Guide for Authors

  • All journal information and instructions compiled in one document (PDF) in just one mouse-click Author information pack

    • Types of paper
    • Ethics in publishing
    • Conflict of interest
    • Submission declaration and verification
    • Changes to authorship
    • Copyright
    • Role of the funding source
    • Funding body agreements and policies
    • Open access
    • Language (usage and editing services)
    • Submission
    • Article structure
    • Graphical abstract
    • Highlights
    • Abbreviations
    • Acknowledgements
    • References
    • Video data
    • AudioSlides
    • Supplementary material
    • Data at PANGAEA
    • Google Maps and KML files
    • Interactive plots
    • Use of the Digital Object Identifier
    • Online proof correction
    • Offprints

    Applied Soil Ecology addresses the role of soil organisms and their interactions in relation to: agricultural productivity, nutrient cycling and other soil processes, the maintenance of soil structure and fertility, the impact of human activities and xenobiotics on soil ecosystems and bio(techno)logical control of soil-inhabiting pests, diseases and weeds. Such issues are the basis of sustainable agricultural and forestry systems and the long-term conservation of soils in both the temperate and tropical regions.

    The disciplines covered include the following, and preference will be given to articles which are interdisciplinary and integrate two or more of these disciplines:

    • soil microbiology and microbial ecology
    • soil invertebrate zoology and ecology
    • root and rhizosphere ecology
    • soil science
    • soil biotechnology
    • ecotoxicology
    • nematology
    • entomology
    • plant pathology
    • agronomy and sustainable agriculture • nutrient cycling • ecosystem modelling and food webs

    Types of paper

    1. Original research papers (Regular Papers)
    2. Review articles
    3. Short Communications
    4. Viewpoints
    5. Letters to the Editor
    6. Editorials
    7. Book Reviews
    8. Announcements

    Original research papers should report the results of original research. The material should not have been previously published elsewhere, except in a preliminary form.
    Review articles should cover a subject of active current interest. They may be submitted or invited.
    A Short Communication is a concise, but complete, description of a limited investigation, which will not be included in a later paper. Short Communications should be as completely documented, both by reference to the literature and description of the experimental procedures employed, as a regular paper. They should not occupy more than 6 printed pages (about 12 manuscript pages, including figures, etc.).
    The section Viewpoints offers comment or useful critique on material published in the journal or on soil ecological issues. Contributions to this section should not occupy more than 2 printed pages (about 4 manuscript pages).
    Books for review may be sent to Professor J.P. Curry
    Authors wishing to submit a Letter to the Editor or an Editorial should contact one of the Editors-in-Chief to discuss this.

    Ethics in publishing

    For information on Ethics in publishing and Ethical guidelines for journal publication see and

    Conflict of interest

    All authors are requested to disclose any actual or potential conflict of interest including any financial, personal or other relationships with other people or organizations within three years of beginning the submitted work that could inappropriately influence, or be perceived to influence, their work. See also Further information and an example of a Conflict of Interest form can be found at:

    Submission declaration and verification

    Submission of an article implies that the work described has not been published previously (except in the form of an abstract or as part of a published lecture or academic thesis or as an electronic preprint, see, that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere, that its publication is approved by all authors and tacitly or explicitly by the responsible authorities where the work was carried out, and that, if accepted, it will not be published elsewhere in the same form, in English or in any other language, including electronically without the written consent of the copyright-holder. To verify originality, your article may be checked by the originality detection service CrossCheck

    Changes to authorship

    This policy concerns the addition, deletion, or rearrangement of author names in the authorship of accepted manuscripts:
    Before the accepted manuscript is published in an online issue: Requests to add or remove an author, or to rearrange the author names, must be sent to the Journal Manager from the corresponding author of the accepted manuscript and must include: (a) the reason the name should be added or removed, or the author names rearranged and (b) written confirmation (e-mail, fax, letter) from all authors that they agree with the addition, removal or rearrangement. In the case of addition or removal of authors, this includes confirmation from the author being added or removed. Requests that are not sent by the corresponding author will be forwarded by the Journal Manager to the corresponding author, who must follow the procedure as described above. Note that: (1) Journal Managers will inform the Journal Editors of any such requests and (2) publication of the accepted manuscript in an online issue is suspended until authorship has been agreed.
    After the accepted manuscript is published in an online issue: Any requests to add, delete, or rearrange author names in an article published in an online issue will follow the same policies as noted above and result in a corrigendum.

