Special Section 2024 - Urban Botany

“Amid the air pollution, chemical pesticides and herbicides, unnatural and adverse conditions, and other hazards of the cities, trees and plants are finding survival extremely difficult.” H.L. Li observed half a century ago, when he spoke of the need for Urban Botany [Li, 1969].

Botany has come a long way since then, especially when it comes to growing plants for the production of raw materials. However, plants in urban areas do not usually provide food, feed or raw materials. Nevertheless, they do provide a wide range of other ecosystem services to urban populations.

To highlight what these might be and how they can be improved, we are proud to announce this year’s Special Section of the Journal of Applied Botany and Food Quality with the title

Applied botany in urban areas - Mitigation of climate change

We invite you all to contribute to our understanding and further the development of green cities. To support us in this endeavour, we welcome Prof. Petra Schneider as a guest editor. She is Professor for International Water Management and Head of the working group Ecological Engineering at the University of Applied Sciences Magdeburg-Stendal. Her expertise will broaden the scope of this Special Section to the interface between engineering and botany.

Suitable topics for this Special Section are:

  • Plants for micro-climate regulation (temperature, air quality)
  • Drought stress and irrigation management for public green spaces and single trees
  • Community gardens and allotment gardens
  • Invasive plant species in urban areas
  • Plant selection criteria for urban greening projects (drought resistance, allergies, stability and growth form above and below ground, biodiversity facilitation, maintenance, …)
  • Urban green infrastructure as synanthropic ecosystems
  • ‘Sponge cities’ and water retention
  • Sown wildflower strips to facilitate insect biodiversity in urban areas
  • Crevice plants and their meaning for the local climate
  • Wild plants on abandoned areas (ecosystem service, biodiversity, …)
  • Plants on buildings (façade greening, balcony gardens, rooftop garden)
  • Specific aspects of cemeteries and parks
  • Urban plants ecosystem services and disservices
  • Soil contamination in urban areas and its impact on urban green
  • Sports facilities with plants (soccer field, golf course, …), their resource requirements (water, fertilizer, herbicides, pesticides, ….), ecosystem service, …
  • Tree felling and replacement planting

Although it is present in urban areas, we explicitly exclude industrial-scale food production systems and indoor farming with artificial light, aquaponic systems and the like for this Special Section.

Submission is open as of today and stays open until 31st January 2024. We welcome original research articles as well as reviews. If you have a topic not listed above, feel free to inquire with one of the editors-in-chief. All contributions will undergo peer-review, regular APCs and waiver conditions apply. Articles will be published immediately in the "Special Section", starting in January 2024.

Best regards

Petra Schneider, Andrea Krähmer, Heike Riegler, Jutta Papenbrock


H. L. Li, Urban Botany: Need for a New Science, BioScience, Volume 19, Issue 10, October 1969, Pages 882–883, https://doi.org/10.2307/1294709