Journal of Systematics and Evolution

Cover image for Vol. 52 Issue 4

Edited By: Song Ge and Jun Wen

Impact Factor: 1.648

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2013: 81/196 (Plant Sciences)

Online ISSN: 1759-6831

Author Guidelines


Thank you for your interest in Journal of Systematics and Evolution. Please consult the following instructions to help you prepare your manuscript, and feel free to contact us with any questions. To ensure fast peer review and publication, manuscripts that do not adhere to the following instructions will be returned to the corresponding author for technical revision before undergoing peer review. We are looking forward to your submission.



Aim & Scope

The Journal of Systematics and Evolution (JSE, formerly Acta Phytotaxonomica Sinica) is a bi-monthly international English language journal dedicated to the description and understanding of biological diversity. Papers in any of the following fields and related fields will be considered: description of new taxa, monographic revision, phylogenetics, molecular evolution and genome evolution, evolutionary developmental biology, evolutionary ecology, population biology, conservation biology, biogeography, paleobiology, and evolutionary theory.

JSE publishes research articles, reviews (invited and unsolicited), and short communications. Research articles describe the results of substantial research. Review articles present a fair and balanced review of timely and significant topics in systematics and evolution.

Chief Editors: Song Ge, Jun Wen

Frequency: Bi-monthly

ISSN: 1674-4918 (Print) 1759-6831 (Online)

Indexed by: SCI-E, CC

Journal Abbreviation: J Syst Evol

Publisher: Wiley, an imprint of John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


The acceptance of papers is based on the quality and originality of the research and its significance. The chief editors either assign associate editors to handle the peer review process or handle the process themselves. All manuscripts are assessed by two or more anonymous reviewers from anywhere in the world. The editor handling the peer review process makes the final decision on the acceptability of each manuscript based on the reviewers' comments. For most manuscripts, a decision regarding publication will be available in three months. This will take longer when a manuscript requires extensive revision and a second round of review.

We welcome submission of high quality manuscripts on controversial and frontier topics. These manuscripts may be open reviewed; that is, the reviewers’ identity will be revealed to authors, and the reviewers are informed that the manuscript is under open review. If necessary, the reviews will be published together with the paper. The chief editors will decide whether a manuscript goes through open review or not.

Manuscripts should be written so that they are intelligible to the professional reader who is not a specialist in the particular field. They should be written in a clear, concise, direct style. Where contributions are judged as acceptable for publication on the basis of scientific content, the Editor and the Publisher reserve the right to modify typescripts to eliminate ambiguity and repetition and improve communication between author and reader. If extensive alterations are required, the manuscript will be returned to the author for revision.

Pre-acceptance English-language editing

Authors for whom English is a second language may choose to have their manuscript professionally edited before submission to improve the English. Visit our site to learn about the options. All services are paid for and arranged by the author. Please note using the Wiley English Language Editing Service does not guarantee that your paper will be accepted by this journal.


The journal retains the right to reject any manuscript on the basis of unethical conduct of animal studies. Any experiments involving animals must be demonstrated to be ethically acceptable and, where relevant, conform to national guidelines for animal usage in research.


Manuscripts should be submitted online at

Authors must supply an email address as all correspondence will be by email. Two files should be supplied: the cover letter and the manuscript (in Word or rich text format (.rtf)). Submitted manuscripts are checked for conformity to JSE format and style by the Editorial Office. Manuscripts not meeting the standards outlined in these Instructions for Authors will be returned to the authors for correction before peer review.

•       The entire manuscript should be double-spaced.

•       All margins should be at least 30 mm.

•       All pages should be numbered consecutively in the top right-hand corner, beginning with the title page.

•       Do not use Enter (or Return) at the end of lines within a paragraph.

•       Turn the hyphenation option off; include only those hyphens that are essential to the meaning.

•       Specify any special characters used to represent non-keyboard characters.

•       Do not use l (ell) for 1 (one), O (capital o) for 0 (zero) or ß (German esszett) for β (Greek beta).

•       Use a tab, not space, to separate data points in tables. If you use a table editor function, ensure that each data point is contained within a unique cell (i.e., do not use Enter within cells).

Each figure should be supplied as a separate file, with the figure number incorporated in the file name. For submission, low-resolution figures saved as .jpg or .bmp files should be uploaded for ease of transmission during the review process. Upon acceptance of the article, high-resolution figures (at least 300 dpi. for half-tones [photographs and gray-scale images] and 600 dpi. for line art and half-tones with line art) saved as .eps or .tiff files should be uploaded. Digital images supplied only as low-resolution files cannot be used.

