Author Guidelines

Online submission and review of manuscripts is mandatory for all types of papers. Please prepare your manuscript following the instructions for authors given below before submitting it online at If submission is completed successfully, a manuscript ID will appear on screen, and an e-mail acknowledgement will follow. All correspondence should be routed via the Assistant Editor, Alice Plane, at

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Quick Checklist for Initial Submission | Editorial Policy |Types of Paper Published | Welfare and Publication Ethics | Pre-submission Enquiries | Preprint Policy| Data Archiving | Submission, Initial Assessment and Peer Review | Types of Decisions | Appeals | Manuscript Structure and Specifications | File Formats | Exclusive Licence Agreement | Charges | Online Open | Tracking of Accepted Manuscripts | Proofs | Early View Publication | Offprints | Author Material Archive Policy | Southwood Prize

Quick Checklist for Initial Submission

To simplify the process for authors we now differentiate between initial and revised submissions. Initial submissions can be submitted in any file type providing they adhere to the following requirements:

  • Single column, double line spaced
  • Continuous line numbering throughout the text
  • Within the word count
  • Statement of where you intend to archive your data
  • Clearly defined manuscript structure as standard:

    – Title
    – Author details
    – Summary (must be numbered and formatted according to journal style)
    – Key-words
    – Introduction
    – Materials and methods
    – Results
    – Discussion
    – Authors' Contributions
    – Acknowledgements (optional)
    – References (should be in the Harvard style (name and year) NOT Vancouver style       (numeric) but do not need to be fully formatted at the first submission stage)
    – Figures and Tables presented alongside each individual caption

If you are asked to submit a revision you must comply with the full formatting guidelines explained below.

Editorial Policy

Papers should convey important recommendations for environmental management and policy. There should be clear potential to make a substantial contribution both to ecological understanding and management issues. (See the recent Editorial  'Putting applied ecology into practice' published in Issue 1 of Volume 47).

Since the scope is large, contributions should be of the highest quality. In addition to standard research papers, we seek Reviews that offer timely syntheses, we encourage Forum articles that stimulate dialogue between ecologists and managers, and invite Policy Direction articles that offer discussion of policy-related topics. We also publish Practitioner's Perspective articles that provide a platform for individuals involved in hands-on management of ecological resources to present their personal views on the direction of applied ecological research.

The Journal sometimes draws together groups of papers in Special Features with a common theme of topical relevance in ecology. An editorial sets the context, highlights the key messages from the research included in the feature and shows how it contributes to the field of applied ecology as a whole. These articles provide an overview of the issue for our readers and demonstrate how themes in applied ecology develop within the pages of the Journal over time.
We encourage authors to contact us with proposals for new Special Features. Initial enquiries should include a short summary of the rationale behind proposing a Special Feature on a particular topic. Special Features should consist of a well-rounded collection of papers, with a good international spread of authors who have tentatively agreed to supply a paper. This first enquiry will be discussed briefly by the Journal of Applied Ecology Editors to determine if there is interest in principle, before a full proposal is invited. Please send enquiries to

Types of Paper Published

  • STANDARD PAPERS - These are original articles reporting cutting-edge ecological research of international relevance that has clear implications for conservation or natural area policy or direct application to the management of natural systems. Given the need to balance a significant increase in submissions and our wish to publish as much top quality applied ecological science as we can, standard research papers should not exceed 7000 words. The word count is inclusive of all parts of the paper: summary, main text, acknowledgements, references, tables and figure legends (although excluding any online supporting information).
  • REVIEWS - Reviews provide timely syntheses of topical themes. They should also offer new insights or perspectives to guide future research efforts. Reviews should not exceed 8000 words inclusive of all parts of the paper, as above. We particularly welcome reviews that set a clear agenda for future research within the focal area.
  • COMMENTARIES - Commentary articles stimulate debate in the ecological community. They should be short contributions up to 4000 words and offering conceptual advance, opinion, or identifying gaps in knowledge.
  • FORUMS - Forum articles are short communications presenting opinions on, or responses to, material published in the journal. Reanalysis of the original data presented in the focal article is encouraged, however new data should not generally be presented. Forums should be submitted in a timely manner, ideally within 12 months of publication of the original article. Forum articles will be assessed by the journal Editorial Board and, if deemed to be of sufficient broad interest to our readership, will usually be sent for external peer review. If accepted, they will be held from publication while the authors of the original article are invited to respond. Authors of the original article are not required to write a forum response and are given a set time frame if they choose to do so. If accepted, both Forum articles will then be published together in an issue. If factual errors with the data or analyses presented in the original article come to light, these will be investigated before publication of the Forum article(s) and a correction notice will be published either instead of or as well as the Forum article(s).
  • POLICY DIRECTIONS – This is a paper type for policy-related pieces. Contributions up to 4000 words in length are welcome on a wide range of subjects relating to policy directions, decision-making and implementation. The focus of these articles should be on informing and improving policy, rather than critiques, and any opinions should be supported by a clear evidence base. Articles should be set within a broad policy context and relate to the wider issues around constrained decision making.
  • PRACTITIONER'S PERSPECTIVES - These articles aim to bridge the gap between applied ecological research and the actual practice of species conservation, ecosystem restoration, pest management and the mitigation of environmental threats to biodiversity. They provide a platform for individuals involved in hands-on management of ecological resources - be they species, ecosystems or landscapes - to present their personal views on the direction of applied ecological research (see the recent Editorial 'Practitioner’s perspectives: introducing a different voice in applied ecology' published in Issue 1 of Volume 48). Contributions should be <4000 words, contain no more than 20 references, and will be subject to rapid peer review. Please visit the Practitioner’s Perspective page for further information for authors.

