“Resilient botany: Innovation in the face of limited mobility and resources”

Photo credits: Top and middle image: Alejandro Zuluaga Trochez; bottom image: Gregory J. Pec

Applications in Plant Sciences (APPS), the Botanical Society of America’s (BSA) open access journal highlighting new tools and protocols across the plant sciences, is organizing a special issue titled, “Resilient botany: Innovation in the face of limited mobility and resources.”

Botanists have a strong record of developing innovative approaches to facilitate affordable research techniques, as demonstrated by a previous APPS special issue on low-cost methods. In recent times, botanical scientists around the globe found themselves facing extraordinary challenges imposed by a global pandemic, putting their adaptive abilities to the test. During this time, many initiatives arose that made creative use of available time, space, and resources, making it possible to carry on with research despite the limitations imposed by external forces.

This special issue is dedicated to showcasing a collection of articles describing how botanists creatively leveraged resources at hand to continue their research in the face of restricted mobility, limited funding, and disrupted supply chains. While the special issue was inspired by the inventions necessitated by the pandemic, it is not specifically limited to that time period.

We are interested in compiling a wide variety of manuscripts, spanning diverse topics and scales across botanical research. We welcome novel laboratory, field, herbarium techniques, new software, and mini-reviews on the current state of methods or approaches to address classical or current topics in botany, including research at cellular, organismal (e.g., vascular and nonvascular plants, fungi, or lichens), ecological, or evolutionary scales. We anticipate that most of these approaches will be lower-cost alternatives to standard methods, given the constraints on travel and supply availability.

Our scope for this special issue is broad, covering diverse topics such as:

  • New tools or protocols for data acquisition, both remotely and on site;
  • Novel protocols for sample handling and preservation in the field;
  • Innovative custom adaptations of existing infrastructure, protocols, or equipment for data acquisition, sample processing, or analysis;
  • Software or pipeline developments (including apps or plugins);
  • High-throughput sample processing in the field, herbarium, or laboratory.

How to submit:
Authors interested in contributing to this special issue should email a proposal consisting of a tentative title, proposed author list, and a 200–300-word abstract to the APPS editorial office (

The deadline for proposal submission is September 16, 2022. Proposals will be reviewed by the Editor-in-Chief and the special issue editors. Authors will be notified by September 30, 2022, as to whether their proposal was accepted.

The Botanical Society of America and its publications are committed to inclusive science that reflects disciplinary, human, and geographic diversity. Proposal submissions from early-career researchers are particularly encouraged.

Authors whose proposals are accepted should submit their manuscript by March 27, 2023. Note that acceptance of a proposal does not guarantee the eventual acceptance of the manuscript, as all manuscripts will be rigorously peer-reviewed and held to the standards of the journal. The target date for publication of the special issue is late 2023/early 2024.

Reduced article publication charges (at the BSA member rate) are available for papers accepted for publication in the special issue. For more details about journal scope and article types, please see the Author Guidelines. Any questions may be sent to the APPS editorial office (

Best wishes,

Dr. N. Ivalú Cacho (Instituto de Biología-UNAM)
Dr. Gillian Dean
Dr. Gregory J. Pec (University of Nebraska at Kearney)
Dr. Alejandro Zuluaga Trochez (Universidad del Valle)
Special Issue Editors

Photo credits: Top and middle image: Alejandro Zuluaga Trochez; bottom image: Gregory J. Pec