Author Guidelines








    General information

    Journal of Plant Ecology (JPE) is a peer-reviewed international journal of plant ecology, which serves as an important medium for Chinese and international ecologists to present research findings and discuss challenging issues in the broad field of plant ecology. Research and review articles published in JPE will be of interest to all types of plant ecologists. JPE includes special issues/features focusing on the frontiers in plant ecology with invited reviews written by the leading ecologists in the field.

    Thank you for your interest in Journal of Plant Ecology. Please read the complete Author Guidelines carefully prior to submission, including the section on copyright. To ensure fast peer review and publication, manuscripts that do not adhere to the following instructions will be returned to the corresponding author for technical revision before undergoing peer review.

    Manuscript preparation

    Original manuscripts must be provided as Microsoft Word. References, Figure Legends and Tables should be included in the Word file. The main text should be typewritten using size 12 Times New Roman on one side only of A4 size, aligned left and double-spaced with margins of at least 3 cm. All pages should be numbered sequentially. Each line of the text should also be numbered consecutively. Manuscripts should be written in clear, concise and scientific language, nomenclature and standard international units should be used. Authors are advised to follow the JPE style carefully (see the sample copy for format). Manuscripts that do not meet these standards will be returned to authors without reviewing.

    Please organize your manuscripts in the following order:

    ◆ Title page

    ◆ Abstract

    ◆ Introduction

    ◆ Materials and methods

    ◆ Results

    ◆ Discussion

    ◆ Funding

    ◆ Acknowledgments

    ◆ References

    ◆ Tables

    ◆ Figures and figure legends

    ◆ Supplementary data

    Title page

    The title page should contain:

    (a) the title (not exceeding 100 characters)

    (b) the name(s) of the author(s)

    (c) the name(s) and address(es) of the institution(s) where the work was carried out, followed by the contact details of the author to whom correspondence should be sent (address, telephone, fax, and e-mail).

    Any acknowledgements or any footnotes referring to the title, including sources of financial support (for Chinese authors), should be inserted into the Acknowledgements section, which precedes the References. Authors should also supply a running title which will appear at the top of the page, this should not exceed 50 characters, including spaces.


    Each paper must begin with a structured abstract of no more than 450 words, including three parts: Aims, Methods and Important Findings (reviews and forums should omit Methods). Aims should briefly state the context and primary objectives of the study. Methods should concisely state the location (for field studies) and major techniques and procedures used in the study. Important Findings should take up no more than half of the abstract and summarize only the most important results and their significance. Three to five Key Words should be supplied after the abstract for indexing purposes.


    The body of the text should be subdivided into the following main headings:

    (a) Introduction should be concise and define the scope of the work in relation to other work done in the same field.

    (b) Materials and methods should be brief but informative enough for reproduction of the work; when methods published in standard journals are followed without any modification, a reference to the work should be listed.

    (c) Results and Discussion should be presented with clarity and precision.


    This section should list funding sources. The following rules should be followed:

    (a) The sentence should begin: ‘This work was supported by …’

    (b) The full official funding agency name should be given, i.e. ‘the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health’ or simply 'National Institutes of Health' not ‘NCI' (one of the 27 subinstitutions) or 'NCI at NIH’ – see the full RIN-approved list of UK funding agencies for details

    (c) Grant numbers should be complete and accurate and provided in brackets as follows: ‘[grant number ABX CDXXXXXX]’

    (d) Multiple grant numbers should be separated by a comma as follows: ‘[grant numbers ABX CDXXXXXX, EFX GHXXXXXX]’

    (e) Agencies should be separated by a semi-colon (plus ‘and’ before the last funding agency)

    (f) Where individuals need to be specified for certain sources of funding the following text should be added after the relevant agency or grant number 'to [author initials]'.

    An example is given here:

    This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health [P50 CA098252 and CA118790 to R.B.S.R.] and the Alcohol & Education Research Council [HFY GR667789].

    Oxford Journals will deposit all NIH-funded articles in PubMed Central. See Depositing articles in repositories – information for authors for details. Authors must ensure that manuscripts are clearly indicated as NIH-funded using the guidelines above.


