obliged to correct the inaccurate or outdated personal data in a timely manner.
  16. Users may request the Journal to restrict the use of their personal data insofar as this limitation is not contrary to the law or the Terms of Use.
  17. Users may request their personal data to be deleted (the right to be forgotten) by the Journal, provided that the deletion does not conflict with the law or the Terms of Use.
  18. The User has the right to be informed:
    • whether his or her personal data have been processed;
    • for which purposes the Journal processes the personal data;
    • the ways in which his/her personal data are processed;
    • the types of personal data that Journal processes.
  19. The user undertakes not to interfere with and impede the Journal’s activities in the exercise of the provided rights.
  20. In case of non-fulfillment under the previous paragraph, the Journal reserves the right to delete the user's profile.

Disclaimer of Warranty and Limitation of Liability

Neither Pensoft and its affiliates nor any of their respective employees, agents, third party content providers or licensors warrant that the Journal service will be uninterrupted or error-free; nor do they give any warranty as to the results that may be obtained from use of the journal, or as to the accuracy or reliability of any information, service or merchandise provided through Journal.

Legal, medical, and health-related information located, identified or obtained through the use of the Service, is provided for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for qualified advice from a professional.

In no event will the Provider, or any person or entity involved in creating, producing or distributing Journal or the contents included therein, be liable in contract, in tort (including for its own negligence) or under any other legal theory (including strict liability) for any damages, including, but without limitation to, direct, indirect, incidental, special, punitive, consequential or similar damages, including, but without limitation to, lost profits or revenues, loss of use or similar economic loss, arising from the use of or inability to use the journal platform. The User hereby acknowledges that the provisions of this section will apply to all use of the content on Journal. Applicable law may not allow the limitation or exclusion of liability or incidental or consequential damages, so the above limitation or exclusion may not apply to the User. In no event will Pensoft’s total liability to the User for all damages, losses or causes of action, whether in contract, tort (including own negligence) or under any other legal theory (including strict liability), exceed the amount paid by the User, if any, for accessing Journal.

Third Party Content

The Provider is solely a distributor (and not a publisher) of SOME of the content supplied by third parties and Users of the Journal. Any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, or other information or content expressed or made available by third parties, including information providers and Users, are those of the respective author(s) or distributor(s) and not of the Provider.

Cookies Policy


a) Session cookies

We use cookies on our website. Cookies are small text files or other storage technologies stored on your computer by your browser. These cookies process certain specific information about you, such as your browser, location data, or IP address.  

This processing makes our website more user-friendly, efficient, and secure, allowing us, for example, to allow the "Remember me" function.

The legal basis for such processing is Art. 6 Para. 1 lit. b) GDPR, insofar as these cookies are used to collect data to initiate or process contractual relationships.

If the processing does not serve to initiate or process a contract, our legitimate interest lies in improving the functionality of our website. The legal basis is then Art. 6 Para. 1 lit. f) GDPR.

When you close your browser, these session cookies are deleted.

b) Disabling cookies

You can refuse the use of cookies by changing the settings on your browser. Likewise, you can use the browser to delete cookies that have already been stored. However, the steps and measures required vary, depending on the browser you use. If you have any questions, please use the help function or consult the documentation for your browser or contact its maker for support. Browser settings cannot prevent so-called flash cookies from being set. Instead, you will need to change the setting of your Flash player. The steps and measures required for this also depend on the Flash player you are using. If you have any questions, please use the help function or consult the documentation for your Flash player or contact its maker for support.

If you prevent or restrict the installation of cookies, not all of the functions on our site may be fully usable.

Manuscript types

Research article – This is a manuscript reporting the results of original research. For taxonomic manuscripts, more comprehensive work is preferred, and isolated taxonomic novelties should be written in a way that they are attractive and interesting for a wider international audience.

Review – This type of manuscript provides a survey of the current state of a specific topic and summarises previously published studies, rather than reporting new facts or analyses.


The journal publishes original scientific research in English (British spelling – Oxford English Dictionary). The authors should make sure that the academic content of the paper can be fully understood and they are encouraged to have their manuscript checked for language.

Submissions in French might be considered in exceptional circumstances. These submissions should be by African researchers and deal with tropical African botany. Ideally, they should also deal with a topic that is of interest to a wider audience. The authors are however encouraged to seek help to publish in English in order to increase the potential impact of their research.

Author Guidelines

Manuscript Structure

Title page

Running title  Include a short running title of max. 80 characters, spaces included.

Title  The title should be informative and concise. The words are not capitalised (except proper nouns and supra-generic names). Taxonomic authorities are omitted in the title. For taxonomic manuscripts, a higher rank (e.g. family) is indicated in parentheses if the title includes generic or infrageneric names, e.g. "Three new species of Tricalysia (Rubiaceae) from Atlantic Central Africa".

Authors and affiliations – Provide the full names of all authors and their affiliations (i.e. institution, city, country; no full postal address necessary). Each author is followed by a number that is associated with the appropriate affiliation (except when all authors have the same affiliation).

Corresponding author – One of the authors should be designated as the corresponding author. Mention the name and e-mail address of the corresponding author below the affiliations (only one email address allowed, no phone number).


