[Deadline extended to July 31, 2020] Vegetation Classification and Survey (VCS) is inviting proposals for a Special Collection on “Classification of grasslands and other open vegetation types in the Palaearctic”

By Jürgen Dengler

Journal: VCS is the new gold open access journal of the International Association for Vegetation Science (IAVS), started in May 2020. It is devoted to vegetation classification with any methodological approach and at any organisational scale. There is no limit to the length of articles as long as it is justified by the content. For more information, see https://vcs.pensoft.net/. Note that as gold open access journal, VCS has article processing charges (APCs), but for submissions in 2020 these are substantially reduced thanks to financial support from IAVS, and further reductions apply, among others, for IAVS members and first authors with financial constraints (see https://vcs.pensoft.net/about#Article-Processing-Charges).

Editors: Idoia Biurrun (ES), Jürgen Dengler (CH), Monika Janišová (SK) & Arkadiusz Nowak (PL)

Outline: 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; www.edgg.org), 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. This Special Collection builds on two previous Special Features organised by some of the current editors in other IAVS-associated journals (Dengler et al. 2013; Janišová et al. 2016) and thus aim at reflecting the advancement in knowledge since then. 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 juergen.dengler@uni-bayreuth.de.
  • 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 31 December 2020: Submission of invited contributions (exceptionally, later submissions might still be included in the Special Collection, but keep in mind that for submissions from 1 January 2021 onwards higher APCs apply)
  • Submitted articles undergo a regular peer-review with one of the four editors as Subject Editor.
  • After acceptance, each article will be published without delay.
  • Approx. mid-2021: Together with the last article, the Special Collection Editors will publish an Editorial that puts the included articles into context.

We look forward to your proposals!

Idoia Biurrun, Jürgen Dengler, Monika Janišová & Arkadiusz Nowak


  • Dengler, J., Bergmeier, E., Willner, W. & Chytrý, M. 2013. Towards a consistent classification of European grasslands. Applied Vegetation Science 16: 518–520.
  • Janišová, M., Dengler, J. & Willner, W. 2016. Classification of Palaearctic grasslands. Phytocoenologia 46: 233−239.