Where there is clear justification, the Journal can implement a fast-track procedure for outstanding submissions of all types for publication under the heading 'Priority Contributions'.

Welfare and Publication Ethics

Researchers must have proper regard for conservation ethics and animal welfare. Any possible adverse consequences of the work for ecosystems, populations, individual organisms or local human communities must be weighed against the possible gains in knowledge and its practical applications. Attention is drawn to the 'Guidelines for the treatment of animals in behavioural research and teaching’ published in the journal Animal Behaviour, 2006, 71, 245-253 and available at

Social research should follow the highest standards of research ethics and we ask authors to ensure their research conforms to guidelines set by reputable sources such as the British Sociological Association and the Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK and Commonwealth

Editors may seek advice from referees on ethical matters and the final decision will rest with the editors. The Journal is a member of and subscribes to the principles of the Committee on Publication Ethics.

During submission, authors are required to agree to the Author's Declaration confirming that the work as submitted has not been published or accepted for publication, nor is being considered for publication elsewhere, either in whole or substantial part; the work is original and all necessary acknowledgements have been made; all authors and relevant institutions have read the submitted version of the manuscript and approve its submission; all persons entitled to authorship have been so included; all work conforms to the legal requirements of the country in which it was carried out, including those relating to conservation and welfare, and to the Journal's policy on these matters.

Pre-submission enquiries

Due to the high number of submissions we receive, we are unfortunately unable to provide pre-submission feedback. If you are unsure whether your paper falls within the Journal’s scope, we advise you to submit your paper to the Journal via our online submission site. This will be the quickest way to obtain feedback from the editors. All papers submitted to the Journal undergo an initial assessment to check whether the paper is in scope. If the editors judge the paper to be more appropriate for a journal with a different scope, they will send a letter with that advice quite quickly.

Preprint Policy

BES journals do not consider for publication articles that have already been published in substantial part or in full within a scientific journal, book or similar entity. However, posting an article on the author’s personal website or in an institutional repository is not viewed as prior publication and such articles can therefore be submitted. The journals will also consider for publication manuscripts that have been posted in a recognized preprint archive (such as arXiv and PeerJ PrePrints), providing that upon acceptance of their article for publication the author is still able to grant the BES an exclusive licence to publish the article, or agree to the terms of an OnlineOpen agreement and pay the associated fee. Following submission and peer review organized by the journal, posting of revised versions of the article on a preprint server with a CC-BY licence might affect an author’s ability to sign an Exclusive Licence to publish in a BES journal.
It is the responsibility of authors to inform the journal at the time of submission if and where their article has been previously posted and, if the manuscript is accepted for publication in a BES journal authors are required to provide a link to the final manuscript alongside the original preprint version.

Data Archiving
Data are important products of the scientific enterprise, and they should be preserved and usable for decades in the future. The British Ecological Society thus requires, as a condition for publication, that all data (or, for theoretical papers, mathematical and computer models) supporting the results in papers published in its journals will be archived in an appropriate public archive, such as Dryad, TreeBASE, NERC data centre, GenBank, figshare, or another archive of the author's choice that provides comparable access and guarantee of preservation. Authors may elect to have the data made publicly available at time of publication or, if the technology of the archive allows, may opt to embargo access to the data for a period of up to a year after publication.

Exceptions, including longer embargoes, may be granted only in exceptional circumstances at the discretion of the editor, especially for sensitive information such as confidential social data or the location of endangered species.

For further details about archiving data associated with papers published in the BES journals from 2014 please click here. A list of repositories suitable for ecological data is available here.

Citations to data sources
Authors of submissions that use data from multiple published sources (e.g. if the paper describes a meta-analysis) are encouraged to cite these data sources in the main text of the manuscript. This ensures that these references are fully indexed and their authors are given proper citation credit.
Data sources can be cited in the “Materials and methods” or in the “Data accessibility” sections. If a large number of data sources are used, instead of citing the sources individually, a separate list should be provided after the literature reference list under the heading “Data sources”. The Material and methods section should then refer to this section, i.e. “A list of data sources used in the study are provided in the Data sources section.”

Format of the Data sources section:
• Data from articles published in journals should follow the normal journal citation format.
• Citation of datasets with a DOI should be formatted as follows:
Prugh, L. & Golden, C. (2013) Data from: Does moonlight increase predation risk? Meta-analysis reveals divergent responses of nocturnal mammals to lunar cycles. Dryad Digital Repository
Olden, J. (2015): Integrating landscape connectivity and invasion vulnerability to guide offensive and defensive invasive species management. figshare
• Citation of datasets without a DOI is permitted, provided the data repository meets the standards set out in our Data Archiving policy. They should be formatted as above but should provide the permanent repository link and accession number for the data.