Structured abstract – Each paragraph starts with an appropriate heading in bold followed by an en dash (e.g. Background and aims –, Material and methods –, Key results –, Conclusion –). The abstract should read independently from the manuscript and not include references or abbreviations. New taxa names should be mentioned but no taxonomic authorities. The abstract should not exceed 300 words.

Keywords – The abstract should be followed by up to ten keywords (ordered alphabetically and separated by commas).

Manuscripts in French – Include an English translation of the full title, the abstract, and the keywords.


The Introduction should provide a literature review that puts the manuscript into context and allows readers outside the field to understand the purpose and significance of the study. It should define knowledge gaps and address why this particular study is important and necessary. If relevant, the appropriate hypotheses about the research should be mentioned. The Introduction should end with the overall aim and specific objectives of the study.

Material and methods

The Materials and methods should provide enough detail to allow other researchers to replicate the study. Acronyms of consulted herbaria can be listed here. Specific information and/or protocols for new methods should be included in detail. If methods are well established, authors may cite the papers where those are described in detail, but the manuscript should include sufficient information to be understood independently.

All equipment, software, data, and code should be cited appropriately. When specialised equipment is mentioned, the manufacturer’s details should be given. When referring to software (including R packages), mention the version and cite it as a bibliographic reference (e.g. FigTree v.1.4.4 (Rambaut 2018), R package vegan v.2.5-6 (Oksanen et al. 2019)). 

Databases, indexes, and datasets should also be cited as bibliographic references (e.g. Index Herbariorum (Thiers 2023), International Plant Names Index (IPNI 2023)).

For geographic maps, the use of open-source software and data is encouraged (e.g. QGIS). 

All newly generated data should be made available and it is recommended to deposit the data in public repositories. 


The Results should only present the findings of the study and citing other literature is usually not appropriate. By default, Results and Discussion are not mixed. Avoid redundancy and do not repeat data in both graphical and tabular form. Make sure to refer to and explain in detail all tables, figures, and supplementary materials. Referring to data that is not provided (i.e. data not shown) is strongly discouraged.


The Discussion should interpret and describe the significance of the results in light of what was already known, and explain the new insights that emerged. It should not be a repetition of the Results, but instead refer to the literature and demonstrate how the study has changed our knowledge about the research topic. Refer to the objectives mentioned in the Introduction and demonstrate if these were met or not. If you formulate the objectives as questions, you should answer those questions.


An optional summary of the findings in light of the objectives and suggestions for future research. This can also be included as a last paragraph in the Discussion.


Acknowledge collaborators who did not meet the criteria for authorship but contributed to the study, including people who supplied photographs or made drawings. Preferably use their full names. Mention funding sources (include grant numbers), provide permit numbers, and give recognition to institutes or organisations that made the work possible.

Formatting and Style

General format

Times New Roman, font size 12, left aligned, single line spacing, and continuous line numbering. Pages are numbered sequentially.

Structure and main headings

The IMRAD structure (INTRODUCTION, MATERIAL AND METHODS, RESULTS, DISCUSSION, CONCLUSION, ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS, REFERENCES) is the preferred default structure. Some flexibility is however allowed (e.g. taxonomic manuscripts might also have TAXONOMIC TREATMENT).


There are maximum three levels of headings. Main headings are in uppercase and centred (e.g. INTRODUCTION). Second level headings are in bold, left aligned, and only the first word is capitalised (e.g. Molecular analyses). Third level headings are in bold italic, left aligned, and only the first word is capitalised (e.g. Morphological characters).

Font styles

Bold is only used for second and third level headings, and for certain elements in captions and the taxonomic treatment. Italic is only used for third level headings, generic/infrageneric names and in specimen citations, for gene abbreviations, and for certain statistical symbols. Underline is only used to indicate the major organs in a description.

Abbreviations and contractions

If abbreviations are used, they are followed by a full stop (sp., subsp., s.s., s.l., a.s.l., e.g., i.e., d.f., pers. comm., pers. obs.). A full stop is not added for contractions in which letters from the middle of the word are omitted (ca, vs, eds, Mt, Dr).


Numbers up to and including ten are spelled out, except when they are measurements (e.g. 6 mm). Numbers at the start of a sentence are always spelled out (e.g. Thirty-two plots …). Numerals are followed by a single space, then by the unit (e.g. 24 cm).

Standard symbols

SI units and SI-derived unit symbols are used for measurements (cm, mol, kg), as well as some non-SI units (s, min, h, d, ha).

Date format

Use day, month abbreviation, and year (e.g. 10 Jan. 2016, 14 Jun.–28 Jul. 2013). Or as alternative use month, year (e.g. data collected in September 2019), or day, month (15 February).

Use of en dash

En dash is used for all ranges (measurements, elevation range, page number range, etc.), without spaces (e.g. 2.5–5 mm, 10–14 stamens). It should not be used when using a range with a preposition: do not write "from 10–15 cm" but write "from 10 to 15 cm". The en dash is also used for an enclosed phrase – such as this one – within a sentence (note the spaces around the en dashes). Finally, en dash is used in abstract headings. Em dashes are not used.