Cover letter

Papers are accepted for publication on the understanding that the content has not been published or submitted for publication elsewhere except as a brief abstract in the proceedings of a scientific meeting or symposium. This must be stated in the cover letter.


The cover letter must also contain a statement that all authors have contributed significantly to the work reported in the paper, and that all authors are in agreement with the content of the manuscript.

Authors must declare any financial support or relationships that may pose conflict of interest.

If tables or figures have been reproduced from another source, a letter from the copyright holder (usually the Publisher), stating authorization to reproduce the material, must be attached to the cover letter.

Author material archive policy

Authors who need the return of any material submitted for review should inform the Editorial Office after the paper is accepted. If no indication is given, Wiley or the Journal will dispose of all hardcopy and electronic material two months after publication.


Accepted papers will be passed to Wiley’s production team for publication. The author identified as the formal corresponding author for the paper will receive an email prompting them to login into Wiley’s Author Services, where via the Wiley Author Licensing Service (WALS) they will be asked to complete an electronic license agreement on behalf of all authors on the paper.

FAQs about the terms and conditions of the standard copyright transfer agreements (CTA) in place for the journal, including terms regarding archiving of the accepted version of the paper, are available at: CTA Terms and Conditions FAQs

OnlineOpen – ‘Gold road’ Open Access
OnlineOpen is available to authors of articles who wish to make their article freely available to all on Wiley Online Library under a Creative Commons licence. In addition, authors of OnlineOpen articles are permitted to post the final, published PDF of their article on a website, institutional repository or other free public server, immediately on publication. With OnlineOpen the author, the author's funding agency, or the author's institution pays a fee to ensure that the article is made open access, known as ‘gold road’ open access.

OnlineOpen licenses. Authors choosing OnlineOpen retain copyright in their article and have a choice of publishing under the following Creative Commons License terms: Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY); Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (CC BY NC); Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial-NoDerivs License (CC BY NC ND)

For more information about the OnlineOpen license terms and conditions click here.



The Journal uses the US spelling and authors should therefore follow the latest edition of the <Merriam–Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary>.


All measurements must be given in SI (International System of Units) or SI-derived units. Please go to the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM) website at for more information about SI units.


Abbreviations should be used sparingly—only where they ease the reader’s task by reducing repetition of long, technical terms. Initially in the main text use the word in full, followed by the abbreviation in parentheses. Thereafter use the abbreviation only.

Trade names

Chemical substances should be referred to by the generic name only. Trade names should not be used.

Scientific names

Authors are requested to check that spelling and authors of scientific names are correct. Authors of plant scientific names should be abbreviated to conform to Brummitt & Powell’s Authors of Plant Names (Kew, 1992), which is also incorporated in the International Plant Names Index (IPNI; available at and the Index Fungorum (available at Authors of scientific names should be given once (at first mention) in the text, and in tables. Scientific names of genera, species, subspecies, varieties and forms must be italicized. Genus names should not be abbreviated at the beginning of paragraphs.

Voucher specimens

Voucher specimens should be deposited in a public herbarium, and cited according to the following format: country, political subdivision (typically province or state): locality, collector(s) and number (herbarium acronym). For type indication, the collection date should be included. Please use the herbarium acronyms of Holmgren et al. (Regnum Vegetabile 1990; vol. 120) and Holmgren & Holmgren (Taxon 2000; 49: 113–124 and subsequent updates). This format also applies when the material is tabulated.

Names of new taxa should be followed by both a Latin diagnosis and a full Latin description (or a full English description), and then by the holotype indication. For all type specimens examined by the author(s), an exclamation mark should be given after the herbarium acronym (e.g., PE!). Homotypic names should form a single paragraph, in a chronological sequence, with the respective type indication at the end of each such paragraph.

Nucleotide sequences

Nucleotide sequence data can be submitted in electronic form to any of the three major collaborative databases: DDBJ, EMBL or GenBank. It is only necessary to submit to one database as data are exchanged between DDBJ, EMBL and GenBank on a daily basis. The suggested wording for referring to accession number information is: ‘These sequence data have been submitted to the DDBJ/EMBL/GenBank databases under accession number U12345’.

Addresses are as follows:

DNA Data Bank of Japan (DDBJ)

EMBL Nucleotide Sequence Submissions



Manuscripts should be arranged in the following order: (i) title page, (ii) abstract and key words, (iii) text, (iv) acknowledgments, (v) references, (vi) tables (each table complete with title and footnotes), (vii) figure legends and (viii) figures. Footnotes to the text are not allowed and any such material should be incorporated into the text as parenthetical material.

