Department of Biology
Institute for Plant Science and Microbiology
    Division BEE  >  Biodiversity & Ecology  >  Guidelines for authors

Biodiversity & Ecology publishes research papers as well as reviews, forum papers, and reports on biodiversity, evolution and ecology of plants. The core foci lie on flora and vegetation of Africa and dryland biodiversity. Connected to the research portfolio of the publishing institutions, also contributions on change of global biodiversity, ecosystem functions and services, eco-informatics, lichens, flora and vegetation of Northern Germany, and topics related to herbaria and botanical gardens are welcome.
The journal often publishes Special Volumes or Special Features dedicated to specific themes, and contributions to these are normally solicited. The topics of forthcoming Special Volumes/Features are announced on the journal homepage or may be requested from the Chief Editor, Prof. Dr. Norbert Jürgens , who is also open for proposals. If you are considering contributing an article to a future Special Volume/Feature, you are kindly asked to contact the respective Guest Editors prior to submission, who will specify the submission deadline and other details.

Ordinary submissions within the scope of the journal should be made electronically to

For each submission, the Managing Editor (Jens Oldeland: jens.oldeland@uni-hamburg.de) and/or the Guest Editors will assign one Co-ordinating Editor. Contributions are normally reviewed by two peers, upon whose comments the Co-ordinating Editor will decide on article acceptance, acceptance with necessary revisions, or rejection.

Publication ethics

By a submission, the corresponding author confirms that all persons listed as co-authors have read the final version of the manuscript and given their consent for submission. All persons listed as co-authors must have made a significant scientific contribution to designing or carrying out the study and/or writing the manuscript; conversely, no person who has made such a significant scientific contribution to the paper shall be denied author rights. Further, the authors must ensure proper recognition (usually through means of citation) when they make use of the intellectual property of other persons.

Preparation of the manuscript

Manuscripts should be written either in British or American English throughout. If you are not a native speaker of English, you are kindly asked to have the language of the manuscript edited by an experienced native speaker prior to submission. In specific cases (after arrangement with the Co-ordinating Editor), manuscripts may also be prepared bilingually in English and German. There are no page limits as long as the length is justified by the content. Submissions should be made in a single document file (*.doc, *.docx or *.rtf), with pages and lines numbered consecutively.

The title of the manuscript should be brief and circumscribe the main content of the manuscript. It is followed by the full names of all authors. An abstract of 100-300 words should briefly present the salient points regarding the aim, location, methods, results, and conclusions. Then, up to ten keywords that do not repeat title words should be provided in alphabetical order. After that, sections on nomenclatural references for taxa, syntaxa, or other classifications (entitled Nomenclature) and definitions of all abbreviations that do not belong to standard English (entitled Abbreviations) follow if applicable.

Manuscripts should be subdivided into non-numbered sections of up to three levels. Please indicate the section hierarchy clearly. You may deviate from the standard structure Introduction - Methods - Results - Discussion when appropriate. You may give Acknowledgements before the reference list. In the case of multi-authored papers, we recommend beginning the acknowledgements of multi-authored papers with a statement on the contributions of the individual authors, using their initials (e.g.: The idea of the paper was conceived by N.J., the field work was carried out by U.S. …). No footnotes will be printed.

Scientific names of taxa (all ranks!) and syntaxa as well as expressions in foreign languages and mathematical symbols should be formatted in italics. When cited in the text for the first time, scientific names should be written in full. Taxonomic authorship should be given according to the most recent versions of ICBN, ICPN, or equivalent codes and be included only once in the manuscript (at first mention in the text or in a tabular overview). Please use standard abbreviation for authorities (or spell them out if no such standard is available) and set them in normal letters (no small capitals).

References in the text should be cited as follows: As shown by Adams (2002) …; has been verified (Schmidt 1997, 2002, Schmidt & Meyer 1998, Schmidt et al. 2000, Adams 2002). If there is more than one source by the same author(s) in one year, these are differentiated by the addition of small letters (Smith 2000a, 2000b). References to specific pages in a source are given as (Muller 1975: 234). Author names are printed in lower-case letters. Please ensure that author names from foreign languages are spelled correctly with all diacritical marks.

The Reference list (entitled References) at the end of the paper has the following form:

Atkins, S. (2003): Verbenaceae. – In: Kadereit, J.W. [Ed.]: Flowering plants – dicotyledons: Lamiales (except Acanthaceae including Avicenniaceae). – In: Kubitzki, K. [Ed.]: The families and genera of flowering plants 7: 449–468. Berlin: Springer.

Chytrý, M. (2007) [Ed.]: Vegetace Ceské republicky – 1. Travinná a keříčková vegetace (Vegetation of the Czech Republic – 1. Grassland and heathland vegetation) [with English summary]. – Praha: Academia.

Crawley, M.J., Harral, J.E. (2001): Scale dependence in plant biodiversity. – Science 291: 864–868.

Desmet, P., Cowling, R. (2004): Using the species-area relationship to set baseline targets for conservation. – Ecology & Society 9(2): Article 11, 1–23. URL: http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol9/iss2/art11.

Faucon, P. (2002): Succulents scientific and common names. – URL: http://www.desert-tropicals.com/plants/succulents.htm [accessed on 2006-05-21].