    Article Transfer Service
    This journal is part of our Article Transfer Service. This means that if the Editor feels your article is more suitable for another journal, you may be asked to consider transferring your article to the alternative journal of your choice. If you agree, your article will be transferred automatically on your behalf with no need to reformat. More information about this can be found here:


    Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to complete a 'Journal Publishing Agreement' (for more information on this and copyright, see An e-mail will be sent to the corresponding author confirming receipt of the manuscript together with a 'Journal Publishing Agreement' form or a link to the online version of this agreement.

    Subscribers may reproduce tables of contents or prepare lists of articles including abstracts for internal circulation within their institutions. Permission of the Publisher is required for resale or distribution outside the institution and for all other derivative works, including compilations and translations (please consult If excerpts from other copyrighted works are included, the author(s) must obtain written permission from the copyright owners and credit the source(s) in the article. Elsevier has preprinted forms for use by authors in these cases: please consult

    For open access articles: Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to complete an 'Exclusive License Agreement' (for more information see Permitted third party reuse of open access articles is determined by the author's choice of user license (see

    Author rights
    As an author you (or your employer or institution) have certain rights to reuse your work. For more information see

    Role of the funding source

    You are requested to identify who provided financial support for the conduct of the research and/or preparation of the article and to briefly describe the role of the sponsor(s), if any, in study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the article for publication. If the funding source(s) had no such involvement then this should be stated.

    Funding body agreements and policies

    Elsevier has established a number of agreements with funding bodies which allow authors to comply with their funder's open access policies. Some authors may also be reimbursed for associated publication fees. To learn more about existing agreements please visit

    Open access

    This journal offers authors a choice in publishing their research:

    Open access
    • Articles are freely available to both subscribers and the wider public with permitted reuse
    • An open access publication fee is payable by authors or on their behalf e.g. by their research funder or institution
    • Articles are made available to subscribers as well as developing countries and patient groups through our universal access programs (
    • No open access publication fee payable by authors.

    Regardless of how you choose to publish your article, the journal will apply the same peer review criteria and acceptance standards.

    For open access articles, permitted third party (re)use is defined by the following Creative Commons user licenses:

    Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY)
    Lets others distribute and copy the article, create extracts, abstracts, and other revised versions, adaptations or derivative works of or from an article (such as a translation), include in a collective work (such as an anthology), text or data mine the article, even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit the author(s), do not represent the author as endorsing their adaptation of the article, and do not modify the article in such a way as to damage the author's honor or reputation.

    Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND)
    For non-commercial purposes, lets others distribute and copy the article, and to include in a collective work (such as an anthology), as long as they credit the author(s) and provided they do not alter or modify the article.

    The open access publication fee for this journal is USD 2500, excluding taxes. Learn more about Elsevier's pricing policy:

    Language (usage and editing services)

    Please write your text in good English (American or British usage is accepted, but not a mixture of these). Authors who feel their English language manuscript may require editing to eliminate possible grammatical or spelling errors and to conform to correct scientific English may wish to use the English Language Editing service available from Elsevier's WebShop ( or visit our customer support site ( for more information.


    Our online submission system guides you stepwise through the process of entering your article details and uploading your files. The system converts your article files to a single PDF file used in the peer-review process. Editable files (e.g., Word, LaTeX) are required to typeset your article for final publication. All correspondence, including notification of the Editor's decision and requests for revision, is sent by e-mail.

    Submit your article
    Please submit your article via

    Please submit, with the manuscript, the names, addresses and e-mail addresses of three potential referees. The referees must not have a conflict of interest with any of the authors or the content of the manuscript. For this reason, do not submit referees who are part of your or your co-authors' institutions, or referees you or your co-authors have collaborated with in the past three years. Ideally referees from several different countries are invited. Potential referees should be experts in the field of your research, having published peer-reviewed papers on the subject.
    Note that the editor retains the sole right to decide whether or not the suggested reviewers are used.

    English and presentation standards
    It is essential that your manuscript be written clearly, succinctly, and be grammatically perfect. If the manuscript is written poorly it will be sent back without a scientific review. Beyond this, one does not want to have marginally acceptable English and/or delivery of the information. Poorly written manuscripts gets you off on a bad start with the reviewer. If the English or lack of clarity gets in the way of the science, it will be very difficult for the reviewer to have a favorable evaluation of the manuscript, no matter how good the data is. Organize each section in a logical progression or order and it is a good idea to use subheadings judiciously to enable the reader to easily navigate the paper. However, a subheading should have at least two paragraphs. Avoid run on sentences - if a sentence is more than 3 lines long, please re-evaluate the sentence to either shorten or break into separate sentences. Carefully review each paragraph that it contains only one theme or topic and that it has transition sentences to start and end the paragraph. These are important to carry the reader from one paragraph or idea to the next. Normal paragraphs should not be longer than a third of a page - if you find longer paragraphs in your manuscript, carefully edit them to see if they can be shortened and that they follow the criteria outlined above. It is always a good practice to have a colleague not involved as a co-author to edit your paper. Ideally this be should somebody who knows the discipline, has published extensively and has a thorough knowledge of English. Additionally you can have an agency edit the manuscript. Upon request, Elsevier will direct authors to an agent who can check and improve the English of their paper (before submission). Please visit our customer support site at for more information.

