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
Schiermeier Q (2001) Network boost for southeast Europe. Nature 410:619
A journal article with 2 authors
Morandi B, Carreira EM (2012) Iron-catalyzed cyclopropanation in 6 M KOH with in situ generation of diazomethane. Science 335:1471–1474
A journal article with 3 authors
Gillespie AR, Montgomery DR, Mushkin A (2005) Planetary science: are there active glaciers on Mars? Nature 438:E9-10; discussion E10
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Jonsson E, Troll VR, Högdahl K, Harris C, Weis F, Nilsson KP, Skelton A (2013) Magmatic origin of giant “Kiruna-type” apatite-iron-oxide ores in central Sweden. Sci Rep 3:1644

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Grous A (2011) Applied Metrology for Manufacturing Engineering. John Wiley & Sons, Inc, Hoboken, NJ
An edited book
Borowik G, Chaczko Z, Jacak W, Łuba T (eds) (2015) Computational Intelligence and Efficiency in Engineering Systems. Springer International Publishing, Cham
A chapter in an edited book
Zeng Z, Xu X, Chen D (2015) Biophysical Characteristics of DCs in Tumor Microenvironment. In: Xu X, Chen D (eds) Dendritic Cells: Biophysics, Tumor Microenvironment and Chinese Traditional Medicine. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, pp 25–53

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
Hale T (2016) Tony Hawk Tries Out Some Weightless Skateboarding On “The Vomit Comet.” 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 (1973) Defaulted Loans Under the Guaranteed Student Loan Program. 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
Burgner J (2010) Bullying prevention: A grant proposal. 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
Quain JR (2017) Self-Driving Cars Might Need Standards, but Whose? New York Times B4

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Schiermeier 2001).
This sentence cites two references (Schiermeier 2001; Morandi and Carreira 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Morandi and Carreira 2012)
  • Three or more authors: (Jonsson et al. 2013)

About the journal

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

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