    This section may acknowledge contributions from non-authors, and it should include a statement of any conflicts of interest. Amendments or corrections are not allowed after publication.


    We highly recommend the use of a reference software such as EndNote ( for reference management and formatting (click to download the JPE Endnote reference style file).

    For review articles, there is no limitation on the number of references cited, although we strongly suggest citing only publications in which original knowledge was presented. For other types of articles, the maximum number of cited references is 50.

    All references in the text should have the authors immediately followed by the date to facilitate the electronic linkages which are available on-line, for example: (Shen and Ma 2001) or Shen and Ma (2001). If several papers by the same author in the same year are cited, they should be lettered in sequence (2000a, 2000b), etc. When papers are by more than two authors they should be cited thus: (Shen et al. 2001).

    Only papers published or in press should be cited in the literature list. Unpublished results, including submitted manuscripts and those in preparation, should be cited as unpublished in the text. Citation of articles from e-journals and journal articles published ahead of print should have the author names, year, title, journal title followed by the assigned digital object identifier (DOI). All citations mentioned in the text, tables or figures must be listed in the reference list.

    Names of journals should be abbreviated according to the Serial Sources for the Biosis Data Base, available in most libraries or from The list of reference must be typed double-spaced throughout and checked thoroughly before submission. If the list is not in the correct form it will be returned to the author for amendment and publication of the paper may be delayed.


    Kennedy T, Jones R (1985) Effect of obesity on esophageal transit. Am J Surg 149:177–81.

    Chen MJ, Fu YW, Zhou QY, et al. (2015) Simulation of Cd2+ and Zn2+ migration among water, soil and Paspalum distichum. Environ Sci Technol 38:65–70.


    Long HC, Blatt MA, Higgins MC, et al. (1997) Medical Decision Making. Boston, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann.

    Chapter in book:

    Manners T, Jones R, Riley M (1997) Relationship of overweight to haitus hernia and reflux oesophagitis. In Newman W (ed). The Obesity Conundrum. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Elsevier Science, 352–74.

    Articles published online but not yet in print:

    Qiao D, Chen W, Stratagoules E, et al. (2000) Bile acid-induced activation of activator protein-1 requires both extracellular signal-regulated kinase and protein kinase C signaling. J Biol Chem, doi:10.1074/jbc.M908890199.

    Conference proceedings:

    Hou Y, Qiu Y, Vo NH, et al. (2003) 23-O derivatives of OMT: highly active against H. influenzae. In: Programs and Abstracts of the Forty-third Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, Chicago, IL. Abstract F-1187, p.242. American Society for Microbiology, Washington, DC.


    N'tchobo H (1998) Sucrose unloading in tomato fruits. II. Subcellular distribution of acid invertase and possible roles in sucrose turnover and hexose storage in tomato fruit. PhD thesis. Laval University, Canada.


    Tables should be self-contained and complement, but not duplicate information in the text. Tables should be on a separate page, and should be numbered in Arabic numerals with an appropriate legend at the head. All tables should have three horizontal lines, with the upper and the lower lines in bold. No vertical lines are allowed (see the sample copy for format). They should be included in the text file (in the Word file).


    Figures should be self-explanatory and contain as much information as is consistent with clarity. All figures must carry the figure number in Arabic numerals. Citation in the text should take the form Fig. 1a etc. The minimum resolution for the figures is 300 dpi (dots per inch) for tone or colour, 1200 dpi for line art at approximately the correct size for publication. Colour figures should be CMYK (Cyan-Magenta-Yellow-Black). All figures must be supplied in electronic format as .TIF.

    Line drawings should be clear: faint shading or stippling will be lost upon reproduction and should be avoided and heavy shading or stippling may appear black. Lines and symbols should be drawn boldly enough to stand reduction to the desired size. For graphs where reduction to one-half in linear dimensions is intended, a suitable thickness for the axis would be 0.3 mm and for the other lines 0.4 or 1.0 mm depending on the complexity of the graph.

    The preferred symbols are closed circle, open circle, closed square, open square, closed triangle, and open triangle and should be no smaller than 2 mm (height/diameter) for reduction to one-half. The symbols x and + should be avoided.