Geographical coordinates

The preferred format is degrees minutes seconds. There is no space between the elements, and a comma between latitude and longitude (e.g. 50°55′41.5″N, 4°19′44.4″E).

Citation of scientific names

Taxon names are written in full (Genus species) in the abstract and again in the main text when mentioning a taxon for the first time. The genus name is only written in full for the first species in a list of congeneric species (e.g. Vangueria infausta, V. pygmaea), or when a sentence begins with a genus name. Only generic and infrageneric names are italicised.

Taxonomic authorities

Author names are added when mentioning a taxon for the first time. Authors are abbreviated following the International Plant Names Index, without spaces (e.g. K.Schum.). Author names can be omitted in the main text when available elsewhere (e.g. table, supplementary material, taxonomic treatment).

Citations and References

Citations within the text: Before submitting the manuscript, please check each citation in the text against the References and vice-versa to ensure that they match exactly.

Citations in the text should be formatted as follows:

One author: Smith (1990) or (Smith 1990) 

Note: The citations format depends on the way it is incorporated within the article’s text:


  1. According to Smith (1990), these findings…

  2. These findings have been first reported in the beginning of the nineties (Smith 1990).

Two authors: Brock and Gunderson (2001) or (Brock and Gunderson 2001)

Note: When choosing between formats refer back to examples above.

Three or more authors: Smith et al. (1998) or (Smith et al. 1998)

Note: When choosing between formats refer back to examples above.

When citing more than one source, in-text citations should be ordered by the year of publication, starting with the earliest one:

(Smith et al. 1998, 2000, 2016; Brock and Gunderson 2001; Felt 2006).

Note: When you have a few citations from the same author but from different years (such as the case with Smith et al. above), the first year is taken into consideration when ordering the sources (in this case 1998, which is why Smith et al. come first in the list).

When having two or more fully identical citations (this can happen when you have more than one reference with exactly the same authors and years for one or two authors, or the same first author and year for author teams of three or more), the references are distinguished by adding the letters 'a', 'b', 'c', etc. after the years and this marking is followed in the in-text citations, respectively:

(Reyes-Velasco et al. 2018a, Reyes-Velasco et al. 2018b)

References: It is important to format the references properly because they will be electronically linked to the cited papers. Add a DOI (digital object identifier) if one is available. If a DOI is lacking, add any other persistent identifier. Please use the following style for the reference list (or download the PhytoKeys EndNote style): here. It is also available in Zotero, when searched by journal name.

Published Papers:
Darbyshire I, Goyder DJ, Wood JRI, Banze A, Burrows JE (2020) Further new species and records from the coastal dry forests and woodlands of the Rovuma Centre of Endemism. Plant Ecology and Evolution 153(3): 427–445. https://doi.org/10.5091/plecevo.2020.1727.

Accepted Papers:
Same as above, but ''in press'' appears instead of the year in parentheses.
Knapp S (in press) New species of Passiflora (Passifloraceae) from Amazonian Ecuador. Novon.

Electronic Journal Articles:
Agosti D, Egloff W (2009) Taxonomic information exchange and copyright: the Plazi approach. BMC Research Notes 2: 53. https://doi.org/10.1186/1756-0500-2-53

Paper within conference proceedings:
Kress WJ, Specht CD (2005) Between Cancer and Capricorn: phylogeny, evolution, and ecology of the tropical Zingiberales. In: Friis I, Balslev H (Eds) Proceedings of a symposium on plant diversity and complexity patterns – local, regional and global dimensions. Biologiske Skrifter, The Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, Copenhagen, 459−478.

Book chapters:
Mayr E (2000) The biological species concept. In: Wheeler QD, Meier R (Eds) Species Concepts and Phylogenetic Theory: A Debate. Columbia University Press, New York, 17−29.

Heywood VH, Brummitt RK, Culham A, Seberg O (2007) Flowering Plant Families of the World. Kew Publishing, Kew, 1−424.

PhD thesis:
Stahlberg D (2007) Systematics, phylogeography and polyploid evolution in the Dactylorhiza maculata complex (Orchidaceae). PhD Thesis, Lund University, Sweden.

BBC News: Plants 'can recognise themselves'. http://news.bbc.co.uk/earth/hi/earth_news/newsid_8076000/8076875.stm [accessed 25.06.2010]

Citations of Public Resource Databases:
It is highly recommended all appropriate datasets, images, and information to be deposited in public resources. Please provide the relevant accession numbers (and version numbers, if appropriate). Accession numbers should be provided in parentheses after the entity on first use. Examples of such databases include, but are not limited to:

Providing accession numbers to data records stored in global data aggregators allows us to link your article to established databases, thus integrating it with a broader collection of scientific information. Please hyperlink all accession numbers through the text or list them directly after the References in the online submission manuscript.

All journal titles should be spelled out completely and should not be italicized.

Provide the publisher's name and location when you cite symposia or conference proceedings; distinguish between the conference date and the publication date if both are given. Do not list abstracts or unpublished material in the References. They should be quoted in the text as personal observations, personal communications, or unpublished data, specifying the exact source, with date if possible. When possible, include URLs for articles available online through library subscription or individual journal subscription. URLs should not be given for articles that are posted on personal non-institutional websites.