Submission, initial assessment and peer review

The Journal of Applied Ecology has a fully web-based system for the submission and review of manuscripts. Submissions should be prepared in accordance with the Author Guidelines and uploaded to Subsequent correspondence should be routed via the Assistant Editor, Alice Plane, at Manuscripts may be returned to authors without a scientific assessment if they do not meet all submission requirements, if they are not in the correct format, are too long or cannot be downloaded reliably.

Submissions must represent the original and independent work of the authors. The covering letter should explain why the work is novel, topical, exciting and of broad international interest, and how the results are applied to deliver important recommendations for environmental management and policy.

Each new submission is assessed by one or more editors to determine whether it falls within the general remit of Journal of Applied Ecology. We will reject a manuscript without review if it contains insufficient ecological science; does not have clear application to management of natural systems; is mainly concerned with developing and advancing methodology and not primarily with the application of these methods to the management of natural systems; is unlikely to be of interest to a broad international audience because its scope is very narrow without providing novel insights or sufficient advance into the subject area; there are substantive issues with the design, methodology, or data quality; it exceeds our word limit or is incorrectly formatted; it is poorly presented and unclear.

Up to 50% of papers submitted to the Journal are rejected without review. This reduces the burden on both the refereeing community and the editorial system, and enables authors to submit, without delay, to another journal.

Manuscripts that pass the initial assessment are assigned to a subject expert in our team of Associate Editors to oversee the review process. Authors are asked to provide the names and emails of at least 5 potential referees working outside their home institution(s) and qualified to provide an independent assessment of the work. Authors may also identify referees they would prefer not to review the manuscript. These suggestions will be used as a guide although Editors are not obliged to follow them.

The journal operates a single-blind confidential peer review process. Author names are not concealed. Editors and reviewers are expected to handle the manuscripts confidentially and must not disclose any details to anyone outside of the review process. Reviewers also have the right to confidentiality and their names are not revealed to authors unless they choose to sign their review. Peer review comments should remain confidential even after a manuscript receives a final decision. Manuscripts are normally reviewed by two independent experts in the relevant area.

All correspondence between an author, editor, and peer reviewer should remain in confidence unless explicit consent has been given by all parties, including the journal, or unless there are exceptional ethical or legal circumstances that require identities or details of the correspondence to be revealed.

Reviewers are acknowledged through a list of contributing reviewers published each year on the journal website. Reviewers are welcome to claim reviews for the journal on third party sites (such as Publons), but review comments and details of specific papers should not be published.

All types of papers are subject to peer review and authors can expect a decision, or an explanation for the delay, within 3 months of receipt. If a revision is invited, the corresponding author should submit the revised manuscript within 3 weeks. Otherwise, revisions may be treated as new submissions and sent for further evaluation by new referees unless an extension to the revision period has been agreed with the editor.

Journal of Applied Ecology works together with Wiley’s Open Access Journal, Ecology and Evolution, to enable rapid publication of good quality research that we are unable to accept for publication in our journal. Authors, whose papers are rejected by Journal of Applied Ecology, may be offered the option of having the paper, along with any related peer reviews, automatically transferred for consideration by the Editors of Ecology and Evolution. Authors will not need to reformat or rewrite their manuscript at this stage, and publication decisions will be made a short time after the transfer takes place. The Editors of Ecology and Evolution will accept submissions that report well-conducted research which reaches the standard acceptable for publication. Ecology and Evolution is a Wiley Open Access journal and article publication fees apply. For more information please go to

Types of decisions

  • Immediate Reject after pre-review screening
    After submission, all papers undergo a pre-review assessment by members of the editorial team based on the following criteria:
    1. Does the paper fall within the broad remit of Journal of Applied Ecology in having an explicitly applied focus with clear application to the management of natural systems?
    2. Does the paper contain sufficient ecological science for the Journal of Applied Ecology?
    3. Is the scope of the paper broad rather than narrow with the potential to make a substantial advance in the development of applied ecology, and/or does it provide novel methodological insight?
    4. Is the subject area covered by the paper topical and novel, and hence potentially of interest to a wide readership?
    5. Are the design, methodology, data quality and analysis of a standard appropriate for peer review by the Journal?
    6. Does the paper conform to Journal standards with respect to length, format and language?

    Up to 50% of papers submitted to the Journal will be rejected without review because they fail on one or more of these criteria. In some cases, authors will be invited to resubmit their paper once the problems have been addressed. The aim of pre-review is to identify papers that have the potential to make novel, interesting and significant contributions of direct relevance to environmental management. We aim to aid authors by identifying papers that do not have the potential we are looking for, and by returning these papers as quickly as possible so that the publication process will not be delayed. Rejecting papers at pre-review that are unlikely to make it through the peer review process ultimately saves everyone time and reduces the burden on our referee community and editorial system. 

If a paper is not rejected at the pre-review stage it goes forward for peer-review. Typically, each paper is reviewed by two independent referees and an assessment is made by one of the Journal’s associate editors. The final decision is taken by one of the senior editors based on the information gained through the peer review process.