    Manuscripts should be prepared with numbered lines, with wide margins and double line spacing throughout, i.e. also for abstracts, footnotes and references. Every page of the manuscript, including the title page, references, tables, etc. should be numbered. However, in the text no reference should be made to page numbers; if necessary, one may refer to sections.

    Article structure

    Subdivision - numbered sections
    Divide your article into clearly defined and numbered sections. Subsections should be numbered 1.1 (then 1.1.1, 1.1.2, ...), 1.2, etc. (the abstract is not included in section numbering). Use this numbering also for internal cross-referencing: do not just refer to 'the text'. Any subsection may be given a brief heading. Each heading should appear on its own separate line.

    The Introduction should start broadly followed by an abbreviated review of the key literature related to your research. This is followed by a short presentation of the rationale and the information gaps that the research is filling. Additional justification can be that the research further develops or challenges the findings of others. This leads to clearly stated objective(s) for doing the research. Summaries of experiments, methods or results should not be included in the Introduction and please avoid a detailed literature survey.

    Material and methods
    This section should give enough detail to allow a competent scientist to repeat the experiments. Material and Methods should be presented in a paragraph and full sentence format - not in an outline or numbered format. The arrangement of Materials and Methods section can proceed chronologically, but normally starts with site description, followed by statistical experimental design (including number of replications) and layout, treatments, analytical methods and statistical/data analysis. For the experimental design please make a clear statement on the design and the number of replications which for example could start this way - "The experiment had a completely randomized block design with four replications that had the following treatments....." Then go on and describe the treatments in detail.

    Sometimes it may be appropriate to include tables, flow diagrams, or figures to assist with the description of the research procedures, but this should be done only when absolutely necessary. Maps should NOT be used to show research locations (rather describe nearest city, the state/province, country, and longitudinal and latitudinal coordinates in the text). Maps could be used when needed to describe something in the experimental design (e.g. sampling schemes on the landscape) that cannot be easily described in the text. The site description should generally include the climate, soil(s), vegetation, and any other pertinent information about the research site condition/situation. Identify soils by Great Group name at least, and preferably by soil series name and. This should either be the FAO World Reference Base (WRB) for Soil Resources or the UDSDA soil classification systems. Information for the WRB system can be found at: For the USDA system, as an example in the text of the Materials and Methods, the text can read as follows -"The soil was a Malabon silty clay loam (Pachic Ultic Argixerolls) (Soil Survey Staff, 2010). Then cited in the Reference Section as follows: Soil Survey Staff, 2010. Keys to Soil Taxonomy, 11th ed. USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, Washington, DC.

    For the description of the analytical methods - If the techniques are widely familiar, use only their names and give the citation that describes the method. However, any significant modification to a method should be described. For a completely new method it is important that all the details are provided. Not all materials need to be identified by brand name and manufacturer. The criteria for inclusion of a particular product by brand name are based on whether it is essential to the outcome of the research, and the availability (e.g. common to several vendors). When a product must be identified by trade name, add the name of the manufacturer or a major distributor and the city of their sales headquarters, parenthetically after the first mention of the product. For specially procured or proprietary materials, give the relevant chemical and physical properties (e.g., purity, pH, concentration) (see Nomenclature and Units section below for more details). Plants and other organisms, including viruses, insects, bacteria, and pathogens should be identified accurately at first mention by scientific name (with authority for plants) and cultivar name if applicable. All units must be in be formatted according the SI system (see Nomenclature and Units section below for more details).

    The Results section explains the data and major outcomes using tables, graphs, and other illustrations as appropriate. This section provides a clear understanding of representative data from the experiments. Highlight major findings and special features (e.g., one quantity is greater than another, one result is linear across a range, or a particular value is optimum). Avoid repeating details that are already clear from an examination of the graphics or tables.

    It is possible to have a single Results and Discussion Section. If you do this, it is generally best to present one set of data (which could be delineated by a short descriptive subheading) that is followed by discussion as outlined below. Whether there should be two separate sections or not is driven by the data. Sometimes there are very distinct subsets of data that can be presented and then discussed independent of the other sub data sets or topics. If this is the case then a single Results and Discussion section might be most appropriate. On the other hand if the data is interrelated and can be synthesized into single progression discussion then it is likely best to have a separate Discussion section.

