How to format your references using the Plant Ecology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Plant Ecology. For a complete guide how to prepare your manuscript refer to the journal's instructions to authors.

Using reference management software

Typically you don't format your citations and bibliography by hand. The easiest way is to use a reference manager:

PaperpileThe citation style is built in and you can choose it in Settings > Citation Style or Paperpile > Citation Style in Google Docs.
EndNoteDownload the output style file
Mendeley, Zotero, Papers, and othersThe style is either built in or you can download a CSL file that is supported by most references management programs.
BibTeXBibTeX syles are usually part of a LaTeX template. Check the instructions to authors if the publisher offers a LaTeX template for this journal.

Journal articles

Those examples are references to articles in scholarly journals and how they are supposed to appear in your bibliography.

Not all journals organize their published articles in volumes and issues, so these fields are optional. Some electronic journals do not provide a page range, but instead list an article identifier. In a case like this it's safe to use the article identifier instead of the page range.

A journal article with 1 author
McGill B (2015) Biodiversity: Land use matters. Nature 520:38–39
A journal article with 2 authors
Denning DW, Bromley MJ (2015) Infectious Disease. How to bolster the antifungal pipeline. Science 347:1414–1416
A journal article with 3 authors
Behringer DC, Butler MJ, Shields JD (2006) Ecology: avoidance of disease by social lobsters. Nature 441:421
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Hedman MM, Burns JA, Tiscareno MS, Porco CC, Jones GH, Roussos E, Krupp N, Paranicas C, Kempf S (2007) The source of Saturn’s G ring. Science 317:653–656

Books and book chapters

Here are examples of references for authored and edited books as well as book chapters.

An authored book
Silvia JE (2011) Dynamic Economic Decision Making. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ
An edited book
Gervasi O, Murgante B, Misra S, Rocha AMAC, Torre CM, Taniar D, Apduhan BO, Stankova E, Wang S (eds) (2016) Computational Science and Its Applications – ICCSA 2016: 16th International Conference, Beijing, China, July 4-7, 2016, Proceedings, Part I. Springer International Publishing, Cham
A chapter in an edited book
Hermans F, Pinzger M, van Deursen A (2010) Automatically Extracting Class Diagrams from Spreadsheets. In: D’Hondt T (ed) ECOOP 2010 – Object-Oriented Programming: 24th European Conference, Maribor, Slovenia, June 21-25, 2010. Proceedings. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp 52–75

Web sites

Sometimes references to web sites should appear directly in the text rather than in the bibliography. Refer to the Instructions to authors for Plant Ecology.

Blog post
Luntz S (2016) HMS Terror Rediscovered 170 Years After Ill-Fated Northwest Passage Attempt. In: IFLScience. Accessed 30 Oct 2018


This example shows the general structure used for government reports, technical reports, and scientific reports. If you can't locate the report number then it might be better to cite the report as a book. For reports it is usually not individual people that are credited as authors, but a governmental department or agency like "U. S. Food and Drug Administration" or "National Cancer Institute".

Government report
Government Accountability Office (2013) Alternative Methods for Collecting Airport Passenger Facility Charges. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC

Theses and dissertations

Theses including Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses or Bachelor theses follow the basic format outlined below.

Doctoral dissertation
Duncan EA (2017) Environmental controls of black abalone body temperature determine risks of thermal stress and disease. Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach

News paper articles

Unlike scholarly journals, news papers do not usually have a volume and issue number. Instead, the full date and page number is required for a correct reference.

New York Times article
Walsh MW (2010) Pension Fraud By New Jersey Cited by S.E.C. New York Times A1

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by name and year in parentheses:

This sentence cites one reference (McGill 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Denning and Bromley 2015; McGill 2015).

Here are examples of in-text citations with multiple authors:

  • Two authors: (Denning and Bromley 2015)
  • Three or more authors: (Hedman et al. 2007)

About the journal

Full journal titlePlant Ecology
AbbreviationPlant Ecol.
ISSN (print)1385-0237
ISSN (online)1573-5052
ScopePlant Science

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