Title page

The title page should contain (i) the title of the paper, (ii) a short running title (less than 50 characters), (iii) the full names of the authors and (iv) the addresses of the institutions at which the work was carried out together with (v) the full postal and email address, plus facsimile and telephone numbers, of the author to whom correspondence about the manuscript should be sent.

Authors’ names should be presented with given name first and surname (in uppercase) last (e.g., Wen-Tsai WANG, Peter H. RAVEN). Given names should not be shortened to initials unless this is how the author prefers to be known.

The title should be short, informative and contain the major key words. Do not use any abbreviation in the title.

Abstract and key words

All research articles should have a brief abstract that states the purpose(s), basic procedures, main findings and principal conclusions of the study. Review articles should also have an abstract describing the content in brief. The abstract length should be 250 words or fewer. The abstract should not contain any abbreviation or reference.

Four to six key words (for the purpose of indexing) should be listed below the abstract in an alphabetical order.


Authors should use the following sub-headings to divide the sections of the manuscript: Introduction, Material and methods, Results and Discussion (or Results and discussion combined).


The source of financial grants and other funding should be acknowledged, including a declaration of the authors’ industrial links and affiliations. The contribution of colleagues or institutions should also be acknowledged. Thanks to anonymous reviewers are not appropriate.

When the research is carried out in areas for which research permits are required (e.g., nature reserves), or when it deals with organisms for which collection or import/export permits are required (e.g., protected species), the authors must describe clearly the process of obtaining these permits in the Acknowledgments section.


The Harvard (author, date) system of referencing is used. In the text, give the author’s name, with the year followed in parentheses: Wang (1998). If there are two authors use ‘&’: Wang & Raven (2003). When reference is made to a work by three or more authors, the first name followed by “et al.” should be used: Wang et al. (2006). Order multiple citations chronologically and then alphabetically: (Iyengar, 1923; Dulberger, 1980; Ornduff, 1980; Wang & Raven, 2003).

All citations mentioned in the text, tables or figures must be listed in the reference list. In the reference list, arrange entries in an alphabetical order (by surname). Single author entries precede multi-authored entries by the same first author, regardless of date. Papers with the same first author and multiple other authors should be listed in an alphabetical order by the second author’s surname. Cite the names of all authors, regardless of the number of authors for the work. Do not use ibid. or op cit.

Reference to unpublished manuscripts, unpublished data, personal communications, reports, theses or dissertations (other than Ph.D. theses) should not appear in the list but should be cited in the text only (e.g. Smith A, 2000, unpublished data).

Authors are responsible for the accuracy of the references against the original source. Authors should also cross-check in-text citations against the reference list entries to ensure they agree in spelling and in year.

We recommend the use of a tool such as EndNote or Reference Manager for reference management and formatting. EndNote reference styles can be searched for here: Reference Manager reference styles can be searched for here: The following examples show punctuation and style of entries in the reference list.

The following examples show punctuation and style of entries in the reference list.

Journal article

Soltis DE, Haufler CH, Darrow DC, Gastony GJ. 1983. Starch gel electrophoresis of ferns: A compilation of grinding buffers, gel and electrode buffers, and staining schedules. American Fern Journal 73: 9–27.

Wang W-T. 2000. Notes on the genus Clematis (Ranunculaceae) (III). Acta Phytotaxonomica Sinica 38: 497–514.

Online article not yet published in an issue

An online article that has not yet been published in an issue (therefore has no volume, issue or page numbers) can be cited by its Digital Object Identifier (DOI). The DOI will remain valid and allow an article to be tracked even after its allocation to an issue.

Coelho FF, Capelo C, Ribeiro LC, Figueira JEC. 2007. Reproductive modes in Leiothrix (Eriocaulaceae) in South-eastern Brazil: The role of microenvironmental heterogeneity. Annals of Botany. doi: 10.1093/aob/mcm289.


Stuessy TF. 1990. Plant taxonomy: The systematic evaluation of comparative data. New York: Columbia University Press.

McNeill J, Barrie FR, Burdet HM, Demoulin V, Hawksworth DL, Marhold K, Nicolson DH, Prado J, Silva PC, Skog JE, Wiersema JH, Turland NJ eds. 2006. International code of botanical nomenclature (Vienna Code). Ruggell: A. R. G. Gantner Verlag.

Chapter in a book

Hamby RK, Zimmer EA. 1992. Ribosomal RNA as a phylogenetic tool in plant systematics. In: Soltis PS, Soltis DE, Doyle JJ eds. Molecular systematics of plants. New York: Chapman & Hall. 50–91.