    The discussion component's primary role is to interpret the results by exploring the significance and novel aspects of the work but should not repeat results. The discussion should be driven by the rationale, objectives or hypotheses presented in the Introduction. Explain the principles, relationships, and generalizations that can be supported by the results or outcomes. It is important that your interpretation and explanations be based on your experiments and not go beyond what can be concluded from the data. It is important to acknowledge exceptions, anomalies, or findings that run counter to the literature - sometimes these can be the most significant outcome and result in a paradigm shift. Explain how the results relate to previous findings, whether in support, contradiction, or simply provide new data. On the other hand, avoid extensive citations and discussion of published literature. Scientific speculation is encouraged but must be acknowledged and should be reasonable and based on the extension of your observations. Often the discussion can include suggestions for further investigation. Present conclusions, supported by a summary of the evidence.

    The main conclusions of the study may be presented in a short Conclusions section, which may stand alone or form a subsection of a Discussion or Results and Discussion section.

    If there is more than one appendix, they should be identified as A, B, etc. Formulae and equations in appendices should be given separate numbering: Eq. (A.1), Eq. (A.2), etc.; in a subsequent appendix, Eq. (B.1) and so on. Similarly for tables and figures: Table A.1; Fig. A.1, etc.

    Essential titel page information
    Title. Concise and informative. Titles are often used in information-retrieval systems. Avoid abbreviations and formulae where possible. Limit the title to those words that give significant information about the article's content and avoid words such as 'Effect of' or 'Influence of.' Keep titles free of nonstandard abbreviations, chemical formulas, outdated terminology or proprietary names. Use common names of crops and chemicals. If no common name is available for a plant or microorganism has no common name then the scientific name (with authority) may be used in the title.

    A journal abstract has two typical uses. One is to help readers decide whether they should delve into the whole paper and the second is for key words for indexing services and literature search engines. A concise and factual abstract that can stand alone is required. An informative abstract must be a paper in miniature that must include: introductory statement of the rationale and objectives or hypotheses, brief description of materials and methods, results and conclusions. The abstract should call attention to new techniques, observations, or data. References should be avoided, but if essential, then cite the author(s) and year(s). Also, non-standard or uncommon abbreviations should be avoided, but if essential they must be defined at their first mention in the abstract itself.

    Graphical abstract

    Although a graphical abstract is optional, its use is encouraged as it draws more attention to the online article. The graphical abstract should summarize the contents of the article in a concise, pictorial form designed to capture the attention of a wide readership. Graphical abstracts should be submitted as a separate file in the online submission system. Image size: Please provide an image with a minimum of 531 × 1328 pixels (h × w) or proportionally more. The image should be readable at a size of 5 × 13 cm using a regular screen resolution of 96 dpi. Preferred file types: TIFF, EPS, PDF or MS Office files. See for examples.
    Authors can make use of Elsevier's Illustration and Enhancement service to ensure the best presentation of their images and in accordance with all technical requirements: Illustration Service.


    Highlights are mandatory for this journal. They consist of a short collection of bullet points that convey the core findings of the article and should be submitted in a separate editable file in the online submission system. Please use 'Highlights' in the file name and include 3 to 5 bullet points (maximum 85 characters, including spaces, per bullet point). See for examples.

    Immediately after the abstract, please provide 4-6 keywords, using American spelling and avoiding general and plural terms and multiple concepts (avoid, for example, 'and', 'of'). Be sparing with abbreviations: only abbreviations firmly established in the field may be eligible. These keywords will be used for indexing purposes.


    Define abbreviations that are not standard in this field in a footnote to be placed on the first page of the article. Such abbreviations that are unavoidable in the abstract must be defined at their first mention there, as well as in the footnote. Ensure consistency of abbreviations throughout the article.


    Collate acknowledgements in a separate section at the end of the article before the references and do not, therefore, include them on the title page, as a footnote to the title or otherwise. List here those individuals who provided help during the research (e.g., providing language help, writing assistance or proof reading the article, etc.).

    Nomenclature and Units
    Follow internationally accepted rules and conventions: use the international system of units (SI). The online resources for SI can be found at National Institute of Standards and Technology ( It is OK to use other units if it promotes clarification and interpretation of the data but should be done parenthetically. If other units are used, please give their equivalent in SI.

    Authors and Editor(s) are, by general agreement, obliged to accept the rules governing biological nomenclature, as laid down in the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature, the International Code of Nomenclature of Bacteria, and the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature.

