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Special Collection 'The "International Vegetation Classification" initiative: case studies, syntheses, and perspectives on ecosystem diversity around the globe'
Edited by Don Faber-Langendoen, Wolfgang Willner, Changcheng Liu, John Hunter & Gonzalo Navarro

The ‘International Vegetation Classification’ (IVC) project aims at providing a consistent, systematic, and authoritative description and classification of the world’s terrestrial ecosystems. The IVC is based on the EcoVeg approach, which builds on the physiognomic-floristic-ecological classification traditions. As such, this approach shares a central philosophy with floristic-ecological approaches, such as the Braun-Blanquet approach; namely, that vegetation types should be constructed from field data in the context of ecological, dynamic, and biogeographic considerations. It also shares principles with structural-functional approaches that assess patterns of vegetation in the context of global ecological drivers. The IVC currently contains a comprehensive set of upper (formation) types and various continental sets of mid-level types, including North and South America, Africa and other parts of the globe. The classification is mature enough that it is now being applied to assess ecosystems at risk across regions and continents. But much work needs to be done to fully extend the classification at all levels around the globe and facilitate its role in supporting regional, national and subnational classifications and assessments.

For this Special Collection, we invite papers presenting detailed case studies, regional-continental studies as well as global syntheses. We also encourage papers dealing with methodological aspects and the integration of other approaches of vegetation classification within the framework of the IVC.

Procedure and deadlines:
• until 31 October 2020:
Send your proposal (preliminary title, authors, preliminary abstract, expected submission time) to and
Abstracts should include study aims, methods and – if possible – the expected results.
• until 15 November 2020:
Evaluation of the proposed contributions by the Special Collection Editors.
• until 1 April 2021:
Submission of invited manuscripts.

Papers published: 0
Special Collection 'Classification of grasslands and other open vegetation types in the Palaearctic'
Edited by Idoia Biurrun, Jürgen Dengler, Monika Janišová & Arkadiusz Nowak

Palaearctic grasslands in the broad sense comprise a large diversity of vegetation types, many of them of high conservation concern. Sound classification systems of Palaearctic grasslands and other open habitats are needed as reference systems for conservation and research. On the one hand, large national and continental vegetation-plot databases in combination with new classification methods allow developing plot-based classification systems that are consistent over large spatial extents, thus overcoming the idiosyncrasies of the multitude of previous regional classification systems. On the other hand, there are still many regions in the Palaearctic with diverse grassland vegetation that lack any plot-based classification system.

For this Special Collection in collaboration with the IAVS Working Group Eurasian Dry Grassland Group (EDGG;, we invite classification papers dealing with Palaearctic grasslands sensu lato, i.e. any natural and semi-natural vegetation type that is dominated by graminoids, forbs, dwarf shrubs, bryophytes or lichens. While we particularly appreciate broad-scale syntheses of grassland types over larger areas, we also accept regional studies from understudied regions. Methodological and conceptual studies as well as nomenclatural revisions of syntaxa are also possible. While the focus of the Special Collection is on plot-based classification, we are open to consider Forum papers that elaborate on higher level typologies, such as biomes, sub-biomes, formations or degrees of naturalness. Particularly appreciated are studies that demonstrate how sound grassland typologies can serve as useful tools in conservation, e.g. in red-list assessments.

Procedure and deadlines:

• Until 31 July 2020 (extended deadline): Send your proposal (preliminary title, authors, preliminary abstract, expected submission time) to
• Between 31 July and 10 August 2020 the Special Collection Editors will evaluate the proposed contributions regularly and invite or decline them (i.e. those who submit earlier can also expect an earlier decision).
• Until 28 February 2021: Submission of invited contributions
• Submitted articles undergo a regular peer-review with one of the four editors as Subject Editor.

Papers published: 1   |  Total pages: 28
Edited by Idoia Biurrun, Jürgen Dengler & Florian Jansen

Papers presenting vegetation-plot databases and other ecoinformatics data sources relevant for vegetation classification as well as concepts and methods for using these should be submitted to this section. They should be classified into one of the above categories (Research Paper, Review and Synthesis, Forum Paper, Report).

VCS has established a formal collaboration with the Global Index of Vegetation-Plot Databases (GIVD; It serves as outlet for Reports on GIVD activities, Short Database Reports (1 printed page, no text except abstract, no references) and Long Database Reports (3–8 printed pages, up to 25 references). Both types of Database Reports comprise as core element the standardised GIVD Fact Sheet. Database Reports in general are only possible for vegetation-plot databases registered in GIVD. Specifically, Long Database Reports are offered to databases from Europe (including Turkey, Cyprus and the Caucasus countries) and the United States with at least 5,000 plot observations or databases with at least 2,000 plot observations, while the thresholds for Short Database Reports are 1,000 and 400 plot observations, respectively. The given thresholds are valid for databases that have joined the supranational databases EVA and sPlot, respectively, and are doubled for those that have not. Moreover, Database Reports will only be accepted from databases that have not yet published such a GIVD-edited report or which have, after a previous Short Database Report, at least doubled their content. Database Reports of subsets of regional or national databases that have already published a GIVD Database Report will not be considered. Submissions of Database Reports must be accompanied by a recent GIVD Fact Sheet, which can be obtained from GIVD. The title of a Short Database Report consists of the name of the database (as registered in GIVD; capitalise all words because it is a proper name), possibly followed by a subtitle or explanation after an en-dash. For Long Database Reports, the title also must contain the unchanged proper name of the database, but otherwise its arrangement is more flexible. Further format specifications and instructions for submission are available from the Section Editors or from GIVD.

Papers published: 8   |  Total pages: 38
Phytosociological Nomenclature
Edited by Federico Fernández-González & Wolfgang Willner

This section includes papers focusing on phytosociological nomenclature. We encourage comprehensive nomenclatural revisions of major syntaxa, analyses of nomenclatural problems related with the names of wide-spread high-rank syntaxa as well as Forum Papers on general nomenclatural issues that are of interest to an international readership.

Further, this section publishes Reports and official documents issued by the Working Group for Phytosociological Nomenclature (GPN) of the International Association for Vegetation Science (IAVS). Please note that nomenclatural proposals (e.g., for nomina conservanda) should be submitted per e-mail to the responsible editor ( Once a year, the new proposals will be published as part of the annual Report of the Committee for Changes and Conservation of Names (CCCN), with all authors of proposals being co-authors (additionally, the authors of individual proposals will be indicated in the Report). Publication of nomenclatural proposals is free of charge.

Papers published: 1   |  Total pages: 4
Europe (1)

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