Authors are encouraged to cite in the References list the publications of the original descriptions of the taxa treated in their manuscript.

Ordering references: All references should be ordered alphabetically.

If the references have the same first author and a varying number of co-authors, the ordering should be based on the number of co-authors starting with the lowest as follows:

Smith J (2018) Article Title. Journal Name 1: 1-10. https://doi.org/10.3897

Smith J, Gunderson A (2017) Article Title. Journal Name 1: 10-20. https://doi.org/10.3897

Smith J, Gunderson A, Brock B (2015) Article Title. Journal Name 1: 20-30. https://doi.org/10.3897

In the occasion of more than one article from the same first author within any of the categories above, the references should be ordered chronologically.

If both the first author and year of publication match within the categories above, the references are distinguished by adding the letters 'a', 'b', 'c', etc. after the year of publication and this marking is followed in the in-text citations, respectively.

Tables, Figures and Supplementary Materials

Citation in the text

When starting a sentence, use "Figure(s)", otherwise use "Fig." or "Figs". "Table" is not abbreviated. Abbreviate citation of supplementary material to "Suppl. material". E.g. "Figure 1 shows …", "The localities are listed in Table 1 …", "The petals (Fig. 2A–E) and the stipules (Figs 3B, 4D) …", "The list of taxa (Suppl. material 1) …".

When referring to a figure in another paper, write the citation in lower case, e.g. "… (Bitencourt et al. 2020: fig. 2)".


Captions should be listed immediately after the References. They should be as long as necessary, but as short as possible. Taxonomic authorities should be omitted. A figure composed of several subfigures is treated as a single figure with each subfigure labelled with a capital letter (A, B, etc.).

Table 1. Taxonomical list of all observed taxa in this study. Unidentified species are given a provisional letter code. C = cosmopolitan, SA = sub-Antarctic region, U = unknown, AMS = Ile Amsterdam, (AMS) = Ile Amsterdam but yet undescribed.

Figure 2. Phialiphora valida. A. Habit. B. Node and stipule, showing the bases of two non-basal leaves and three branches. C. Inflorescence showing the involucrate bracts. D. Higher order bract. E. Ovary, calyx, flower bud. F. Corolla, stamens, style, and stigma. G. Fruit, lateral view. A–G from De Block, Groeninckx & Rakotonasolo 2349 (BR). Drawn by Antonio Fernandez.

Supplementary material 1. Additional phylogenetic trees from the MrBayes analysis.


Authors should be aware that all material for which they retain the copyright will be published under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0) and that they approve of this.

The authors are responsible for securing the right to reproduce any material that has already been published or is copyrighted elsewhere. If such material is present within the manuscript, authors should provide proof that the owner has given consent for re-use and for publication under the CC BY license. Proper attribution to the copyright holder should be provided.

Authors are encouraged to use open-source software to create figures and geographical maps (e.g. QGIS). If proprietary software is used (e.g. Google Maps, ArcGIS), the authors are responsible for checking if copyright applies to the output and if attribution is required.


Tables that are part of the main text should be relevant for understanding the results of the study. Carefully consider the number and size of tables: having too many or too long tables is discouraged. Other tables with a more supportive role should be provided as supplementary materials (e.g. tables related to the Material and methods, long lists of samples/species, GenBank accession numbers, plot characteristics, environmental variables).


Figures that are part of the main text should be relevant for understanding the results of the study. Carefully consider the number of figures: having too many figures is discouraged. Other figures with a more supportive role should be provided as supplementary materials (e.g. additional phylogenetic trees, elaborate maps with sampling locations, experimental design, additional statistics).

Composition – Related images should be assembled into a single figure whenever possible. Each subfigure is labelled with a capital letter (A, B, etc.) that is preferably placed in the upper or lower left corner of the subfigure. Letters are in Arial font with an appropriate font size.

Raster images – Used for photographs, maps, etc. The following extensions are accepted: .tif and .jpg.

Vector-based images – Used for line drawings, graphs, phylogenetic trees, etc. These images are preferably provided in pdf format.

Size – Figure width is either a single column (85 mm wide) or a double column (up to 177 mm wide). Figure height is maximum 235 mm (preferably shorter to leave space for the caption).

Resolution and colour – Line drawings and graphs are in black and white with a minimum resolution of 1200 dpi. Greyscale and colour images have a minimum resolution of 450 dpi. When using colour, use an inclusive colour palette.

Supplementary materials

Authors are encouraged to deposit their data in public repositories. Additional supporting data can however also be provided as separate supplementary materials. Supplementary materials will be available online only and will not be copy-edited, so make sure that the data is clearly and succinctly presented, and that the style conforms with the rest of the manuscript. Ideally, the supplementary materials should not be platform-specific, and should be viewable using free or widely available tools (e.g. .pdf, .csv).

