During the end of the 1940s Nordic plant physiologists faced difficulties in getting their work published in international journals. As a result a swedish intiative to establish a new society gained wide support among the researchers in Scandinavia. A preliminary meeting was held in Stockholm in May 1947 and resulted in a founding meeting which was held on 27-28th October 1947 in Copenhagen with representatives from Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.
It was decided to establish an organization called Nordisk Förening för Fysiologisk Botanik, later to become Societas Physiologiae Plantarum Scandinavica, and that the aim of the society should be to arrange regular scientific conferences and to publish the journal Physiologia Plantarum from 1948. Professor Hans G. Burström from Lund was appointed editor-in-chief of the journal, a position that he administered for 22 years.
The society is administered by a Council that is appointed by the General Assembly of the society. Duration of the Council period is from one General assembly to the next. Nowadays the time and place of the next assembly is decided in the previous one and the period is usually two years. The composition of Council has varied over the decades and currently in addition to the President, Treasurer, and Secretary general there is a member from each Nordic country (Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden).
The journal Physiologia plantarum has been an integral part of the society from the beginning with an appointed editorial board as a part of already the first adminstration. Later (1976-) a separate Journal committee was established to gover the journal. This committee was dissolved in 2005 whereafter one of the country representatives in the council has been acting as the appointed journal responsible.
The presidency of the society is rotating between the countries so that the next precident is not elected from the same country and there is a limit on how many times the same person can be elected President. As the President, Secretary (general) and Treasurer usually have been elected from the same country the office of SPPS has been moving between the countries. This changed in 2015 when Council decided to extablish a permanent office in Lund, Sweden with an employed Society secretary. Editorial tasks of the journal have always been carried out in Lund, and still are, despite that current editor-in-chief and a part of the editorial team now works in other locations.
The original aims of the society were to promote plant physiology and contacts between plant physiologists, arrange meetings and to publish a journal where people could publish their research results. This is still true today except that now we rather talk about plant scientists and experimental plant biology.
There is one new activity that has evolved during the years and that is the aspect of popularisation of science and promoting teaching of plant science. As a part of this development SPPS Education committee was established in 2011.