Wang W-T, Pan K-Y, Li Z-Y. 1990. Gesneriaceae. In: Flora Reipublicae Popularis Sinicae. Beijing: Science Press. 69: 125–581. (The Chinese edition of Flora of China, except volume 2.)

Wang W-T, Pan K-Y, Li Z-Y, Weitzman AL, Skog LE. 1998. Gesneriaceae. In: Wu ZY, Raven PH eds. Flora of China. Beijing: Science Press; St. Louis: Missouri Botanical Garden Press. 18: 244–401. (The English edition of Flora of China.)

Ching R-C, Fu S-H, Wang C-H, Shing G-H. 1959. Ophioglossum L. In: Flora Reipublicae Popularis Sinicae. Beijing: Science Press. 2: 7–10. (Volume 2 of the Chinese edition of Flora of China.)

Paper in conference proceedings

Taylor IEP, Wallace JC. 1989. The structural association between cellulose and xyloglucan in the primary cell wall of beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.). In: Schuerch C ed. Cellulose and Wood: Chemistry and Technology. Proceedings of the 10th Cellulose Conference, Syracuse, N.Y., 29 May–2 June, 1988. New York: John Wiley & Sons. 273–282.

Electronic material

California State Coastal Conservancy. 2000. San Francisco Estuary Invasive Spartina Project [online]. Available from [accessed 13 July 2005].

Ph.D. dissertation

Xie L. 2005. Pollen morphology and infrageneric evolutionary relationships in Clematis (Ranunculaceae). Ph.D. Dissertation. Beijing: Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences.


Tables should be self-explanatory, and cited in consecutive order in the text with Arabic numerals. Present each table on a separate page with a concise but comprehensible title above. Vertical lines should not be used to separate columns. Column headings should be brief, with units of measurement in parentheses; all abbreviations must be defined in footnotes. Footnote symbols: †, ‡, §, ¶, should be used (in that order) and *, **, *** should be reserved for P-values. Statistical measures such as SD or SEM should be identified in the headings.


All illustrations (line drawings [charts, graphs, maps, phylogenetic trees] and photographs) are classified as figures. Figures should be cited in consecutive order in the text with Arabic numerals. Figures or figure plates should be sized to fit within the single column (8.0 cm × 22.5 cm) or the full text width (17.0 cm × 22.5 cm). Magnifications should be indicated using a scale bar on the illustration.

Line figures should be sharp, black and white graphs or diagrams, drawn professionally or with a computer graphics package. Lettering must be included and should be sized to be no larger than the journal text.

Color figure files should be set up as RGB (red, green, blue).

Figure legends

Type figure legends on a separate page. Legends should be concise but comprehensible—the figure and its legend should be understandable without reference to the text. Include definitions of any symbols used and define/explain all abbreviations (in an alphabetical order) and units of measurement. Examples of figure legend style and format:

Figs. 1–8. The cell and cyst of Ensiculifera sp. 1. An empty cyst from the field, showing the organic spines. 2. A living cyst in culture. 3. Thecal plates, lateral view. 4. Thecal plates, ventral view. 5, 6. Thecal plates, dorsal view. 7. Hypotheca, showing the spine of t plate (arrow). 8. Hypotheca, showing the sulcal plates.

Fig. 1. Tuomeya americana (Kützing) Papenfuss. A, Habit of frond. B, Part of a frond, showing shape of whorls. C, The cross section through a node showing an axial cell and numerous layers of cortical cells. D, Numerous cortical filaments. E, Carposporangia. F, Apical portion of the branch with an apical cell (arrow). Abbreviations: Ac, axial cell; bc, basal cell; cc, cortical cell; pf, primary fascicle; sf, secondary fascicle.


These should be avoided. If absolutely required, they should be placed at the end of the paper, numbered in Roman numerals and referred to in the text.

Supporting Information

Supporting Information is not essential to the article but provides greater depth and background and may include tables, figures, videos, datasets, etc. This material can be submitted with your manuscript, and will appear online, without editing or typesetting. Guidelines on how to prepare this material and which formats and file sizes are acceptable can be found at:


Please refer to the following guidelines to publish taxonomy research articles.

•       Monographic revision of a species complex, genus, family or any taxon of higher rank for extant organisms. Extensive field observation, character analysis and herbarium specimen examination, as well as careful and thorough literature citation will be required to justify the nomenclatural changes involved.

•       Description of a new species, genus or any taxon of higher rank for extant organisms. Authors should provide the following to justify their conclusion: (i) careful comparison of as many herbarium specimens of closely related taxa as possible; (ii) extensive data on field observations and laboratory experiments; and (iii) phylogenetic, biogeographic, and/or evolutionary implications of morphological and/or molecular data.