Taxonomic Manuscripts

Requirements for all taxonomic papers

Taxonomic papers need to demonstrate the general relevance of the work. They should present the broader context and additional analyses (e.g. morphology, anatomy, phylogenetics, biogeography, evolution, etc.) are encouraged. Although its scope is global, the journal prioritises publishing taxonomic papers from the (sub)tropics.

The morphological characters, phylogeny, ecology, geography, reproductive biology, etc. of the new taxa, which are the basis for their distinctiveness, should be discussed when available. The discovery of the new taxa should be put in a broader context, rather than simply describing the taxa. If appropriate, consider presenting this information under a separate header (e.g. Bakalin & Vilnet 2020, De Block et al. 2020).

Taxonomic manuscripts follow the same guidelines as outlined above. The IMRAD structure should be followed as close as possible and the addition of the Taxonomic treatment at the end is recommended. Pay special attention to the citation of taxon names. Taxonomic nomenclature follows the rules of the most recent edition of the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi and plants. Nomenclatural types for newly described taxa are deposited in a public herbarium and the acronyms follow the Index Herbariorum. All references cited in the taxonomic treatment (valid publication of a basionym, synonym, etc.) are included in the References. 

Identifier for fungi

For names of new taxa, new combinations, names at new ranks, or replacement names for organisms treated as fungi (including fossil fungi and lichen-forming fungi), authors are required to cite the identifier for the name issued by a recognised repository (e.g. MycoBank, Index Fungorum) in the protologue.

Additional requirements for isolated taxonomic novelties

The journal might consider publishing isolated taxonomic novelties, i.e. a new taxon described outside the framework of a revision or monograph. However, such manuscripts should be written in a way that they are attractive and interesting for a wider international audience.

Introduction – Provide context of the higher taxon to which the novelty belongs, and refer to recent taxonomic literature on the group (e.g. other novelties recently published, taxonomic history). Explain whether the description of the novelty fits in a broader framework (e.g. flora, research line, conservation efforts).

Discussion – In addition to the requirements for a discussion mentioned above, motivate why it is important to describe the new taxon separately. When available, provide additional information about the new taxon (e.g. morphology, phylogenetic placement, conservation assessment) and about the area where the new taxon is found (e.g. climate, soil, level of endemism, conservation efforts, other collecting efforts or other new species recently described). For examples, see Fleischmann et al. 2020, Quintanar et al. 2020.

Illustration – A figure clearly showing the diagnostic characters of the new taxa. This is often a line drawing but can also be pictures, or a combination of both.

Comparison – The new taxa should be compared to related (or sympatric, or similar) taxa in a dichotomous key and/or table.

Taxonomic Treatments

For emphasis, some terms are in bold in the taxonomic treatment:
- Introduction of a novelty: sp. nov.gen. nov.var. nov.subsp. nov., etc.
- Introduction of a new synonym: syn. nov.
- Introduction of a new combination, of a name at new rank: comb. nov.stat. nov.
- Introduction of illegitimate or invalid name: nom. illeg.nom. inval.
- Designation of a lectotype, neotype, or epitype in the manuscript: designated here.

Treatment of a taxon

The treatment of a taxon includes the following elements in the following order. Authors are encouraged to include as much elements as possible, depending on the information available.

Name of the taxon 
Citation of tables and figures
Type. For formatting, see examples below.
Diagnosis. A diagnosis in English (or Latin) for new taxa.
Description. Full description of the taxon with major organs underlined. A diagnosis must be present if there is no description.
Distribution. With reference to a distribution map, if provided.
Habitat and ecology.
Vernacular name.
Preliminary IUCN conservation assessment.
First mention the category and the criteria (e.g. "Critically Endangered: CR B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii)"), followed by the rationale. Also encouraged for taxa that are not new.
Additional material examined.

New taxon

Impatiens smetsiana S.B.Janssens, Taedoumg & Dessein, sp. nov.
Figs 1, 4
Type. CAMEROON – Adamawa Region • Chabal Mbabo; 7°13’54"N, 12°5’57"E; 8 May 2009; Dessein S. & Taedoumg H. 2950; holotype: BR [BR0000024941891]; isotype: L [L.4446681], YA, WAG.

Accepted names

For a previously published name, the taxonomic authority should be followed by the citation of the protologue, with page number. This reference should also be included in the References section.

Crotonogyne giorgii De Wild. (De Wildeman 1914: 381) 
Figs 1–3, Tables 1, 2
Type. D.R. CONGO • Bonkula; Sep. 1913; De Giorgi 1327; holotype: BR [BR0000008894007].


Homotypic synonyms are mentioned first, listed in chronological order, with citation of the original publications. Referring to the type is only necessary when there are also heterotypic synonyms. Heterotypic synonyms are mentioned next, listed in chronological order, with citation of the original publications, and followed by the citation of the types. Illegitimate or invalid names are mentioned last, listed in chronological order, with citation of the original publications. En dashes (–) are used as separators within a paragraph.

