Marine Ecology

Cover image for Vol. 35 Issue 1

Edited By: Craig M. Young

Impact Factor: 2.561

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2012: 14/100 (Marine & Freshwater Biology)

Online ISSN: 1439-0485

Author Guidelines

 Manuscript Preparation Guidelines   Special Issue Guidelines  

Effective with the 2013 volume, this journal will be published in an online-only format. No printed issue of this title will be produced, but authors will still be able to order offprints of their articles. There will no longer be any charge for colour figures.

Marine Ecology publishes original contributions on the structure and dynamics of marine benthic and pelagic ecosystems, and on the critical links between ecology and evolution of marine organisms.

The journal prioritizes contributions elucidating fundamental aspects of species' interaction and adaptation to the environment through integration of information from various organizational levels (molecules to ecosystems) and different disciplines (molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry, physiology, marine biology, natural history, geography, oceanography, palaeontology and modelling) as viewed from an ecological perspective. The journal also focuses on population genetic processes, evolution of life histories, morphological traits and behaviour, historical ecology and biogeography, macro-ecology and seascape ecology, palaeo-ecological reconstruction and on ecological changes due to introduction of new biota, human pressure or climate change.In preparing manuscripts the authors should try to clearly identify (1) those aspects of their work that are particularly novel, and (2) what the implications of their results are for other regions, other ecosystems and other disciplines. Authors should strive to reach the broadest possible audience by clearly identifying the questions and hypotheses underlying their research, by placing their work in a general context (through relevant literature citations), and by clarifying the historical, local, regional and global implications of their findings.

Please refer to the Manuscript Preparation Guidelines before submitting your paper.


Submission and Acceptance of Papers

Please submit articles via the ScholarOne Manuscripts site at

If you have any questions about the submission process, please contact the Editorial Assistant:

Giuseppina Gargano

Pre-submission English-language editing
Authors in need of English editing services should contact the journal editors for information. Alternatively, they may wish to refer to the Author Services section of Wiley-Blackwell's website.

Submission of a manuscript to Marine Ecology is taken to imply that the work has not been published elsewhere and is not being considered for publication elsewhere. All manuscripts will be sent to two referees for peer review, plus one expert in taxonomy if necessary; final acceptance is decided by the Editors. The date of acceptance will be noted on the title page of the published contribution. Manuscripts considered by the Editors may be returned to authors for suggested amendment to be completed within 6 weeks or, in specific cases, within 2 months.  After 2 months, a submission will be considered withdrawn if not resubmitted as a revised version.

Online production tracking is now available for your article through Wiley-Blackwell's Author Services.
Author Services enables authors to track their article - once it has been accepted - through the production process to publication online.  Authors can check the status of their articles online and choose to receive automated e-mails at key stages of production.  The author will receive an e-mail with a unique link that enables them to register and have their article automatically added to the system.  Please ensure that a complete e-mail address is provided when submitting the manuscript.  Visit for more details on online production tracking and for a wealth of resources including FAQs and tips on article preparation, submission and more.

'Thinking beyond the data'
The forum 'Thinking beyond the data' encourages theoretical and speculative contributions presenting novel ideas and/or syntheses or challenging hypotheses on the functioning of marine ecosystems and their evolutionary history. In science, new insights and seminal views often anticipate or precede their verification, while producing in the scientific community an impressive intellectual turmoil which eventually leads to significant advances in knowledge. To date, there are few public opportunities to articulate those views and to share them with the scientific community. Thinking Beyond the Data is an attempt to give voice to such ideas if they can be consistently and clearly proposed, even when they are still in their embryonic phase.
The format is wide open, and will range from that of comments as short as 2-3 printed pages, to reviews up to 10-15 printed pages long. The title should preferentially be provocative and it is expected that the author will briefly expose the current view (with citations) and understanding of the specific issue to introduce his/her point of view.  The papers should pose new hypotheses to be tested or key questions to be answered. Authors should try to illustrate their ideas with figures or diagrams, while providing data or evidence (published or unpublished) on which the construct is based, thus providing readers and editors the opportunity to check for consistency.
Because the aim of Thinking Beyond the Data is to stimulate scientific debate on a broad range of issues in the ecological and evolutionary sciences, and to open new perspectives, the review process will be both internal (within the Journal’s Editorial board) and external.  Acceptance will be based largely on the clarity and consistency of the argument, as well as the pertinence to leading themes and aims of the journal.
The journal plans to process Thinking Beyond the Data manuscripts within four weeks, from receipt to final acceptance or rejection.


Preparation of manuscripts

Manuscripts should be written in English and should be arranged in the following order:

This should be a maximum of 20 lines of typescript. The abstract should present the topic and main objective of the paper, and be suitable for reprinting in reference periodicals such as Biological Abstracts etc.

Main text
The body of the manuscript should be divided into: a) 'Problem' (scientific questions raised, reason and aim), b) 'Study Area' (if necessary and appropriate); c) 'Material (collected or synthesised) and Methods (used)'; d) 'Results' (accomplished and condensed); and e) 'Discussion' (of background, controversy and outlook). If necessary, organise the above sections with further subtitles. A 'Summary' or 'Conclusions' (not exceeding 20 lines of typescript) should be placed at the end of the text, followed by 'Acknowledgements' and 'References'. The legends of illustrations and tables should be submitted on separate sheets.

