Past Plant Diversity Changes

A special issue of Quaternary (ISSN 2571-550X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 April 2019)

Special Issue Editors

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Guest Editor
Department of Ecology and Genetics, Plant Ecology, Uppsala University, SE-75236 Uppsala , Sweden
Interests: ancient DNA; palaeogenetics; palaeogenomics; metabarcoding; metagenomics; quaternary; plant evolution

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Guest Editor
Institute of Evolutionary Sciences (ISEM), University of Montpellier, 34000 Montpellier, France
Interests: palaeoecology; palaeoclimatology; macroecology; biogeography; palynology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
School of Geography & Sustainable Development, University of St Andrews, Scotland KY16 9AL, UK
Interests: Quaternary; palaeoecology; pollen analysis; evolution

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue stems from the Conference on Past Plant Diversity Changes held in October 2018 in Rabat, Morocco, and aims to examine the relationship between past environmental changes and their impacts on different aspects of plants species diversity during the glacial-interglacial climate changes of the Quaternary.

Natural past climate trends have driven major ecosystem changes and have shaped species distributions across the planet. Modern and future changes in diversity will be driven by complex interactions between human activities and the global climate system. In this modern context, plant species have to evolve locally or migrate to more suitable habitats. Over geological time, evidence shows that some plant species adapted locally, others migrated to more suitable habitats, while yet others became extinct. There are as many explanations for these outcomes as there are species; each species has a unique story. The challenge that we face today is that climate change is happening quickly, but the necessary migration rates of plants exceed those that have been observed or are predicted, implying the need for informed management to support the natural capacity of species for response. The past can provide us with fascinating information on how species reacted to different climatic situations, which could enlighten us about how to successfully manage future plant species diversity.

Contributions exploring the relationship between past environmental changes (including climate) and species distributions, their long-term survival and persistence in macro and microrefugia during climatically unfavorable time periods, their migration capacity and rates to recolonize available areas, their genetic diversity, and the lessons we can draw from the past to help conserving plant species are welcome.

We hope that this Special Issue will be a significant step towards understanding climate plant refugia and their role in maintaining biodiversity through the glacial-interglacial climate changes of the Quaternary.

Dr. Laura Parducci
Dr. Rachid Cheddadi
Prof. Keith Bennett
Guest Editors


Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Quaternary is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • palaeoecology
  • climate change
  • plant biodiversity
  • Quaternary
  • ecosystem change
  • migration
  • species distribution
  • glacial-interglacial
  • refugia

Published Papers

There is no accepted submissions to this special issue at this moment.
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