Call for Abstracts: “Island plant communities: natural experiments at the intersection of biogeography, conservation and global change ecology”, Special Issue in the Journal of Vegetation Science

The rugged, uninhabited Montecristo Island (Italy) was made famous by the A. Dumas novel The Count of Monte Cristo (1844). The real treasure hosted by this island is the biodiversity it hosts, such as diverse flora and the oldest known individuals of Quercus ilex, the evergreen tree dominating the Mediterranean forest vegetation, which is facing issues due to climate change but also by the feral goats, introduced long time ago on the island. (Photo by Gianluca Piovesan)

Guest Editors:

Description of the Special Issue

Islands have always attracted scientists because of a combination of features that make them natural experiments. From Darwin’s Theory of Evolution to MacArthur & Wilson’s Theory of Island Biogeography and other recent advancements, islands have enriched our understanding of natural assemblages. They serve as useful models for developing and testing theories in evolution, biogeography, ecology, and conservation biology. Many concepts developed on islands have proven useful for other ecological settings, such as anthropogenically fragmented landscapes or island-like systems such as lakes, caves, forest patches, and moss cushions. Many island ecosystems are also deeply modified by global change, emphasising the conservation risk of their biota. Human-induced disturbances in islands caused, in many cases, the collapse of original ecosystems and the rise of novel ones. In some islands, projects have been developed to restore original plant communities, while in others this is hampered by the extinction of relevant plant species.

Here, we address up-to-date research developments on the vegetation of marine islands, focusing on questions addressing issues on:

  • assembly processes of island communities from a macroecological perspective;
  • ecosystem processes related to island plant communities;
  • conservation and future scenarios for island communities, particularly addressing global change.

We are particularly interested in attracting papers testing specific hypotheses, highlighting the theoretical and empirical connections between biogeographical and macroecological drivers of island plant communities. Our goal is to assemble a series of high-quality papers that provide state-of-the-art research on island plant communities to face future climate and land use changes, as well as establish biodiversity conservation policies.

Please send a preliminary abstract of your article in the JVS format to the Receiving Editor, Jorge Capelo ( The Guest Editors will evaluate the abstracts and invite selected abstracts to be developed into manuscripts and submitted to this Special Issue. All submitted manuscripts will be peer-reviewed.


  • Abstract submission: 31 July 2024
  • Manuscript submission: 31 December 2024
  • Issue publication: second half of 2025 (individual articles will be published as they are accepted before the issue publication)