Carapichea ligularis (Rudge) Delprete (Delprete 2003: 89)
Fig. 6
Schradera ligularis Rudge (Rudge 1806: 29, plate 45) – Type: same as for Carapichea ligularis.
Cephaelis ligularis (Rudge) A.Rich. ex DC. (Candolle 1830: 533) – Type: same as for Carapichea ligularis.
Psychotria ligularis (Rudge) Steyerm. (Steyermark 1972: 675) – Type: same as for Carapichea ligularis.
Psychotria pacimonica Müll.Arg., syn. nov. (Müller 1881: 337) – Type: VENEZUELA – Amazonas • "in regione superiore Rio Negro ad flumen Pacimoni"; Feb. 1854; fl.; Spruce 3445; lectotype (designated here): P [P00837131]; isolectotypes: G [G00300288], K
[K000432842], W [1889-0014290].
Uragoga pacimonica (Müll.Arg.) Kuntze (Kuntze 1891: 961) – Type: same as for Psychotria pacimonica.
Carapichea pacimonica (Müll.Arg.) C.M.Taylor (Taylor and Gereau 2013: 120) – Type: same as for Psychotria pacimonica.
Type. FRENCH GUIANA [as "Guiana"] • s.loc.; s.d.; fl.; Martin s.n.; holotype: BM [BM001009103].

New combination

A new combination includes the basionym with a full and direct reference to its authorship and valid publication. This reference should also be included in the References section.

Carapichea squamelligera (Steyerm.) O.Lachenaud & Delprete, comb. nov.
Psychotria squamelligera Steyerm., Brittonia 36: 156. 1984. (Steyermark 1984)
Type. FRENCH GUIANA • sur la rivière Comté, en forêt sur la Montagne Soufflet; 12 Jun. 1975; fr.; Granville B-5288; holotype: VEN [No. 289722]; isotypes: CAY n.v., P [P06800571].


When a lectotype (or neotype, epitype, etc.) is designated in the manuscript itself, add the words "designated here" in bold. E.g. "lectotype (designated here): BR". When the lectotype (or neotype, epitype, etc.) was designated before, a citation is needed and no bold is used. E.g. "lectotype (designated by Prescott 1984: 319): AD".

Specimen citations

Specimen citations are grouped per country (one paragraph per country). Each citation is separated by a bullet point (•), and each element within the citation is separated by a semicolon. If data is missing, list only the available elements (except collector information, see format).

Specimen citations include the following elements in the following order.
1) Country, in uppercase, followed by a bullet point •
2) If specimens are grouped by geopolitical unit(s) within a country (e.g. state, province), use: COUNTRY – Region • … • … . – Region • … • … .
3) Locality
4) Geographical coordinates (for format, see Formatting and style)
5) Elevation
6) Collection date (for format, see Formatting and style)
7) Phenology (fruits = fr., flowers = fl., flower buds = fb., sterile = st.)
8) Collector name + collection number in italic; if no collector name is available, use "s.col."; if no number is available, use "s.n."; followed by the herbarium acronyms, and if available, add a barcode number between square brackets.

MADAGASCAR – Mahajanga Province • Bongolava; 15°36′42.8″S, 47°35′32.7″E; 185 m; 18 Mar. 2010; fl.; De Block, Groeninckx & Rakotonasolo 2339; BR [BR0000005519811], TAN • Bongolava; 15°36′49.2″S, 47°35′21″E; 215 m; 18 Mar. 2010; fl.; De Block, Groeninckx & Rakotonasolo 2342; BR [BR0000005519644], TAN.

Author Contributions

The journal is integrated with Contributor Role Taxonomy (CRediT), in order to recognise individual author input within a publication, thereby ensuring professional and ethical conduct, while avoiding authorship disputes, gift / ghost authorship and similar pressing issues in academic publishing.

During manuscript submission, the submitting author is strongly recommended to select a contributor role for each of co-author, using a list of 14 predefined roles, i.e. Conceptualization, Methodology, Software, Validation, Formal analysis, Investigation, Resources, Data Curation, Writing - Original draft, Writing - Review and Editing, Visualization, Supervision, Project administration, Funding Acquisition (see more). Once published, the article will be including the contributor role for all authors in the article metadata.


The journal is integrated with the ARPHA Preprints platform, thereby allowing authors to post their pre-review manuscript as a preprint by simply checking the relevant box while completing the submission of their manuscript.

Due to the integration, the authors are not required to re-format or submit any additional files, as the system uses the manuscript to automatically generate a preprint. Subject to a basic editorial screening, the preprint will be posted on ARPHA Preprints within a few days after the manuscript’s submission.

When submitting their manuscripts and requesting a preprint publication authors must keep in mind that preprints are preliminary versions of works accessible electronically in advance of publication of the final version. They are not issued for the purposes of botanical, mycological or zoological nomenclature and are not effectively/validly published in the meaning of the Codes. Therefore, papers containing or dealing with nomenclatural novelties (new names) or other nomenclatural acts (designations of type, choices of priority between names, choices between orthographic variants, or choices of gender of names) will NOT be posted as preprints.

Explore the Benefits of posting a preprint or visit ARPHA’s blog to learn more about ARPHA Preprints.

Find more about how to submit your preprint in the ARPHA Manual.

Submission Guidelines

Submission Procedure

Already have a Username/Password?

Go to Login

Need a Username/Password?

