This is the first volume of Acta Botanica Neerlandica to be published by Blackwell Scientific Publications Ltd. We trust collaboration will be fruitful between the new publisher and the owner of the Journal, the Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands. As in the past, Acta Botanica Neerlandica is open for publications from all areas of plant science. We welcome contributions from society members as well as from non-members. The language of the journal is English. Page charges are no longer due, a measure which will be welcomed by our authors. Authors receive 50 free offprints, and may order additional offprints at the proof stage. Instructions to authors are printed on the inner back cover.