  • Reject
    Following peer review, the paper is judged not to be acceptable for publication in Journal of Applied Ecology and resubmission is not possible.
  • Resubmit
    The submitted version of the paper is not acceptable and requires major revision but there is clear potential in the work and the Journal is prepared to consider a new version. Authors are offered the opportunity to resubmit their paper as a new submission. Concerns will remain regarding the suitability of the paper for publication until the editors are convinced by the authors that their paper fits the scope and standards of the Journal. The resubmitted manuscript will be returned to the original associate editor if at all possible. Resubmissions should be returned within 4 months of receiving our decision letter.
  • Revision
    The paper requires changes before a final decision can be made. Authors are asked to modify their manuscript in light of comments received from referees and editors, and to submit a new version for consideration within 3 weeks of receiving the decision letter. A point-by-point explanation of how comments have been addressed must be supplied with the revised version of the paper. A clean version of the revised manuscript should be uploaded as the Main Document and a version with tracked changes should also uploaded as a separate File for Editors to allow Editors to easily see the changes made. Revisions may undergo further peer review and papers may undergo more than one round of revision. If the authors do not revise their papers to the satisfaction of the editors, the paper can still be declined from publication in the Journal.
  • Final accept
    The paper is acceptable for publication, subject to conditions that need to be addressed in producing a final version of the manuscript. These may include sub-editing changes and minor amendment to ensure the paper fully matches our criteria. After final checking in the editorial office, acceptance is confirmed and the paper is forwarded to the publishers for publication.
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If the authors of a paper disagree with some aspect of the assessment of their manuscript, they should write to the Assistant Editor, Alice Plane, at outlining their reasons for appealing the editors' decision. The editorial team will consider the appeal, reply to the authors and take any appropriate action. Note, however, that each submission is considered very carefully at the first assessment and decisions to reject a manuscript are not taken lightly.

Manuscript Structure and Specifications

STANDARD PAPERS. Original articles should not exceed 7000 words inclusive of all parts of the paper apart from online Supporting Information. Typescripts should be arranged as follows, with each section starting on a separate page.

Title page. This should contain:

  • A concise and informative title.
  • A list of author names, affiliation(s), and e-mail addresses.
  • The name, complete mailing address (including e-mail address, telephone and fax numbers) of the corresponding author.
  • A running title not exceeding 45 characters.
  • A word count of the entire paper broken down into summary, main text, acknowledgements, references, tables and figure legends.
  • The number of tables and figures.
  • The number of references.

Summary. This is called the Abstract on the web submission site. The Summary should outline the purpose of the paper and the main results, conclusions and recommendations, using clear, factual, numbered statements. Authors should follow a formula in which point 1 sets the context and need for the work; point 2 indicates the approach and methods used; the next 2-3 points outline the main results; and the last point identifies the wider implications and relevance to management or policy. The final summary point is the most important of all in maximising the impact of the paper. It should synthesise the paper's key messages and should be generic, seminal and accessible to non-specialists, and must carry one of the following subheadings:
'Synthesis and applications' for articles that identify recommendations for management practices.
Policy implications’ for articles that are less directly tied to on-the-ground management and include discussion on conservation implications or links to policy.

Keywords. A list in alphabetical order not exceeding ten words or short phrases, excluding words used in the title and chosen carefully to reflect the precise content of the paper.

Introduction. State the reason for the work, the context, background, aims and the hypotheses being tested. End the Introduction with a brief statement of what has been achieved.

Materials and methods. Include sufficient details for the work to be repeated. Where specific equipment and materials are named, the manufacturer’s details (name, city and country) should be given so that readers can trace specifications by contacting the manufacturer. Where commercially available software has been used, details of the supplier should be given in brackets or the reference given in full in the reference list.

Results. State the results of experimental or modelling work, drawing attention to important details in tables and figures. The Results section should conform to the highest standards of rigour.

Discussion. Point out the importance of the results and place them in the context of previous studies and in relation to the application of the work (expanding on the Synthesis and applications section of the Summary). Include clear recommendations for management or policy.

Authors' Contributions. All submissions with more than one author must include an Author Contributions statement. All persons listed as authors on a paper are expected to meet ALL of the following criteria for authorship: – substantial contributions to conception and design, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data, or drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; – final approval of the version to be published; – agreement to be accountable for the aspects of the work that they conducted and ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of their work are appropriately investigated and resolved. Acquisition of funding, provision of facilities, or supervising the research group of authors without additional contribution are not usually sufficient justifications for authorship. The statement should include an explanation of the contribution of each author. We suggest the following format for the Author Contributions statement: – AB and CD conceived the ideas and designed methodology; CD and EF collected the data; EF and GH analysed the data; AB and CD led the writing of the manuscript. All authors contributed critically to the drafts and gave final approval for publication.

Acknowledgements. Be brief. If authors refer to themselves as recipients of assistance or funding, they should do so by their initials separated by points (e.g. J.B.T.). Do not acknowledge Editors by name.

Data Accessibility. To enable readers to locate archived data from papers, we require that authors list the database and the respective accession numbers or DOIs for all data from the manuscript that has been made publicly available. An example of what this section should look like can be found in the Data Archiving Q&A.

References (see Manuscript Specifications below).