•       Description of a new genus or any taxon of higher rank for extinct organisms. Authors should provide the following to justify their conclusion: (i) careful comparison with closely related living taxa; and (ii) phylogenetic, biogeographic, and/or evolutionary implications of morphological data.

•       Description of a new variety or a subspecies of any group of organisms that have been clearly established as living fossils; for example, Ginkgo biloba L. and Metasequoia glytostroboides Hu & W. C. Cheng. The author(s) should provide the following to justify their conclusion: (i) careful comparison of as many herbarium specimens of closely related taxa as possible; (ii) extensive data on field observations and laboratory experiments, and (iii) phylogenetic, biogeographic, and/or evolutionary implications of morphological and/or molecular data.

9.       PROOFS

It is essential that corresponding authors supply an email address to which correspondence can be emailed while their article is in production.

Notification of the URL from where to download a Portable Document Format (PDF) typeset page proof, associated forms and further instructions will be sent by email to the corresponding author. The purpose of the PDF proof is a final check of the layout, and of tables and figures. Alterations other than the essential correction of errors are unacceptable at PDF proof stage. The proof should be checked, and approval to publish the article should be emailed to the Publisher by the date indicated. Otherwise, it may be signed off on by the Editor or held over to the next issue.

10.       OFFPRINTS

A minimum of 50 offprints will be provided upon request, at the author’s expense. Within China, contact the Editorial Office (Tel:+86 10 6283 6572, +86 10 6283 6132, Fax: +86 10 6283 6132, Email: for subscription details; Outside China, contact C.O.S. Printers Pte Ltd (Fax:+65 6265 9074, Email:, or visit Fill in the necessary details and ensure that you type information in all of the required fields.


The Journal of Systematics and Evolution offers Early View service for selected articles. Early View articles are complete full-text articles published online in advance of their publication in a printed issue. Articles are therefore available as soon as they are ready, rather than having to wait for the next scheduled print issue. Early View articles are complete and final. They have been fully reviewed, revised and edited for publication, and the authors’ final corrections have been incorporated. Because they are in final form, no changes can be made after online publication. The nature of Early View articles means that they do not yet have volume, issue or page numbers, so Early View articles cannot be cited in the traditional way. They are therefore given a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), which allows the article to be cited and tracked before it is allocated to an issue. After print publication, the DOI remains valid and can continue to be used to cite and access the article. More information about DOIs can be found at


The Journal depends in part on the payment of page charges for its operation. Payment of RMB¥400 per printed page is required from all authors who have funds available for such purposes. Requests for the waiver of page charges should be submitted to the Editorial Office ( Manuscripts are accepted or rejected purely on the basis of scientific merit.

JSE will print color figures, but payment of RMB¥1500 per printed page will be charged to the author.

A form requesting payment will be sent to the corresponding author prior to printing.

In the event that an author is not able to cover the cost of color figure production in the printed version of the journal, JSE offers an opportunity to reproduce color figures for free in the online version of the article (but black and white figures in the print version). If an author wishes to take advantage of this free service, they should contact the Editorial Office to ensure that the appropriate documentation is completed for the Publisher.


1) Before Acceptance

Authors can track the review progress of their manuscript at: http://

2) After Acceptance

Author Services enables authors to track their article, once accepted, through the production process to publication online and in print. For more details on online production tracking and for a wealth of resources, including FAQs and tips on article preparation, submission and more, visit

14.        JSE ONLINE

Visit the Journal of Systematics and Evolution home page at and for more information, and Wiley’s web pages for manuscript submission ( and illustration submission ( information.


OnlineOpen is available to authors of primary research articles who wish to make their article available to non-subscribers on publication, or whose funding agency requires grantees to archive the final version of their article. With s funding agency, or the autho OnlineOpen, the author, the author's institution pays a fee to ensure that the article is made available to non-subscribers upon publication via Wiley Online Library, as well as deposited in the funding agency's preferred archive.

For the full list of terms and conditions, see

Any authors wishing to send their paper OnlineOpen will be required to complete the payment form available from our website at:

Prior to acceptance there is no requirement to inform an Editorial Office that you intend to publish your paper OnlineOpen if you do not wish to. All OnlineOpen articles are treated in the same way as any other article. They go through the journal's standard peer-review process and will be accepted or rejected based on their own merit.


Journal of Systematics and Evolution

Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences

20 Nanxincun, Xiangshan,

Beijing 100093


Tel: +86 10 6283 6572, +86 10 6283 6132

Fax: +86 10 6283 6132