Gurevitch, J., Scheiner, S.M., Fox, G.A. (2006): The ecology of plants. 2nd ed. – Sunderland, Mass.: Sinauer.

Haarmeyer, D.H., Schmiedel, U., Dengler, J., Bösing, B.M. (in press): How does grazing intensity affect different vegetation types in arid Succulent Karoo, South Africa? Implications for conservation management. – Biological Conservation. DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2009.11.008.

Kadereit, J.W. [Ed.]: Flowering plants – dicotyledons: Lamiales (except Acanthaceae including Avicenniaceae). – In: Kubitzki, K. [Ed.]: The families and genera of flowering plants 7. Berlin: Springer.

Korneck, D., Schnittler, M., Vollmer, I. (1996): Rote Liste der Farn- und Blütenpflanzen (Pteridophyta et Spermatophyta) Deutschlands. – In: Bundesamt für Naturschutz [Ed.]: Rote Listen gefährdeter Pflanzen Deutschlands. – Schriftenreihe für Vegetationskunde 28: 21–187. Bonn: Bundesamt für Naturschutz.

Magurran, A.E. (2004): Measuring biological diversity. – Malden, MA: Blackwell.

Röwer, I.U. (2009): Small-scale vegetation and biodiversity patterns of termitaria (heuweltjies) under different grazing pressures in the communal area of Soebatsfontein, South Africa. – Diploma thesis in Biology, University of Hamburg [deposited at the University Library of Hamburg].

StatSoft, Inc. (2005): STATISTICA for Windows. Version 7.1. – URL: http://www.statsoft.com.

van Andel, J., Aronson, J. (2006) [Eds.]: Restoration ecology. – Malden, Mass.: Blackwell.

Note that all authors are to be given (even if there are many co-authors) and journal titles have to be provided in full. Title words should not be capitalized (except for English journal titles) unless required by the orthographic rules (e.g. proper names). Titles in languages other than English, German, French, Spanish, or Latin, should be accompanied by a translation into English and an indication when the paper contains a summary in English or another of the named languages (see example Chytrý 2007 above). Titles and author names from non-Latin alphabets should be transliterated following common standards. The publisher and place of publication should be provided for books and volumes within series. Only the first town/city should be given when a publisher is based in several.

Sources that are not publically available (i.e. neither published nor deposited in a public library) should not be included in the reference list but instead be cited in the text as e.g. (L. Smith, local farmer, pers. comm.) or (K. Miller, University of Oxford, unpublished report). For vegetation classification studies and other analyses using vegetation plots, the underlying plot data should normally be made available in a database registered in the Global Index of Vegetation-Plot Databases (GIVD; http://www.givd.info), and the information necessary for retrieving these data be given in the Methods section.

At the end of the manuscript, the full names, affiliations, addresses, and e-mail addresses of all authors should be given, with the corresponding author be marked with *.

Tables and figures should be prepared in such a way that they fit one-column width (5.4 cm), two-column width (11.3 cm), or three-column width (17.2 cm), and that they are not higher than 24.7 cm. Take care that all parts of tables and figures are clearly and easily legible after scaling to print format. Please avoid hairlines (note that the standard settings of Excel are not suitable for printing). For tables and legends of figures, use Arial or a similar sans-serif font. Tables may either be prepared in Word or Excel. Avoid vertical lines and use horizontal lines only above and below the headline and at the bottom of the table. Photographs should be submitted in uncompressed JPEG format with a resolution of 300 dpi at final size (e.g. 2031 pixels at 17.2 cm width). Computer-generated graphs or line drawings should be submitted as vector graphics with embedded fonts or in TIF format with a resolution of 800 dpi at final size. For other image formats ask the editors in advance. Colour figures are possible and encouraged where appropriate. On maps, a scale bar and a north arrow are required. A scale bar is also recommended for the illustration of plant details.

Appendices to be printed after the reference list are possible for long tables, mathematical derivations, nomenclatural issues, or similar items that are only relevant for a minority of readers. If you plan to include other elements in your article, such as boxes or loose supplements (e.g. for large vegetation tables), you should seek the consent of the Co-ordinating Editor prior to submission.

The captions of tables, figures, appendices, boxes, and supplements should be concise but provide all necessary information in order to make the items comprehensible without having read the text.

In the original submission, tables and figures should preferably be included in the same document file as the text, i.e. you should submit your whole manuscript as one single file to allow easy handling in the review process. Please add the tables or figures together with their captions on separate pages at the end of the manuscript.

Production of accepted manuscripts

After acceptance of your manuscript, you will be asked to include only the captions in the final document file and to submit each table or figure as a separate file with an unambiguous file name such as Meier_Fig_01.TIF or Smith_Table_02.XLS.

On the title page of the paper, we will add the information on review history, i.e. name of the Co-ordinating Editor, date of original submission, and date of acceptance.

Page proofs will be sent in PDF format to the corresponding author before printing, and you are asked to check them carefully within the set time frame.

Articles will be published both as print and free access online publication. If the manuscript is accepted and type-set much in advance of the publication date of the next volume, an early view online version (without page numbers) will be published. After print publication, the corresponding author will receive a PDF file of his/her article and a free copy of the respective volume. There are no page charges.

designed by Andrzej Suwald

Imprint  /  last update: 2012-09-11  by: Jens Oldeland search