Data sources (if required) see specifications here.

Tables (see Specifications). Each table should be on a separate page, numbered and accompanied by a legend at the top. These should be referred to in the text as Table 1, etc. Avoid duplication between figures and tables.

Figures (see Specifications). Figures and their legends should be grouped together at the end of the paper before Supporting Information (if present). If figures have been supplied as a list at the end of the text file (as recommended), they should appear above their respective legend. Figures should be referred to in the text as Fig. 1, Figs 1 & 2, etc. Photographic material should also be referred to as Figures. Do not include high-resolution versions of figures at submission; reduce the size and resolution of graphics to a file size of less than 1 MB. If a manuscript is accepted, higher quality versions of figures can be submitted at a later stage.

Supporting Information. Essential supporting information can be published in the online version of the article. Instructions for the preparation of Supporting Information are given here.

In order to promote the advancement of science through the process of documenting and making available the research information and supporting data behind published studies, the editors of this journal strongly encourage authors to make arrangements for archiving their underlying data.

REVIEWS. Reviews should not exceed 8000 words inclusive of all parts of the paper. The layout should follow the same format and specifications as for Standard Papers except that the organisation of the main text need not follow the division into Introduction, Materials and methods, Results and Discussion.

FORUMS, COMMENTARIES and POLICY DIRECTIONS. These articles should be short contributions up to 4000 words inclusive of all parts of the paper. Format and specifications are as for Standard Papers except that any Summary section should be short (no more than 150 words, but still formatted in numbered sections as for Standard Papers) and the layout of the main text can be flexible.

PRACTITIONER'S PERSPECTIVES. There is no prescribed structure to Practitioner's Perspectives but the prose style should be light and the article should be written with the minimum of technical language and jargon, so as to be understandable to a general audience. The article title should be brief (maximum 10 words), and the title page should provide author names and addresses, including an e-mail address for the corresponding author. Abstracts are not required and the title page should be followed by the body of the text (if headers are used within the text, keep them to a minimum), and the references (maximum 20), using the standard referencing system of the Journal, and finally a short biosketch (30–100 words for one author/150 words for the first three authors, respectively) describing the research interests of the author(s). At least one author should have direct experience of the practical management of the environment. The overall word count, inclusive of all of the above (i.e. main text, title line, author details, references, biosketch), should not exceed 4000 words. Should you wish to include a small figure or other illustration, this can be accommodated by a reduction in the number of words on a pro rata basis.


Manuscripts should be carefully prepared, checked and submitted in final form. They should be typed in double spacing. There should be continuous line numbering throughout including pages containing acknowledgements, references, tables and figures. Submissions should, ideally, be a single Word file with figures embedded at the end of the text. This file will be converted to PDF (portable document format) upon upload. Referees will be given access to the PDF version although the Word file will remain accessible to the Editorial Office. Authors must therefore open PDF files during submission to check that conversion has not introduced any errors.
If you wish to write your paper in LaTex please also upload a PDF version of your paper for reference.

LANGUAGE. Manuscripts must be written in English. They should be clear, concise and grammatically correct. Spelling should conform to the Concise Dictionary of Current English. Journal style is not to use the serial comma (also known as the Oxford or Harvard comma) before and/or/nor unless meaning would otherwise be obscured. Editors reserve the right to modify accepted manuscripts that do not conform to scientific, technical, stylistic or grammatical standards, and minor alterations of this nature may not be seen by authors until the proof stage.

PRE-SUBMISSION ENGLISH-LANGUAGE EDITING. Authors for whom English is a second language should have their manuscript corrected by a native English speaker prior to submission where necessary. Alternatively, authors may wish to consider having their manuscript professionally edited before submission to improve the English. Wiley's editing services can be found here. All services are paid for and arranged by the author, and use of one of these services does not guarantee acceptance or preference for publication.

SCIENTIFIC NAMES. Give Latin names in full, together with the naming authority, at first mention in the main text. Subsequently, the genus name may be abbreviated, except at the beginning of a sentence. If there are many species, cite a Flora or check-list which may be consulted for authorities instead of listing them, in the text. Do not give authorities for species cited from published references. Give priority to scientific names in the text (with colloquial names in parentheses if desired). Latin names following common names should not be separated by a comma or brackets.

MANUFACTURERS' NAMES. Special pieces of equipment should be described such that a reader can trace specifications by writing to the manufacturer; thus: 'Data were collected using a solid-state data logger (CR21X, Campbell Scientific, Utah, USA).' Where commercially available software has been used, details of the supplier should be given in brackets or the reference given in full in the reference list.

UNITS, SYMBOLS AND ABBREVIATIONS. Authors should use the International System of Units (S.I., Systeme International d'Unités; see Quantities, Units and Symbols, 2nd edn (1975) The Royal Society, London). Mathematical expressions should contain symbols not abbreviations. If the paper contains many symbols, they should be defined as early in the text as possible, or within the Materials and methods section. Journal style for time units are: s, min, h, days, weeks, months, years. Use 'L' for litre not 'l' to avoid confusion with 'one'. Use the negative index for units, e.g. number of insects g-1 dry wt (also note there is no period for wt). Probability values should be denoted as P.

