Editorial Committee, Flora of Pan-Himalayas
1. The Pan-Himalayas (the Himalayas and adjacent regions) forms a natural geographic unit, from the Wakhan Corridor and northeastern Hindu Kush eastwards to the Hengduan Mountains via Karakorum and the Himalayas. This region covers northeastern corner of Afghanistan, northern Pakistan, northern India, Nepal, Bhutan, northern Myanmar, and southwest China (S Tibet, SE Qinghai, SE Gansu, W Sichuan and NW Yunnan).
2. Flora of Pan-Himalayas will be published in English in two editions: printed and online. It treats all the native and naturalized vascular plants of this region.
3. The Flora will be published in 50 volumes (ca. 80 books), with large families divided into two to seven parts. Publication schedule will be based on the availability of manuscripts. The classification systems used in this Flora will reflect current understanding of phylogenetic relationships of the plant groups. The APG III system will be adopted for angiosperms, and up-to-date phylogenetic systems of gymnosperms, ferns and lycophytes will also be reflected in treating these groups.
4. Natural and rational delimitation of species is a critical task of taxonomy, and is the most important criterion for judging the scientific value and usefulness of a Flora. Population concepts should be employed in taxonomy; character analysis should be considered as the basis for a rational taxonomic treatment; field observations, population sampling, phylogenetic analysis, and statistic analysis should be carried out, when possible, to detect variation of characters and evaluate the taxonomic significance of character for delimiting species. Herbarium specimens kept at the following herbaria must be examined and identified: PE, KUN, K, BM, and E. Authors are encouraged to visit the following herbaria: CAL, TI, A, CAS, CDBI, DD, KATH, MICH, SZ, B, P, W, Raw, ISL, and HNWP for checking more materials.
5. Delimitation of closely related species should be based on discontinuous (including statistically discontinuous) variations of at least two correlated characters. As to apomicts (such as Taraxacum spp., Sorbus spp.) and vegetatively reproducing plants, “macrospecies” should be adopted instead of “microspecies”.
6. Only subspecies are to be adopted at the infraspecific level, and varieties may be used in special cases. Subspecies are geographical races and are horizontally or vertically vicarious, whereas varieties are of prominent ecotypes. Polymorphic forms within populations should not be recognized as different taxa. The description of species should cover all of its elements. Variations which do not merit taxonomic recognition may be noted in the species descriptions.
7. The subdivision of families and genera should be concise. For small families and genera, the subdivision may be avoided. Infrafamilial systems should reflect the current understanding of phylogenetic relationships, especially those generated from solid molecular data.
8. The concept of genus should reflect the current understanding of its phylogeny. The generic concept strongly supported by both molecular and morphological evidence should be adopted, but those with weak support in molecular analysis and without sound morphological evidence should not be accepted. A conservative treatment should be kept for less known groups.
9. Identification key is one of the most important results of classification, and the best reflection of its usefulness. Authors should construct a key based on examination of all relevant specimens. Keys should not be based on a single character, and should avoid vague words, such as “relatively large” vs. “relatively small”, “longer” vs. “shorter”. It is better to use easily visible characters in the keys. Dichotomous indented keys are to be used in this Flora as those in “Flora of China”.
10. Description of species should be concise with emphasis on diagnostic characters, and should include habitats, geographical distribution, chromosome numbers, phenology, and other biological features, as well as reliable economic uses and conservation information.
11. Literature citation for accepted names and basionyms must be provided.
12. Type information and herbaria holding the types should be indicated after the literature citation. Designation of types can be done in this Flora when it is necessary.
13. Vouchers are to be cited to record geographical distribution for each species/subspecies/variety. Only one representative specimen is needed for each distribution unit (county in China, district in the other countries). For widespread taxon with distribution in more than ten subdivisions, specimen citation can be avoided.
14. New taxa, new combinations, and new names should be published in botanical journals prior to their adoption in the Flora.
15. Sterile hybrids and those hybrids not forming populations are to be briefly stated after the descriptions of their parents. Cultivated plants may be indicated at the end of the treatment of the genus, but not included in the identification keys.
16. All genera, and at least one third of species, should be illustrated with line drawings. The illustrations can be drawn from herbarium specimens selected by the authors, or taken from publications with permission. Relatively high quality of drawings is required in the present Flora. Diagnostic characters of the species should be clearly illustrated and more than one species can be placed on one plate.
17. The web edition of the Flora will be published online before the corresponding printed edition. Colour photographs, distribution maps and other sources of information are to be included only in the web edition.
18. The physical geography, history of studies on the vascular plants from this region, biogeography, conservation of biodiversity, and key to families will be included in the first (introductive) volume. A comprehensive index to taxa and other subjects will be published in the last volume.
19. Specific guidelines, an example for the Flora preparation, and a map with localities to be cited will be provided by the editorial committee.