    All biotica (crops, plants, insects, birds, mammals, microorganisms, etc.) should be identified by their scientific names (the Latin binomial or trinomial and authority) when first mentioned. Binary names, consisting of a generic name and a specific epithet (e.g., Escherichia coli) must be used for microorganisms.

    The spelling of bacterial names should follow Bacterial Nomenclature Up-to-Date ( and List of Prokaryotic Names with Standing in Nomenclature ( If there is reason to use a name that does not have standing in nomenclature, the name should be enclosed in quotation marks in the title and at its first use in the abstract and the text and an appropriate statement concerning the nomenclatural status of the name should be made in the text.

    All biocides and other organic compounds must be identified by their Geneva names when first used in the text. Active ingredients of all formulations should be likewise identified. If a commercially available product is mentioned, the first time the name and location of the manufacturer should be included in parentheses.

    Chemicals when first presented with both the accepted common name and the chemical name (including pesticides). For chemical nomenclature, the conventions of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) should be followed. For enzymes, use the recommended (trivial) name assigned by the Nomenclature Committee of the International Union of Biochemistry (IUB) as described in Enzyme Nomenclature and ( the official recommendations of the IUPAC-IUB Combined Commission on Biochemical Nomenclature should be followed.

    If a nonrecommended name is used, place the proper (trivial) name in parentheses at first use in the abstract and text. Use the EC number when one has been assigned. Authors of papers describing enzymological studies should review the standards of the STRENDA Commission for information required for adequate description of experimental conditions and for reporting enzyme activity data.

    Soils used in the manuscript should be identified according to the U.S. or FAO (World Soil Resources) soil taxonomic system at first mention. See resources for more details.

    Math formulae
    Present simple formulae in the line of normal text where possible. In principle, variables are to be presented in italics.
    Number consecutively any equations that have to be displayed separate from the text (if referred to explicitly in the text).
    Subscripts and superscripts should be clear.
    Greek letters and other non-Roman or handwritten symbols should be explained in the margin where they are first used. Take special care to show clearly the difference between zero (0) and the letter O, and between one (1) and the letter l.
    Give the meaning of all symbols immediately after the equation in which they are first used. For simple fractions use the solidus (/) instead of a horizontal line.
    Equations should be numbered serially at the right-hand side in parentheses. In general only equations explicitly referred to in the text need be numbered.
    The use of fractional powers instead of root signs is recommended. Also powers of e are often more conveniently denoted by exp.
    Levels of statistical significance which can be mentioned without further explanation are: *P <0.05, **P <0.01 and ***P <0.001.
    In chemical formulae, valence of ions should be given as, e.g., Ca2+, not as Ca++. Isotope numbers should precede the symbols, e.g., 18O.

    Footnotes should be used sparingly and generally only in tables and figures. If footnotes are needed in the body of the text number them consecutively throughout the article, using superscript Arabic numbers. Many wordprocessors build footnotes into the text, and this feature may be used. Should this not be the case, indicate the position of footnotes in the text and present the footnotes themselves separately at the end of the article. Do not include footnotes in the Reference list. However, if footnotes are used in figures or tables DO NOT use numbers or letters, but rather use symbols as described below.

    Table and figure footnotes
    Indicate each footnote in a table or figure with a superscript. Place footnotes in tables below the table body and indicate them with superscripted symbols. Use the following symbols for footnotes in the order shown: †, ‡ ,§, #, ††,‡‡, etc. The symbols *, **, and *** are always used to show statistical significance at the 0.05, 0.01, and 0.001 level, respectively, and are not used for other footnotes. Do not use letters as these are reserved for showing the statistical results for multiple means separation analyses.

    Electronic artwork
    General points
    • Make sure you use uniform lettering and sizing of your original artwork.
    • Embed the used fonts if the application provides that option.
    • Aim to use the following fonts in your illustrations: Arial, Courier, Times New Roman, Symbol, or use fonts that look similar.
    • Number the illustrations according to their sequence in the text.
    • Use a logical naming convention for your artwork files.
    • Provide captions to illustrations separately.
    • Size the illustrations close to the desired dimensions of the published version.
    • Submit each illustration as a separate file.
    A detailed guide on electronic artwork is available on our website:
    You are urged to visit this site; some excerpts from the detailed information are given here.
    If your electronic artwork is created in a Microsoft Office application (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) then please supply 'as is' in the native document format.
    Regardless of the application used other than Microsoft Office, when your electronic artwork is finalized, please 'Save as' or convert the images to one of the following formats (note the resolution requirements for line drawings, halftones, and line/halftone combinations given below):
    EPS (or PDF): Vector drawings, embed all used fonts.
    TIFF (or JPEG): Color or grayscale photographs (halftones), keep to a minimum of 300 dpi.
    TIFF (or JPEG): Bitmapped (pure black & white pixels) line drawings, keep to a minimum of 1000 dpi.
    TIFF (or JPEG): Combinations bitmapped line/half-tone (color or grayscale), keep to a minimum of 500 dpi.
    Please do not:
    • Supply files that are optimized for screen use (e.g., GIF, BMP, PICT, WPG); these typically have a low number of pixels and limited set of colors;
    • Supply files that are too low in resolution;
    • Submit graphics that are disproportionately large for the content.