MATHEMATICAL MATERIAL. Mathematical expressions should be carefully represented. Wherever possible, mathematical equations and symbols should be typed in-line by keyboard entry (using Symbol font for Greek characters, and superscript options where applicable). Do not embed equations or symbols using Equation Editor or Math Type, or equivalents, when simple in-line, keyboard entry is possible. Equation software should be used only for displayed multi-line equations, and equations and symbols that cannot be typed. Suffixes and operators such as d, log, ln and exp will be set in Roman type: matrices and vectors will be set in italic. Make sure that there is no confusion between similar characters like l ('ell') and 1 ('one'). Ensure that expressions are spaced as they should appear. If there are several equations they should be identified by an equation number (i.e. 'eqn 1' after the equation, and cited in the text as 'equation 1').

NUMBER CONVENTIONS. Text: Numbers from one to nine should be spelled out except when used with units, e.g. two eyes but 10 stomata; 5 °C, 3 years and 5 kg. Tables: Do not use excessive numbers of digits when writing a decimal number to represent the mean of a set of measurements. The level of significance implied by numbers based on experimental measurements should reflect, and not exceed, their precision; only rarely can more than 3 figures be justified. Be consistent within tables.

FIGURES (INCLUDING PHOTOGRAPHS). Please follow the instructions on figure format and content carefully to avoid delays in manuscript processing. All illustrations are classified as figures.

Figures should be placed at the end of the document and each must have a legend, presented separately from the figure. The legend should provide enough detail for the figure to be understood without reference to the text. Information (e.g. keys) that appear on the figure itself should not be duplicated in the legend. In the full-text online edition of the Journal, figure legends may be truncated in abbreviated links to the full screen version. Therefore, the first 100 characters of any legend should inform the reader of key aspects of the figure.

Figures should be drawn to publication quality and to fit into a single column width (71 mm) wherever possible. To make best use of space, you may need to rearrange parts of figures. If figures are prepared that will require reduction, please ensure that axes, tick marks, symbols and labels are large enough to allow reduction to a final size of about 8 point, i.e. capital letters will be about 2mm tall. Figures should not be boxed and tick marks can be on the inside or outside of the axes. Lettering should use a sans serif font (e.g. Helvetica, Arial) with capitals used for the initial letter of the first word only. Bold lettering should not be used. Units of axes should appear in parentheses after the axis name. All lettering and symbols must be proportioned, clear and easy to read, i.e. no labels should be too large or too small. Label multi-panel figures (a), (b), (c), etc., preferably in the upper left corner. Use greyscales (e.g. 0, 20, 40, 60, 80, 100%) in preference to pattern fills where possible. If colour figures are submitted for colour online publication only, ensure that after conversion to greyscale they remain entirely intelligible for the black-and-white print publication of your paper. Full instructions on preparing your figures are available here.
Authors may also find useful information through the external resource Graphics for Conservation which provides guidance on designing maps and data plots, advice on the wise use of graphics formats, and screencast demonstrations to help with drafting figures.

Colour figures (including photographs) must be accompanied by a Colour Work Agreement Form. The cost of colour printing must be met by the author (currently £150 for the first figure, £50 thereafter, excusive of VAT). If no funds are available to cover colour costs, the Journal offers free colour reproduction online (with black-and-white reproduction in print). If authors require this, they should write their figure legend to accommodate both versions of the figure, and indicate their colour requirements on the Colour Work Agreement Form. This form should be completed in all instances where authors require colour, whether in print or online. Therefore, at acceptance, please download the form and return it to John Wiley & Sons Ltd, European Distribution Centre, New Era Estate, Oldlands Way, Bognor Regis, West Sussex, PO22 9NQ. E-mail queries to: Please note that if you require colour content your paper cannot be published until this form is received.

File formats. At the time of submission, or after acceptance of the manuscript for publication, figure files should be supplied as follows. Photographic figures should be saved in tif format at 300 d.p.i. (or failing that in jpg format with low compression) and should have good contrast. Line figures should be saved as vector graphics (i.e. composed of lines, curves, points and fonts; not pixels) in pdf, eps, ai, svg or wmf format, or embedded as such in Word, as this enhances their display when published online. Combination figures (those composed of vector and pixel/raster elements) should also be saved in pdf, eps, ai, svg or wmf format where possible (or embedded as such in Word). If line figures and combination figures cannot be saved in vector graphics format, they should be saved in tif format at high resolution (i.e. 600 d.p.i.) (do not save them in jpg format as this will cause blurring). If you are unsure about the quality of your figures, please inspect a small portion by zooming in to check that fonts, curves and diagonal lines are smooth-edged and do not appear unduly blocky or burred when viewed at high magnification. Note that line and combination figures supplied in tif format are downsampled for online publication, authors should therefore preferentially opt for vector graphic formats for these figure types (note, however, that for print publication full resolution files will be used). For full instructions on preparing your figures please refer to our Electronic Artwork Information for Authors page.