    Photographs not supplied electronically, must be of high quality, printed on glossy paper and mounted neatly on a thin white card base, leaving a narrow gap between each print. Irregular and asymmetrically distributed groups of photographs will not be accepted. Individual figures should be lettered, a, b, c, etc. on the photograph using a lettering set. Other lettering, arrows, etc. may be put on the photograph by the author; otherwise they should be indicated in the exact position required on a transparent or translucent self-locating overlay. On no account should any marks be made on the photograph itself.

    Colour figures: If the manuscript is accepted for publication, authors will be asked to cover the cost of reproduction, which is ¥1500/£170/$240/€200 per colour figure. Colour plates should be combined to make a single composite figure whenever possible. A scale should be included; otherwise the scale of the original should be stated in the legends so that the final scale can be calculated.

    Legends A separate typewritten, double-spaced list of legends of all figures must be supplied and included in the text file. Each legend should contain sufficient explanation to be meaningful without cross-referencing. A scale of the original should be included in the legend unless already indicated in the picture. A description of the symbols used in the figures should be written out in full. (Please do not include the character symbol in the legend.)

    Please be aware that figure legends may be used by search engines for figure searches.

    Figure font requirements (see the sample copy for format):

    Typeface: Arial

    Figure labels (a, b, c, etc.) font size: 12 pt, bold

    Figure caption font size: 12 pt, no bold

    X-axis, y-axis labels font size: 12 pt, no bold

    X-axis, y-axis units: 10 pt, no bold

    All other text inside figures: 10 pt, no bold

    Cover illustrations will be taken from, or be associated with, an article that appears in the journal, where possible. Authors wishing to submit a potential cover illustration should indicate it at the time of submission. The potential cover illustration figures must be supplied in electronic format as .TIF, and resolution must be above 300 dpi at publication size. Please supply a short concise caption to appear inside the journal.

    For useful information on preparing your figures for publication, go to Please note that all labels used in figures should be in lower case in both the figure and the legend. The journal reserves the right to reduce the size of illustrative material. All micrographs must carry a magnification bar.

    Supplementary data

    There are facilities for publishing data on the Internet (e.g. appendices, additional tables, graphics and other material useful for enhancing the understanding of the manuscript) as supplementary data. This section should include all the legends of the supplementary materials.

    Submission of manuscripts

    Manuscripts should be submitted via the web-based submission system.

    Suggesting reviewers

    Please also include the names of 3–5 individuals that are qualified to review your manuscript. Indicate the name, institution and email address of each individual. We will try to have at least one reviewer from the set that you have requested. You may also request a member of the editorial team that you think is best suited to handle your manuscript.

    Cover letters

    All authors must include a cover letter when submitting a manuscript to JPE. Cover letters should include the following sections:

    (a) Title, names of authors, and numbers of tables, figures and pages in the main text, and supplementary materials;

    (b) The importance and novelty of the research findings in the study;

    (c) Authors need to promise that manuscripts submitted to JPE are considered on the understanding that they have not been published elsewhere, nor are under consideration for publication;

    (d) In addition, agreement for submission and email address from all the authors are needed.

    Language Editing

    Particularly if English is not your first language, before submitting your manuscript you may wish to have it edited for language. This is not a mandatory step, but may help to ensure that the academic content of your paper is fully understood by journal editors and reviewers. Language editing does not guarantee that your manuscript will be accepted for publication. For further information on this service, please click here.

    There are other specialist language editing companies that offer similar services and you can also use any of these. Authors are liable for all costs associated with such services.

    Revised manuscripts

    Revised manuscripts should be returned via the online submission system within three months (major revision) or one month (minor revision) of the date from when the invitation was sent; revised manuscripts received after this time will be considered as new submissions. Revised manuscripts should be accompanied by a detailed response letter on how all the concerns of the editor and referees have been addressed. Please give the exact page number(s), paragraphs(s) and line number(s) where each revision was made. Please copy this letter in “Response to reviews” during submission and as well as upload a word file of your response.

    Format: Original source files are required to avoid delays if the manuscript is accepted. The main text must be provided as Microsoft Word. All the changes should be highlighted (in red colour or with track changes using the “revision mode” in Microsoft Word). References, Figure Legends and Tables should be included in the Word file.