    Color artwork
    Please make sure that artwork files are in an acceptable format (TIFF (or JPEG), EPS (or PDF), or MS Office files) and with the correct resolution. If, together with your accepted article, you submit usable color figures then Elsevier will ensure, at no additional charge, that these figures will appear in color online (e.g., ScienceDirect and other sites) regardless of whether or not these illustrations are reproduced in color in the printed version. For color reproduction in print, you will receive information regarding the costs from Elsevier after receipt of your accepted article. Please indicate your preference for color: in print or online only. For further information on the preparation of electronic artwork, please see
    Please note: Because of technical complications that can arise by converting color figures to 'gray scale' (for the printed version should you not opt for color in print) please submit in addition usable black and white versions of all the color illustrations.

    Each figure must be submitted on a separate page. Number figures consecutively in accordance with their first appearance in the text. Keep text in the figures themselves to a minimum but explain all symbols and abbreviations used in the caption. Do not use figures that duplicate information in tables. Use font sizes and line weights that will reproduce clearly and accurately. Keep in mind that published figures will be much smaller than your manuscript form. Avoid screening and/or shaded patterns; whenever possible, use black lines on a white background in place of shaded patterns. Color figures are acceptable and are the default of the electronic version but this could result in additional surcharges for print. Use distinct symbol shape for each treatment, not just the differing a change in line thickness or type to differentiate between data.

    Figure captions
    Ensure that each illustration has a caption. Supply captions separately, not attached to the figure. A caption should comprise a brief title (not on the figure itself) and a description of the illustration. Keep text in the illustrations themselves to a minimum but explain all symbols and abbreviations used.


    Each table must be submitted on a separate page. Number tables consecutively in accordance with their first appearance in the text. The titles of tables should be clear and as complete as possible to enable proper understanding of what the table is presenting. Similar to figures, the tables must be self-explanatory and be able to stand alone, including the use of full species names. Always use your word processor's (MS Word is preferred) table feature so that you have defined cells for most if not all entries. Do not create tables by using the space bar and/or tab keys. Separate data horizontally with a new row in the body of the table, not with the enter key. Where needed, you may refer to other tables or figures that contain relevant information relevant, and consider referring to the text only in the event that the title becomes too long. Do not duplicate information that is presented in charts or graphs.

    Place footnotes to tables and figures below the table body or the figure, and indicate them with superscript symbols. Use the following symbols for footnotes in the order shown: †, ‡ ,§, #, ††, ‡‡, etc. The symbols *, **, and *** are always used to show statistical significance at the 0.05, 0.01, and 0.001 level, respectively, and are not used for other footnotes. Do not use letters as these are reserved for showing the statistical results for multiple means separation analyses.

    Vertical lines should never be used in a table. There generally should only be 3 horizontal lines in a table, one at the bottom just below the last row of data and 2 at the top that separates the headers from the body. When a header covers 2 or more subheadings (or columns of data) there should be spanner (line) beneath the heading that spans the subheadings it represents. Units belong in a row of their own, just beneath the column headings, or in row headings. See below a template for how tables should be constructed. Be sparing in the use of tables and ensure that the data presented in tables do not duplicate results described elsewhere in the article. Here is a template for the layout of tables:

    Table X. Table titles should be written in words and sentences that are understandable to someone who has not read the text. The table below shows the main components of a typical table.

    table sample
    *Significant at the 0.05 probability level.
    **Significant at the 0.01 probability level.
    ***Significant at the 0.001 probability level.

    Footnote description of column heading 1
    Footnote description of column heading 2
    §Values with the same lower case letters in a row within the Subspanner heading are not significantly different at P < 0.05.

    Suggested symbols for footnotes in this order - †, ‡, §, #, ††, ‡‡, §§)


    Citation in text
    Please ensure that every reference cited in the text is also present in the reference list (and vice versa). Any references cited in the abstract must be given in full. Unpublished results and personal communications are not recommended in the reference list, but may be mentioned in the text. If these references are included in the reference list they should follow the standard reference style of the journal and should include a substitution of the publication date with either 'Unpublished results' or 'Personal communication'. Citation of a reference as 'in press' implies that the item has been accepted for publication.