TABLES. Tables should be constructed using 'Tabs' rather than spaces or software options. Units should appear in parentheses after the column or row title, e.g. Time (days). Each table should be on a separate page, numbered and titled, and included at the end of the paper before the figures. The table caption must appear above the table and must NOT end in a full stop. Table footnotes should be indicated using symbols *, †, ‡, ¶, § (not superscripted); these should be doubled-up if more than 5 are needed (**, ††, ‡‡, ¶¶, §§), or if more than 10 are needed use superscript letters a, b, c, etc., throughout. References to tables in the text should not be abbreviated, e.g. Table 1.

DATA ACCESSIBILITY. A list of databases with relevant accession numbers or DOIs for all data from the manuscript that has been made publicly available should be included in this section. For example:
Data Accessibility
- Species descriptions: uploaded as online supporting information
- Phylogenetic data: TreeBASE Study accession no. Sxxxx
- R scripts: uploaded as online supporting information
- Sample locations, IMa2 input files and microsatellite data: DRYAD entry doi: xx.xxxx/dryad.xxxx

CITATIONS AND REFERENCES. Citation to work by four or more authors should be abbreviated with the use of et al. (e.g. Manel et al. 1999). Citation to work by one, two or three authors should always give the author names in full. Work with the same first author and date should be coded by letters, e.g. Thompson et al. 1991a,b. Citations should be listed in chronological order in the text and be separated by a semi-colon, e.g. Balmford & Gaston 1999; Royle et al. 2007. The references in the Reference list should be in alphabetical order with the journal name unabbreviated. The format for papers, theses, entire books and chapters in books is as follows:

Begon, M., Harper, J.L. & Townsend, C.R. (1996) Ecology: Individuals, Populations and Communities, 3rd edn. Blackwell Science, Oxford.
Tuyttens, F.A.M. (1999) The consequences of social perturbation caused by badger removal for the control of bovine tuberculosis in cattle: a study of behaviour, population dynamics and epidemiology. PhD thesis, University of Oxford.
McArthur, W.M. (1993) History of landscape development. Reintegrating Fragmented Landscapes (eds R.J. Hobbs & D.A.Saunders), pp. 10-22. Springer Verlag, Berlin.
Hill, M.O., Roy, D.B., Mountford, J.O. & Bunce, R.G.H. (2000) Extending Ellenberg's indicator values to a new area: an algorithmic approach. Journal of Applied Ecology, 37, 3-15.

References should be cited as 'in press' only if the paper has been accepted for publication. Work not yet submitted for publication or under review should be cited as 'unpublished data', with the author's initials and surname given; such work should not be included in the Reference section. Any paper cited as 'in press' or under review elsewhere must be uploaded as part of the manuscript submission as a file 'not for review' so that it can be seen by the editors and, if necessary, made available to the referees.
We recommend the use of a tool such as EndNote or Reference Manager for reference management and formatting.
EndNote reference styles can be searched for here:
Reference Manager reference styles can be searched for here:

Citations from the world wide web: Authors may sometimes wish to cite information available from the world wide web in similar ways to the citation of published literature. In using this option, authors are asked to ensure that:
(i) fully authenticated addresses are included in the reference list, along with titles, years and authors of the sources being cited, and the most recent date the site was accessed;
(ii) the sites or information sources have sufficient longevity and ease of access for others to follow up the citation;
(iii) the information is of a scientific quality at least equal to that of peer-reviewed information available in learned scientific journals;
(iv) hard literature sources are used in preference where they are available.

It is likely that official web sites from organisations such as learned societies, government bodies or reputable NGOs will most often satisfy quality criteria.

Licence to pubish 

Authors of accepted manuscripts will be required to grant Wiley an exclusive licence to publish the article on behalf of the British Ecological Society. Signing an Exclusive Licence Agreement (ELA) is a condition of publication and papers will not be published until a signed form is received. (Papers subject to government or Crown copyright are exempt from this requirement.) Once a paper is accepted, the corresponding author will receive an email from Wiley prompting them to login to Author Services, where, via the Wiley Author Licencing Service (WALS), they will be able to complete the licence agreement on behalf of all co-authors. The terms and conditions of the ELA can be previewed in the samples associated with the Copyright FAQs here. Do not complete this PDF until you are prompted to do so by Author Services. Please read the licence form carefully before signing: conditions are changed from time to time and may not be the same as the last time you completed one of these forms.

Funder arrangements A number of funders, including Research Councils UK (RCUK), the NIH and Wellcome Trust, require deposit of the accepted (post-peer-reviewed) version of articles that they fund, if these are not already published via an open access route. The BES journals are all compliant with these mandates and full details of the arrangements can be found here.


There are no mandatory publication or page charges for publishing in this journal. Authors who wish to publish papers as Open Access or include colour pictures in the print addition may do so for an additional fee. For more information on publishing Open Access, see below.


OnlineOpen is available to authors who wish to make their article available to non-subscribers on publication, or whose funding agency requires grantees to archive the final version of their article. With OnlineOpen, the author, the author's funding agency, or the author's institution pays a fee to ensure that the article is made available to non-subscribers upon publication via Wiley Online Library, as well as deposited in the funding agency's preferred archive. The charge for OnlineOpen publication is $3,000 (discounted to $2,250 for papers where the first or corresponding author is a current member of the British Ecological Society, For the full list of terms and conditions, click here.