Go to Registration

Registration and login are required to submit items online and to check the status of current submissions.

Submission of manuscripts to this journal is possible only through the online submission module. We kindly request authors to consult the Focus and Scope section prior to submission. In order to submit a manuscript to the journal, authors are required to register with the journal and/or to login. Once logged in, you will find the online submission system either by clicking the "Submit a manuscript" button.

The manuscript submission process is separated into the following steps:

  • Step 1: Specifying the manuscript type and completing the submission checklist
  • Step 2: All articles are free of charge
  • Step 3: Typing in the author(s) names and affiliation, title, abstract, keywords, and other metadata
  • Step 4: Assigning classifications categories for your manuscript using hierarchical classification trees
  • Step 5: Completing the submission metadata by adding details about any supporting agencies, conflict of interest, ethical statement, comments to the editors
  • Step 6: Agreeing with the journal's Data Publishing Policy and specifying the availability of the data underpinning your article
  • Step 7: Uploading the submission file and the additional files (see below for details on how to prepare it)
  • Step 8: Confirming the automatically generated pdf review version of the article, and the metadata (or revising them, if needed)
  • Step 9: Uploading supplementary materials (see below for details) and associated metadata
  • Step 10: Suggesting reviewers, final verification of the submitted files and confirmation

Stepwise guidance on new manuscript submission, with screenshots of the interface embedded, is available online in this section of the Users' Manual.

Organizing Your Submission

Before starting your submission please make sure that your manuscript is formatted in accordance with the Author Guidelines.

Before attempting an online submission, please consider preparing the following file types:

1. Submission file

Review version of the manuscript: a text (MS Word) file in either DOC, DOCX, RTF or ODT format. The total file size must be no larger than 80 MB. The system allows two options for the submission file upload:

  • it could contain all figures embedded at their respective places within the manuscript: 
    • Advantage: The review version of the manuscript will be more convenient for reading and understanding by the reviewers and editors. Likewise, if you opt to post your manuscript on ARPHA Preprints and this is allowed by the current journal’s policies, it will be better organised for the readers.
    • Drawback: Additional effort is needed to place and number the figures within the text.
  • it could contain the article text only, while the figures are added separately in the allowed formats (see below), so that the system can add them automatically to the PDF version that will be sent for review. The authors have the option to check and replace, if needed, the PDF review version generated at the first submission step:
    • Advantage: No additional effort is needed for placing and numbering the figures within the text.
    • Drawback: All figures will be placed at the end of the manuscript and the review version will be less convenient for reading and understanding by the reviewers and editors. The same concerns your preprint if you decide to post it on ARPHA Preprints and this is allowed by the current journal’s policies.

2. Additional files

High-resolution figures must be submitted during the same submission process as the additional files (Step 7) in one of the accepted file formats (see below). These may be compressed in order to reduce bandwidth during upload:

  • Figures (each figure as an individual file in one of the following image file formats: TIFF, JPEG, PDF, not larger than 20 MB each)
  • Equations (each equation as an individual file in one of the above-mentioned image file formats)

Please note that the maximum file size that may be uploaded through our online submission system is 20 MB.

3. Supplementary materials

Additional supporting data can be provided as separate supplementary materials complete with their associated metadata in the online submission form. Supplementary materials should have their own captions. The supplementary materials should not be platform-specific, and should be viewable using free or widely available tools (e.g., .pdf, .csv).

Article Processing Charges

Plant Ecology and Evolution is a diamond open access journal and therefore charges no publication fees. Its publication is supported by two non-profit organisations dedicated to the understanding and conservation of plant biodiversity: Meise Botanic Garden and the Royal Botanical Society of Belgium.

Personal and Institutional Subscription

A personal subscription to the print version can be obtained through membership of the Royal Botanical Society of Belgium.

For institutional subscriptions, see the webshop of Meise Botanic Garden.


The publication of Plant Ecology and Evolution is supported by two non-profit organisations dedicated to the understanding and conservation of plant biodiversity: Meise Botanic Garden  (www.plantentuinmeise.be/en) and the Royal Botanical Society of Belgium (www.botany.be).

Meise Botanic Garden

The history of Meise Botanic Garden dates back to 1796 and it is therefore older than the Kingdom of Belgium. The Garden has a collection of more than 18,000 living plants and has a huge herbarium with approximately 4 million specimens. The Garden also has a botanical library with more than 200,000 books from the 15th century till today. As a research institute, it maps and studies the diversity of plants, mushrooms, and algae covering the whole world, from Antarctica to the rainforests of Congo. The Garden started publishing its own journal from 1902 onwards, the Bulletin du Jardin botanique de l’État, which became Systematics and Geography of Plants in 1999. This journal merged with Belgian Journal of Botany in 2010 and became Plant Ecology and Evolution. The Garden has always had a strong link with the Royal Botanical Society of Belgium and together they also publish Dumortiera, an online journal devoted to Belgian floristics.

Independently, or in collaboration with other institutions, Meise Botanic Garden produces floras, such as the Flore de Belgique, the Flore d’Afrique centrale, the Flore du Gabon and the Fungus Flora of tropical Africa, as well as a series, Abc Taxa (a series of manuals in taxonomy and collection management) and another open access journal, European Journal of Taxonomy.

