Plant Ecology & Diversity: Global Change & Vegetation Dynamics

February 10, 2020

As a palaeoecologist and biogeographer I am delighted to have become a Subject Editor for Plant Ecology & Diversity (PE&D). In my new role for the journal I hope to handle a broad range of articles within my area “Global Change & Vegetation Dynamics: Past, Present & Future”. As Subject Editor, as well as organizing general submissions, I would also like to promote a range of articles focused on scientific themes that build upon key publications.

The first of these themes will be “long-term ecology” and will build upon the recent ‘monster’ Grubb Review written by John Birks (Birks, 2019). The Birks manuscript covers a vast range of topics centred on the contribution of Quaternary botany to understanding modern ecology and biogeography. Topics covered within the Birks manuscript include:

  • Vegetation range shifts
  • Extinction events
  • Human impacts on ecosystems
  • Biodiversity trends
  • Conservation

I plan to pull together the “long-term ecology” set of manuscripts for PE&D during 2020, and contributions are welcome on any of the issues and research areas highlighted in the Birks manuscript.

Manuscript submissions can be either original research articles, short communications, or in-depth reviews. Manuscripts should be submitted to the journal in the usual way, and will be subject to the usual rigorous (double blind) peer review process; however, please indicate in the cover letter that you would like them to be considered for the “long-term ecology” theme. If you have questions in advance of any submission please do not hesitate to get in contact with me.

Examples of the type of research and debate that I would like to stimulate within the journal include:

  1. the debate around the role of early human populations on shaping landscapes and its implications for conservation (Fenton, 2008; Bennett, 2009),
  2. the use of phylogenetics to offer insights into the evolutionary history of ecosystems (de Paula et al., 2019; Cássia-Silva et al., 2020), and 
  3. the collation of time series datasets to investigate vegetation change (Butt et al., 2014; Scharnagl et al., 2019).


  • Bennett, K.D. (2009) Woodland decline in upland Scotland. Plant Ecology & Diversity 2, 91-93. DOI: 10.1080/17550870902984784
  • Birks, H.J. (2019) Contributions of Quaternary botany to modern ecology and biogeography. Plant Ecology & Diversity 12, 189-385. DOI: 10.1080/17550874.2019.1646831
  • Butt, N., Malhi, Y., New, M., Macía, M.J., Lewis, S.L., Lopez-Gonzalez, G., Laurance, W.F., Laurance, S., Luizão, R., Andrade, A., Baker, T.R., Almeida, S. & Phillips, O.L. (2014) Shifting dynamics of climate-functional groups in old-growth Amazonian forests. Plant Ecology & Diversity 7, 267-279. DOI: 10.1080/17550874.2012.715210
  • Cássia-Silva, C., Cianciaruso, M.V., Dias, P.A., Freitas, C., Souza-Neto, A. & Collevatti, R.G. (2020) Among cradles and museums: seasonally dry forest promotes lineage exchanges between rain forest and savanna. Plant Ecology & Diversity online. DOI: 10.1080/17550874.2019.1709103
  • de Paula, Luiza F. A., Colmenares-Trejos, S., Negreiros, D., Rosado, B.H.P., Arcoverde de Mattos, E., de Bello, F., Porembski, S. & Silveira, F.A.O. (2019) High plant taxonomic beta diversity and functional and phylogenetic convergence between two Neotropical inselbergs. Plant Ecology & Diversity online. DOI: 10.1080/17550874.2019.1673846
  • Fenton, J.H.C. (2008) A postulated natural origin for the open landscape of upland Scotland. Plant Ecology & Diversity 1, 115-127. DOI: 10.1080/17550870802260624
  • Scharnagl, K., Johnson, D. & Ebert-May, D. (2019) Shrub expansion and alpine plant community change: 40-year record from Niwot Ridge, Colorado. Plant Ecology & Diversity 12, 407-416. DOI: 10.1080/17550874.2019.1641757

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