    Figures should be provided as .TIF files. The minimum resolution for the figures is 300 dpi for tone or colour, 1200 dpi for line art at approximately the correct size for publication. Colour figures should be CMYK (Cyan-Magenta-Yellow-Black).

    Supplementary material for online-only publication

    Supplementary data may be submitted for online only publication if it adds value for potential readers. The hard copy of the manuscript should stand alone, but it should be indicated at an appropriate point in the text that supplementary material is available on-line. Please name your supplementary material and cite it within the manuscript as Figure S1, Table S1, Video S1, etc, and provide a detailed legend.

    Electronic files of supplementary material are preferable as one complete .PDF file. If images are supplied as .GIFs or .JPEGs, the minimum acceptable resolution for viewing on screen is 120 dpi.

    Videos: The preferred formats for video clips are .MOV, .MPG, .AVI, and animated .GIF files. Authors are advised to use a readily available program to create movies so that they can be viewed easily with e.g., Windows Media Player or QuickTime.

    Authors should carefully check the supplementary data as this information is not professionally copy edited or proofread. Once the manuscript is accepted and has been sent to production, Authors are no longer allowed to revise the supplementary materials, including at the proof stage.

    Manuscript style


    Standard chemical symbols may be used in the text where desirable in the interests of conciseness. For long chemical names and other cumbersome terms, widely accepted abbreviations may be used in the text (e.g. ATP, DNA); the list of standard abbreviations published by The Biochemical Journal ( is an acceptable guide. Abbreviations for the names of less common compounds may be used, but the full term should be given on first mention. It is confusing and unnecessary to use abbreviations for common English words (e.g. L for light).

    Scientific names

    The complete scientific name (genus, species, and authority, and cultivar where appropriate) must be cited for every organism at the first mention. The generic name may be abbreviated to the initial thereafter except where intervening references to other genera with the same initial could cause confusion. If vernacular names are employed, they must be accompanied by the correct scientific name on first use.

    Chemical and molecular biology nomenclature

    Follow Chemical Abstracts and its indexes for chemical names. The IUPAC and IUBMB recommendations on chemical, biochemical, and molecular biology nomenclature should be followed (see and

    Units of measurement

    The metric system is adopted as standard. The system of units known as 'SI' should be used. If non-standard abbreviations must be used they should be defined in the text. Units of measurement should be spelled out except when preceded by a numeral, when they should be abbreviated in the standard form: g, mg, cm3, etc. and not followed by full stops. Use negative exponents to indicate units in the denominator (i.e. mmol m-2 s-1).

    Numbers up to ten should be spelled out in the text except when referring to measurements. Numbers higher than ten are to be represented as numerals except at the beginning of a sentence. Fractions are to be expressed as decimals.

    Dates should be cited thus: 7 June 2001 and the 24 hour clock should be used.

    Sequence data

    Deposition of amino acid sequences of proteins or nucleotide sequences is required before publication, and the database accession number must be given in the text of the manuscript. Microarray Gene Expression Data should comply with the minimum information about microarray experiments standard (MIAME; see for more information.)


    If equations require more than one level of subscript or superscript, please use either 'Microsoft Equation Editor' or 'Math Type'. If anything else is used, the equation has to be re-typed which makes it vulnerable to errors.

    Permission to reproduce figures

    Please note that if your manuscript includes any data in tables or figure(s) modified or re-drawn from another publication, you will need permission from the original publisher to reproduce it before your manuscript can be published. This includes figures adapted in any way from other publications. Permission to reproduce figures or data from other publications must be sought by authors at the time of acceptance. Please note that obtaining copyright permission could take some time. A copy of the permission document should be sent to the Production Editor, Journal of Plant Ecology, Oxford University Press, Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX2 6DP. Email:

    To seek copyright permission please contact the copyright permission department of the relevant journal/publisher.

    Publication process after acceptance


    Proofs will be sent electronically to the corresponding author as a .PDF file. The author should reply to the proof email with their corrections, and should send an annotated PDF. Corrections should be limited to typographical errors and corrections should be returned within three days of receipt; otherwise the Editor reserves the right to correct the proofs and to send the material for publication. This is essential if all the material in a given issue is not to be delayed by the late receipt of one corrected proof.

