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Plant and Soil

Plant and Soil

An International Journal on Plant-Soil Relationships

Editor-in-Chief: Hans Lambers

ISSN: 0032-079X (print version)
ISSN: 1573-5036 (electronic version)

Journal no. 11104

An Invitation to Submit to a New Special Issue

Plant-soil interactions in global biodiversity hotspots 

Plant and Soil is seeking submissions for a Special Issue, entitled Plant-soil interactions in global biodiversity hotspots, with Antony van der Ent and Hans Lambers as Guest Editors.
On a global scale, biodiversity hotspots are located where high relief (mountains) or high geodiversity (geology and soils) intersect, especially in (sub)tropical and Mediterranean regions. Factors causing spatial heterogeneity of temperature and precipitation often further increase the concentration of plant species per unit area. Meta-analyses indicate about twenty global biodiversity hotspots with >3000 plant species per 10,000 km2 unit. The top five localities with >5000 species per 10,000 km2, covering just 0.2% of the Earth's land area surface but harbouring 6.2% of total plant diversity, are: 1) Costa Rica-Chocó, 2) Atlantic Brazil, 3) Tropical Eastern Andes, 4) Northern Borneo, and 5) New Guinea. Although most biodiversity hotspots are in moist tropical regions, there are also regions with a Mediterranean climate that are extremely species-rich: the South African Cape region, California in the United States, and the sandplains of south-western Australia. Some islands are also global centres of diversity and endemicity, notably New Caledonia, Madagascar and the islands in the Malesian archipelago. In many hotspots, such as in California and New Caledonia, the presence of ultramafic soils contributes disproportionally to concentrating the local levels of plant diversity.
Ultramafic soils (derived from iron-magnesium-rich mantle rocks) can impose edaphic stresses that may stimulate the evolution of plant species by promoting divergence (as a result of the insular occurrence of these soils) leading to specialist plants, often being (local) endemics. Patterns of biodiversity are highly scale-dependent, and particularly high levels of biodiversity often coincide with habitat patchiness and species turnover along gradients (β-diversity). However, ostensibly homogenous habitats such as lowland rainforest and the south-western Australian sandplains are also exceptionally species-rich. Habitat stability has also been associated with high species richness, but the world's most species-rich ecosystem (Mount Kinabalu in Northern Borneo with more than 5500 plant species in less than 1200 km2) is geologically young and was covered by glaciers approx. 10,000 years ago. Again, within the climatic zones on this mountain distribution of plant species is linked to soil patterns. It is notable that many biodiversity hotspots are associated with nutrient-poor environments, with phosphorus being the key limiting macronutrient. We already know these plant/soil interactions play a pivotal role in the fynbos in South Africa, the kwongan in south-western Australia, and the campos rupestres in Brazil, all of which are severely phosphorus-impoverished. Are similar plant-soil interactions equally important in other biodiversity hotspots? Or do entirely different plant-soil interactions play equivalent roles?
The Special Issue seeks contributions that explore plant-soil interactions in global biodiversity hotspots. In this Special Issue we aim to highlight the extent to which plant-soil interactions play a role in explaining the megadiversity of the hotspots. Specifically, it seeks manuscripts that view how soil has influenced patterns of plant diversity, distribution and endemism. In addition contributions that focus on relevant biogeochemical cycles, rhizosphere processes and adaptation to local soil conditions are also of interest. We seek both very high-quality Original Research papers and Review papers.
Submission deadline: 1 May 2015
Submission website: www.editorialmanager.com/plso
Article type: "Special Issue S63 – Biodiversity hotspots"



For authors and editors

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  • Aims and Scope

    Aims and Scope


    Plant and Soil publishes original research papers, methods papers, solicited review articles, mini-reviews, letters and commentaries that enhance our understanding of plant-soil interactions. We focus on the interface of plant biology and soil sciences, and seek those manuscripts with a strong mechanistic component which develop and test hypotheses aimed at understanding underlying mechanisms of plant-soil interactions. Manuscripts can include both fundamental and applied aspects of mineral nutrition, plant water relations, symbiotic and pathogenic plant-microbe interactions, root anatomy and morphology, soil biology, ecology, agrochemistry and agrophysics, as long as they are hypothesis-driven and enhance our mechanistic understanding. Articles including a major molecular or modelling component also fall within the scope of the journal. All contributions appear in the English language, with consistent spelling, using either American or British English.

    Plant and Soil provides rapid publication of full-length papers describing the results of original research. Articles accepted for publication in Plant and Soil report novel findings of general significance. Reviews, mini-reviews and commentaries are usually solicited by members of the Editorial Board. However, individuals who wish to prepare a review or a mini-review are encouraged to contact the Editor-in-Chief (hans.lambers@uwa.edu.au) prior to submitting a manuscript. Occasionally Plant and Soil will publish Special Issues containing a collection of articles on a theme considered by the editors to be of general interest to our readers. These Special Issues may consist of a selection of presentations from a scientific meeting or a collection of papers organised by an individual or group. In all cases, manuscripts submitted for publication as part of a Special Issue will be subject to the same rigorous peer-review process required of regular submissions. Individuals or groups wishing to organise a Special Issue of Plant and Soil should contact the Managing Editor, Lieve Bultynck (plso-plants@uwa.edu.au) to discuss the feasibility of the project.

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