The list of references must include all (but no additional) references quoted. Arrange references alphabetically according to author name, not chronologically. The name of the journals containing the cited papers should be given in full.

Each article reference should be given as in the following example:
Stacey B.M., Marcotte B.M. (1987) Chronic effect of No.2 fuel oil on population dynamics of harpacticoid copepods in experimental marine mesocosms. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 16, 75–93.

Books or other non-serial publications which are quoted in the references must be cited as follows:
Gage J.D., Tyler P.A. (1991) Deep-sea Biology: A Natural History of Organisms at the Deep-sea Floor. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: 504 pp.

Platt T., Sathyendranath S. (1995) Latitude as a primary factor in the calculation of primary production. In: H.R. Skoldahl, C. Hopkins, K.E. Erikstad & H.P. Leinaas (Eds). Ecology of Fjords and Coastal Waters. Elsevier, Amsterdam: 3-25.

Articles not yet published may only be cited if they have definitely been accepted for publication. They must be denoted by the expression 'in press'.

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.

Only sharp and contrasting illustrations which will reproduce satisfactorily can be accepted. The publisher will decide how illustrations are to be reproduced, but will take full account of the author's instructions. On each illustration there must appear the corresponding author's name and the number of the illustration.  Illustrations regarding geographic maps should have: a) orientation with respect to the North; b) a size reference in the metric system; and c) latitude and longitude references.  Headings and numbers on the illustrations (maps or graphics) should be appropriate at the final dimension of the figure (check with a reduced print).  Maximum size for illustrations will be 210 x 276 mm (full page) if necessary.

Illustrations taken from other publications must state their precise source and be accompanied by written permission from the publisher.

Colour artwork
Colour figures will be published in full colour in the online article completely free of charge (note that from the first issue of 2013, this journal will be published in an online-only format; the print version will cease to exist). Figures submitted in black-and-white will be published as such in the online article. Please ensure that where colour figures are submitted, their legends make reference to colour where necessary.

Electronic artwork
It is essential that all artwork is provided in electronic format.  Please save vector graphics (e.g. line artwork) in Encapsulated Post-script (EPS) format and bitmap files (e.g. half-tones) in Tagged Image Format (TIFF).  Detailed information on our digital illustration standards is available at

Tables must be serially numbered in Arabic numerals and each must carry a brief descriptive heading. Tables reproduced from other publications must state their precise source. Only signs that can be typeset should be used in the tables and legends. No vertical rules should be used and horizontal rules should not be used in the body of the table. Please provide Tables in Word and include them at the end of the manuscript after the References, each on a separate page. Avoid using both tables and graphs to demonstrate the same results.

In the manuscript, references to the literature must be in the form of the name or names of authors of the papers cited and the year of publication, both in parenthesis, e.g. (Gage & Tyler 1991). Up to two authors should be named; where there are more than two, only the first author should be cited, followed by et al., e.g. (Gambi et al. 2003).

Latin or Greek terms such as in vivo, in vitro, in situ, per se, including names of genera and species must be written in italics.

All biological names should conform to current international nomenclature.

Chemical formulae should be written as far as possible on a single line using standard nomenclature.

Use SI (Système international d'unités) units whenever possible (exception: nautical miles), and the period as decimal separator throughout the manuscript (text, figures, and tables).

Copyright assignment
Copyright Transfer Agreement Form If your paper is accepted, the author identified as the formal corresponding author for the paper will receive an email prompting them to login into Author Services; where via the Wiley Author Licensing Service (WALS) they will be able to complete the license agreement on behalf of all authors on the paper.

Author material archive policy
Please note that unless specifically requested, Wiley-Blackwell Publishing will dispose of all hardcopy or electronic material submitted 2 months after publication. If you require the return of any material submitted, please inform the editorial office or production editor as soon as possible if you have not yet done so.

Proofs are sent to the corresponding author, who should return them within 3 days of receipt. There are no page charges in Marine Ecology.


Free access to the final PDF offprint or your article will be available via Author Services only. Please therefore sign up for Author Services if you would like to access your article PDF offprint and enjoy the many other benefits the service offers.
Paper offprints of the printed published article may be purchased if ordered via the method stipulated on the instructions that will accompany the proofs.  Printed offprints are posted to the correspondence address given for the paper unless a different address is specified when ordered.  Note that it is not uncommon for the printed offprints to take up to 8 weeks to arrive after publication of the journal.  For further information please contact C.O.S. Printers PTe Ltd, 9 Kian Teck Crescent, Singapore 628875; Fax: +65 6265 9074; E-mail:

Book Reviews

The final page(s) of each issue may contain book reviews. The works submitted for review are sent by the Editors to a specialist in the field. No honorarium is paid for book reviews but the review copy remains the property of the reviewer. The review of a book must contain the following information in order: name and initials of the author, title of the book, number of pages, number of illustrations, number of the edition (if not the first), name of publisher, place of publication, year of publication, binding and retail price.  For example:

T. Fenchel & B.J. Finlay: Ecology and Evolution in Anoxic Worlds. Oxford University Press, 1995, 276 pp. Hardback: £35.00, ISBN 0198 548389, Paperback: £18.95.


Last update: February 2013