Royal Botanical Society of Belgium

The Royal Botanical Society of Belgium was founded in 1862 and promotes botany through scientific research, publications, and conferences. It also organises excursions and awards several prizes for botanical research. From its inception, the Society has published its own journal, Bulletin de la Société Royale de Botanique de Belgique, which became Belgian Journal of Botany in 1990. This journal merged with Systematics and Geography of Plants in 2010 and became Plant Ecology and Evolution. The Society has always had a strong link with Meise Botanic Garden and together they also publish Dumortiera, an online journal devoted to Belgian floristics. The extensive library of the Society is merged with the library of the Garden. The Belgian and foreign members of the Society are teachers, students, researchers, naturalists, nature reserve managers, etc. and the Society encourages anyone interested in botany to join.

Journal History

Plant Ecology and Evolution was established in 2010 as a merger of Belgian Journal of Botany and Systematics and Geography of Plants. The two publishers of these journals, the Royal Botanical Society of Belgium and Meise Botanic Garden, have decided to publish Plant Ecology and Evolution together as co-publishers, therefore ensuring its independence from commercial publishers. This merger was prompted by the fact that both journals started to attract a more international audience and because their scope started to largely overlap. Both journals had a focus on tropical African botany and Belgian Journal of Botany gradually changed from a journal of general botany to a journal of field botany. The first editor in chief of Plant Ecology and Evolution was Elmar Robbrecht (2010–2020), who was also editor in chief of Systematics and Geography of Plants.

Belgian Journal of Botany and former titles (published by the Royal Botanical Society of Belgium)

The journal started as Bulletins de la Société royale de Botanique de Belgique in 1862, the same year as the foundation of the Royal Botanical Society of Belgium, and was meant as a publication for the members of the society. It originally published a mix of matters related to the society (bylaws, member lists, minutes of meetings, etc.) and scientific contributions, mainly from Belgian members. The international reach of the journal gradually grew during the 20th century, leading to the decision to change the title to Belgian Journal of Botany in 1990. For the first decades of the Bulletin’s existence, it was not always clear who was responsible for the editorial work. The first clearly mentioned editors ("secrétaire des publications") were François Crépin (vols 6–13, 1867–1874) and Alfred Cogniaux (vol. 14, 1875 & vols 51–53, 1910–1914). The special volume 50 (1909) was published by Jean Chalon. Editorship is fully clear from 1949 onwards, when the journal was managed by André Lawalrée (1949–1969), Pierre Compère (1970–2002), and Olivier Raspé (2003–2009).

Title history
Volumes 1–5 (1862–1866): Bulletins de la Société royale de Botanique de Belgique
Volumes 6–113 (1867–1980): Bulletin de la Société royale de Botanique de Belgique
Volumes 114–122 (1981–1989): Bulletin de la Société royale de Botanique de Belgique / Bulletin van de Koninklijke Belgische Botanische Vereniging
Volumes 123–142 (1990–2009): Belgian Journal of Botany
Volumes 143– (2010–): Plant Ecology and Evolution

Systematics and Geography of Plants and former titles (published by the National Botanic Garden of Belgium, now Meise Botanic Garden)

In 1902, on the initiative of Théophile Durand, the Jardin botanique de l’État in Brussels started publishing a bulletin containing miscellaneous information about the research at garden. The Bulletin du Jardin Botanique de l’État à Bruxelles was continued by Émile De Wildeman, Walter Robyns, Fernand Demaret, Roland Tournay (1967–1972), André Robyns (1973–1998), and Elmar Robbrecht (1999–2009). During the course of the 20th century, it developed into an international journal devoted to the systematics of all plants and fungi, but also covering related fields such as phytogeography, evolution, comparative morphology, pollen and spores, and vegetation studies. A complete overview of the history of the journal was published in the 100 year anniversary issue (Robbrecht 2002).

Title history
Volumes 1–5 (1902–1919): Bulletin du Jardin Botanique de l’État à Bruxelles
Volumes 6–14 (1919–1937): Bulletin du Jardin Botanique de l’État (Bruxelles) 
Volumes 15–36 (1938–1966): Bulletin du Jardin Botanique de l’État (Bruxelles) / Bulletin van de Rijksplantentuin (Brussel)
Volumes 37–67 (1967–1998): Bulletin du Jardin Botanique National de Belgique / Bulletin van de Nationale Plantentuin van België
Volumes 68–79 (1999–2009): Systematics and Geography of Plants

Journal Info


Journal Name Plant Ecology and Evolution
Journal URL https://plecevo.eu/
ISSN (online) 2032-3921
ISSN (print) 2032-3913
Content Provider ARPHA
Publisher Meise Botanic Garden and Royal Botanical Society of Belgium
Journal Owner Meise Botanic Garden and Royal Botanical Society of Belgium
Owner URL https://www.plantentuinmeise.be/en/
Start Year 2010
Review Type single-blind
Publication Frequency three times a year
APC No publication charges
License Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0)


This website uses cookies in order to improve your web experience. Read our Cookies Policy