    Web references
    As a minimum, the full URL should be given and the date when the reference was last accessed. Any further information, if known (DOI, author names, dates, reference to a source publication, etc.), should also be given. Web references can be listed separately (e.g., after the reference list) under a different heading if desired, or can be included in the reference list.

    References in a special issue
    Please ensure that the words 'this issue' are added to any references in the list (and any citations in the text) to other articles in the same Special Issue.

    Reference style
    Text: All citations in the text should refer to:
    1. Single author: the author's name (without initials, unless there is ambiguity) and the year of publication;
    2. Two authors: both authors' names and the year of publication;
    3. Three or more authors: first author's name followed by 'et al.' and the year of publication.
    Citations may be made directly (or parenthetically). Groups of references should be listed first alphabetically, then chronologically.
    Examples: 'as demonstrated (Allan, 2000a, 2000b, 1999; Allan and Jones, 1999). Kramer et al. (2010) have recently shown ....'
    List: References should be arranged first alphabetically and then further sorted chronologically if necessary. More than one reference from the same author(s) in the same year must be identified by the letters 'a', 'b', 'c', etc., placed after the year of publication.
    Reference to a journal publication:
    Van der Geer, J., Hanraads, J.A.J., Lupton, R.A., 2010. The art of writing a scientific article. J. Sci. Commun. 163, 51–59.
    Reference to a book:
    Strunk Jr., W., White, E.B., 2000. The Elements of Style, fourth ed. Longman, New York.
    Reference to a chapter in an edited book:
    Mettam, G.R., Adams, L.B., 2009. How to prepare an electronic version of your article, in: Jones, B.S., Smith , R.Z. (Eds.), Introduction to the Electronic Age. E-Publishing Inc., New York, pp. 281–304.

    Journal abbreviations source
    Journal names should be abbreviated according to the List of Title Word Abbreviations:

    Video data

    Elsevier accepts video material and animation sequences to support and enhance your scientific research. Authors who have video or animation files that they wish to submit with their article are strongly encouraged to include links to these within the body of the article. This can be done in the same way as a figure or table by referring to the video or animation content and noting in the body text where it should be placed. All submitted files should be properly labeled so that they directly relate to the video file's content. In order to ensure that your video or animation material is directly usable, please provide the files in one of our recommended file formats with a preferred maximum size of 150 MB. Video and animation files supplied will be published online in the electronic version of your article in Elsevier Web products, including ScienceDirect: Please supply 'stills' with your files: you can choose any frame from the video or animation or make a separate image. These will be used instead of standard icons and will personalize the link to your video data. For more detailed instructions please visit our video instruction pages at Note: since video and animation cannot be embedded in the print version of the journal, please provide text for both the electronic and the print version for the portions of the article that refer to this content.


    The journal encourages authors to create an AudioSlides presentation with their published article. AudioSlides are brief, webinar-style presentations that are shown next to the online article on ScienceDirect. This gives authors the opportunity to summarize their research in their own words and to help readers understand what the paper is about. More information and examples are available at Authors of this journal will automatically receive an invitation e-mail to create an AudioSlides presentation after acceptance of their paper.

    Supplementary material

    Elsevier accepts electronic supplementary material to support and enhance your scientific research. Supplementary files offer the author additional possibilities to publish supporting applications, high-resolution images, background datasets, sound clips and more. Supplementary files supplied will be published online alongside the electronic version of your article in Elsevier Web products, including ScienceDirect: In order to ensure that your submitted material is directly usable, please provide the data in one of our recommended file formats. Authors should submit the material in electronic format together with the article and supply a concise and descriptive caption for each file. For more detailed instructions please visit our artwork instruction pages at

    Data at PANGAEA

    Electronic archiving of supplementary data enables readers to replicate, verify and build upon the conclusions published in your paper. We recommend that data should be deposited in the data library PANGAEA ( Data are quality controlled and archived by an editor in standard machine-readable formats and are available via Open Access. After processing, the author receives an identifier (DOI) linking to the supplements for checking. As your data sets will be citable you might want to refer to them in your article. In any case, data supplements and the article will be automatically linked as in the following example: doi:10.1016/0016-7037(95)00105-9. Please use PANGAEA's web interface to submit your data (

    Google Maps and KML files

    KML (Keyhole Markup Language) files (optional): You can enrich your online articles by providing KML or KMZ files which will be visualized using Google maps. The KML or KMZ files can be uploaded in our online submission system. KML is an XML schema for expressing geographic annotation and visualization within Internet-based Earth browsers. Elsevier will generate Google Maps from the submitted KML files and include these in the article when published online. Submitted KML files will also be available for downloading from your online article on ScienceDirect. For more information see

    Interactive plots

    This journal encourages you to include data and quantitative results as interactive plots with your publication. To make use of this feature, please include your data as a CSV (comma-separated values) file when you submit your manuscript. Please refer to for further details and formatting instructions.