    Page charges

    Manuscripts that are more than ten pages in length when typeset will incur a charge of £120/$192/€156 per extra page after the tenth page. The first ten pages are free of charge.

    Unique URL

    On publication of an article, the corresponding author will receive a unique URL that gives access to both PDF and HTML versions of the paper. The URL links visitors to the JPE site and the complete version of the paper online with all functionality retained is accessible regardless of subscription status.

    Licence to publish

    It is a condition of publication in the journal that authors grant an exclusive licence to the Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IBCAS) and the Botanical Society of China (BSC). This ensures that requests from third parties to reproduce articles are handled efficiently and consistently and will also allow the article to be as widely disseminated as possible. In assigning the licence, authors may use their own material in other publications provided that the journal is acknowledged as the original place of publication, and Oxford University Press, on behalf of the Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IBCAS) and the Botanical Society of China (BSC), is notified in writing and in advance.

    Upon receipt of accepted manuscripts at Oxford Journals authors will be invited to complete an online copyright licence to publish form.

    Please note that by submitting an article for publication you confirm that you are the corresponding/submitting author and that Oxford University Press ("OUP") may retain your email address for the purpose of communicating with you about the article. You agree to notify OUP immediately if your details change. If your article is accepted for publication OUP will contact you using the email address you have used in the registration process. Please note that OUP does not retain copies of rejected articles.

    Oxford Open articles are published under Creative Commons licences. Authors publishing in Journal of Plant Ecology can use the following Creative Commons licences for their articles:

    ◆ Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC-BY)

    ◆ Creative Commons Non-Commercial licence (CC-BY-NC)

    ◆ Creative Commons non-Commercial No Derivatives licence (CC-BY-NC-ND)

    Please click here for more information about the Creative Commons licences.

    Author self-archiving/public access policy

    For information about this journal's policy, please visit our Author Self-Archiving policy page.

    Conflict of interest

    Journal policy also requires that all authors sign a conflict of interest statement. If the manuscript is published, such information may be communicated in a note following the text and reference.

    Open access option for authors

    Journal of Plant Ecology authors have the option to publish their paper under the Oxford Open initiative; whereby, for a charge, their paper will be made freely available online immediately upon publication. After your manuscript is accepted the corresponding author will be required to accept a mandatory licence to publish agreement. As part of the licensing process you will be asked to indicate whether or not you wish to pay for open access. If you do not select the open access option, your paper will be published with standard subscription-based access and you will not be charged.

    Oxford Open articles are published under Creative Commons licences. Authors publishing in the journal can use the following Creative Commons licences for their articles:

    ◆ Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC BY)

    ◆ Creative Commons Non-Commercial licence (CC BY-NC)

    ◆ Creative Commons non-Commercial No Derivatives licence (CC BY-NC-ND)

    Please click here for more information about the Creative Commons licences.

    You can pay Open Access charges using our Author Services site. This will enable you to pay online with a credit/debit card, or request an invoice by email or post. Open Access charges for Journal of Plant Ecology are:

    Standard charge: £1900/ $3040 / €2470

    Reduced rate developing country charge*: £950/ $1520 / €1235

    Free developing country charge*: £0 / $0 / €0

    *A list of qualifying developing countries can be found here.

    Please note that these charges are in addition to any page charges that may apply.

    Orders from the UK will be subject to the current UK VAT charge. For orders from the rest of the European Union, OUP will assume that the service is provided for business purposes. Please provide a VAT number for yourself or your institution and ensure you account for your own local VAT correctly.

    Third-party content in open access papers

    If you will be publishing your paper under an Open Access licence but it contains material for which you do not have Open Access re-use permissions, please state this clearly by supplying the following credit line alongside the material:

    Title of content

    Author, Original publication, year of original publication, by permission of [rights holder]

    This image/content is not covered by the terms of the Creative Commons licence of this publication. For permission to reuse, please contact the rights holder.

    Crossref funding data registry

    In order to meet your funding requirements authors are required to name their funding sources, or state if there are none, during the submission process. For further information on this process or to find out more about the CHORUS initiative please click here.

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