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
Onozuka D (2014) Effect of non-stationary climate on infectious gastroenteritis transmission in Japan. Sci Rep 4:5157
A journal article with 2 authors
Wang R, Yan X (2014) Superior asymmetric supercapacitor based on Ni-Co oxide nanosheets and carbon nanorods. Sci Rep 4:3712
A journal article with 3 authors
Fay JC, Wyckoff GJ, Wu C-I (2002) Testing the neutral theory of molecular evolution with genomic data from Drosophila. Nature 415:1024–1026
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Bonev SA, Schwegler E, Ogitsu T, Galli G (2004) A quantum fluid of metallic hydrogen suggested by first-principles calculations. Nature 431:669–672

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Fraser J, Simkins BJ (2009) Enterprise Risk Management. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ
An edited book
Murphy MP, Dukelow F (eds) (2016) The Irish Welfare State in the Twenty-First Century: Challenges and Change. Palgrave Macmillan UK, London
A chapter in an edited book
Bandt C, Groth A, Marwan N, Romano MC, Thiel M, Rosenblum M, Kurths J (2008) Analysis of Bivariate Coupling by Means of Recurrence. In: Dahlhaus R, Kurths J, Maass P, Timmer J (eds) Mathematical Methods in Signal Processing and Digital Image Analysis. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp 153–182

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
Andrew E (2014) Researchers Discover New Technique For Identifying Rare Stem Cells in Bone Marrow. 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) Data Center Consolidation: Strengthened Oversight Needed to Achieve Cost Savings Goal. 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
Walther RL (2017) Approaches to Stream Restoration: Practices in Missouri and Illinois. Doctoral dissertation, Southern Illinois University

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
Saslow L (2006) Trash Law Is Meant To Deter Identity Theft. New York Times LI13

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Onozuka 2014).
This sentence cites two references (Wang and Yan 2014; Onozuka 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Wang and Yan 2014)
  • Three or more authors: (Bonev et al. 2004)

About the journal

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

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