Following acceptance, any authors wishing to designate their paper OnlineOpen will be required to complete the payment form and will be given the option of signing a range of different Creative Commons licences, depending on author choice and funder mandate.

Prior to acceptance there is no requirement to inform the Journal that you intend to publish your paper OnlineOpen if you do not wish to. All OnlineOpen articles are treated in the same way as any other article. They go through the Journal's standard peer-review process and will be accepted or rejected based on their own merit.

Tracking of accepted manuscripts

After a paper has been accepted for publication, it will be uploaded as an Accepted Article on Wiley Online Library within approximately 2 working days. Accepted Articles are the peer-reviewed version of the manuscript BEFORE copyediting, typesetting and proofing. The paper will be assigned its DOI (digital object identifier) at this stage so that it can be cited and tracked as normal.
Any final, minor corrections can still be made to the paper at proof stage.

Author Services enables authors to track their article through the production process to publication online and in print. Authors can check the status of their articles online and choose to receive automated e-mails at key stages of production. Authors will receive an e-mail with a unique link that enables them to register and have their article automatically added to the system. A complete, current e-mail address must be provided when submitting the manuscript. Visit the Author Services page for more details on online production tracking and for a wealth of resources including FAQs, tips on article preparation, submission and more.


The corresponding author will receive an e-mail alert containing a link to a web address from where a PDF file of the proof can be downloaded. A reliable e-mail address must therefore be provided for the corresponding author. Acrobat Reader will be required to read the file. This software, which can be downloaded free of charge from, will enable the file to be opened, read on screen, and printed out in order for any corrections to be added. Further instructions will be sent with the proof. Authors whose e-mail connection is unreliable, or who are likely to be out of contact and cannot have their e-mail checked regularly, should nominate an alternative person to receive and correct the proofs; they should do this when submitting their final typescript. Alterations to the text, other than typesetting errors, may be charged to the author. Proofs should be checked carefully; it is the corresponding author's responsibility to ensure they are correct.
Once corrected proofs of a manuscript are available, the 'Accepted Article' version will be replaced online by the EarlyView version of the paper.

Corrected proofs must be returned by e-mail, fax or first-class post/airmail within 3 days of receipt to: Production Editor, Journal of Applied Ecology, Wiley-Blackwell, John Wiley & Sons, 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford OX4 2DQ, UK, e-mail:, tel: +44 (0) 1865 476477, fax: +44 (0) 1865 714591. If you register with Author Services when your paper is accepted you will receive an e-mail within 48 hours to confirm that your proof corrections have been received.

The editors reserve the right to correct the proofs, using the accepted version of the typescript, if the author's corrections are overdue and the Journal would otherwise be delayed.

Early View publication

The Journal of Applied Ecology is covered by the Early View service. Early View articles are complete, full-text articles published online in advance of their publication in a printed issue. Articles are therefore available as soon as they are ready, rather than having to wait for the next scheduled print issue. To register to receive an e-mail alert when your Early View article is published, click here and log in to Wiley Online Library.

Early View articles are complete and final. They have been fully reviewed, revised and edited for publication, and the authors' final corrections have been incorporated. Because they are in their final form, no changes can be made after online publication. The nature of Early View articles means that they do not yet have volume, issue or page numbers, so Early View articles cannot be cited in the traditional way. They are therefore given a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), which allows them to be cited and tracked before allocation to an issue. After print publication, the DOI remains valid and can continue to be used to cite and access the article. More information about DOIs can be found at


The corresponding author will receive a PDF offprint of their article free of charge at the time of publication within an issue of the Journal (i.e. once the article is paginated). Printed offprints may be ordered using the Offprint Order Form supplied with the proofs (see form for charges), provided that the form is returned promptly (i.e. at the time of proof correction). Order forms should be returned to C.O.S. Printers Pte Ltd, 9 Kian Teck Crescent, Singapore 628875; Fax: +65 6265 9074; E-mail: Printed Offprints are normally dispatched by surface mail within 3 weeks of publication of the issue in which the paper appears. Please contact the publishers if offprints do not arrive: however, please note that offprints are sent by surface mail, so overseas orders may take up to 6 weeks to arrive. The PDF offprint is e-mailed to the first author at his or her first e-mail address on the title page of the paper, unless advised otherwise; therefore please ensure that the name, address and e-mail of the receiving author are clearly indicated on the manuscript title page if he or she is not the first author of the paper. A copy of the Publisher's Terms and Conditions for the use of the PDF file will accompany the PDF offprint and the file can only be distributed in accordance with these requirements. Authors can also nominate up to three colleagues whom they would like to receive a complimentary PDF offprint.

Author material archive policy

Please note that unless specifically requested otherwise, Wiley-Blackwell will dispose of all hard copy and electronic material 2 months after publication. If you require the return of any material submitted, please inform the editorial office or production editor when your paper is accepted for publication.

Southwood Prize for the best early-career author

The British Ecological Society awards the Southwood Prize to the author of the best paper by an early-career researcher in any subject area published in each volume of the Journal of Applied Ecology. Authors will be invited to indicate their eligibility at the time of acceptance. The first-named or sole author will be considered if they are at the start of their independent research career.



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