    Submission checklist
    The following list will be useful during the final checking of an article prior to sending it to the journal for review. Please consult this Guide for Authors for further details of any item.
    Ensure that the following items are present:
    One author has been designated as the corresponding author with contact details:
    • E-mail address
    • Full postal address
    • Telephone and fax numbers
    All necessary files have been uploaded, and contain:
    • Keywords
    • All figure captions
    • All tables (including title, description, footnotes)
    Further considerations
    • Manuscript has been 'spell-checked' and 'grammar-checked'
    • References are in the correct format for this journal
    • All references mentioned in the Reference list are cited in the text, and vice versa
    • Permission has been obtained for use of copyrighted material from other sources (including the Web)
    • Color figures are clearly marked as being intended for color reproduction on the Web (free of charge) and in print, or to be reproduced in color on the Web (free of charge) and in black-and-white in print
    • If only color on the Web is required, black-and-white versions of the figures are also supplied for printing purposes
    For any further information please visit our customer support site at

    Style Resources 1. Spelling: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary 2. Chemical names of pesticides: Farm Chemicals Handbook (Meister Publishing, revised yearly) 3. U.S. system of soil taxonomy: National Soil Survey Handbook (USDA-NRCS, 2007, http://soils. and in Keys to Soil Taxonomy (2010. Soil Survey Staff, 11th ed. USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, Washington, DC.; The FAO Taxonomic System of World Soil Resources (The FAO/UNESCO soil classification system; 4. Scientific names of plants: A Checklist of Names for 3000 vascular plants of Economic Importance (USDA Agric. Handbook. 505, see also the USDA Germplasm Resources Information Network database at 5. Fungal nomenclature: Fungi on Plants and Plant Products in the United States (APS Press) 6. Journal abbreviations: Chemical Abstracts Service Source Index (American Chemical Society, revised yearly) 7. The Glossary of Soil Science Terms is available both in hard copy (SSSA, 2008) and on the SSSA Web pagen https://www. It contains definitions of more than 1800 terms, a procedural guide for tillage terminology, an outline of the U.S. soil classification system, and the designations for soil horizons and layers.

    Use of the Digital Object Identifier

    The Digital Object Identifier (DOI) may be used to cite and link to electronic documents. The DOI consists of a unique alpha-numeric character string which is assigned to a document by the publisher upon the initial electronic publication. The assigned DOI never changes. Therefore, it is an ideal medium for citing a document, particularly 'Articles in press' because they have not yet received their full bibliographic information. Example of a correctly given DOI (in URL format; here an article in the journal Physics Letters B):
    When you use a DOI to create links to documents on the web, the DOIs are guaranteed never to change.

    Online proof correction

    Corresponding authors will receive an e-mail with a link to our online proofing system, allowing annotation and correction of proofs online. The environment is similar to MS Word: in addition to editing text, you can also comment on figures/tables and answer questions from the Copy Editor. Web-based proofing provides a faster and less error-prone process by allowing you to directly type your corrections, eliminating the potential introduction of errors.
    If preferred, you can still choose to annotate and upload your edits on the PDF version. All instructions for proofing will be given in the e-mail we send to authors, including alternative methods to the online version and PDF.
    We will do everything possible to get your article published quickly and accurately. Please use this proof only for checking the typesetting, editing, completeness and correctness of the text, tables and figures. Significant changes to the article as accepted for publication will only be considered at this stage with permission from the Editor. It is important to ensure that all corrections are sent back to us in one communication. Please check carefully before replying, as inclusion of any subsequent corrections cannot be guaranteed. Proofreading is solely your responsibility.


    The corresponding author, at no cost, will be provided with a personalized link providing 50 days free access to the final published version of the article on ScienceDirect. This link can also be used for sharing via email and social networks. For an extra charge, paper offprints can be ordered via the offprint order form which is sent once the article is accepted for publication. Both corresponding and co-authors may order offprints at any time via Elsevier's WebShop ( Authors requiring printed copies of multiple articles may use Elsevier WebShop's 'Create Your Own Book' service to collate multiple articles within a single cover (

    You can track your submitted article at You can track your accepted article at You are also welcome to contact Customer Support via


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