During the last 22 years the Institute of Botany to the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences has published 48 issues of the series FITOLOGIA. This publication gave the international botanical community the possibility to get acquainted with the results of research carried out mainly by the scientists from the Institute of Botany whose academic interests lie in the following fundamental spheres: taxonomy, chemotaxonomy and biosystematics of higher plants, phytocoenology, ecology and phytogeography, palaeobotany and palynology, embryology and anatomy of plants, biology of medicinal and aromatic plants, taxonomy and ecology of fungi.
In recent years the conditions have been created for more active scientific exchange and cooperation between the scholars who study various aspects of Balkan flora and vegetation. There is one feature that these aspects share in common: the similarity of the historical development of three basic geotectonic structures - the Hellenides, the Dinarides, and the Balkanides. Throughout millions of years their development has determined the present- day remarkable diversity of plant species in the Balkan Peninsula which comprises The Illiric floristic province.
Besides, the Balkan Peninsula is a sort of a crossroad where the Middle European, the Mediterranean, the Eastern European and the Euxinian- Caucasian floristic trends can be traced. This makes Balkan flora an attractive subject of research for many European scholars.
These considerations generated the idea of starting a new specialized Balkan botanical journal which will maintain the traditions of FITOLOGIA extending its scope and increasing its importance. Now this idea has been realized and you are reading the first issue of PHYTOLOGIA BALCANICA.
It should be noted that the publication of this journal has become possible not only due to the efforts of the Editorial Board but first of all due to the support rendered by the Managing Board and the Editorial Council of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, as well as by our colleagues from other countries who are the members of the Editorial Advisory Board.
I sincerely hope that the new journal will help to unite the efforts of all botanists who devoted their studies to Balkan flora and vegetation and will furnish prerequisits for the extension of our knowledge about the historical roots and the present-day diversity of the flora in the Balkan Peninsula.
Prof. DSc E. Palamarev