Cover image for Vol. 48 Issue 1

Edited By: Emilio Bruna

Impact Factor: 2.084

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2014: 65/145 (Ecology)

Online ISSN: 1744-7429

Author Guidelines


Manuscripts for consideration in BIOTROPICA may cover any aspect of tropical biology and conservation. Articles must be of general interest to the global community of tropical biologists, with contents of lasting value and significance. Preference will be given to papers devoted to the presentation and discussion of original research and ideas or to those papers containing significant review, synthetic, and interpretive qualities.

BIOTROPICA offers four publication categories: Paper, Insights, Review, and Commentary. Preference will be given to papers devoted to the presentation and discussion of original research or thinking that either:

(1) address clearly identified ecological concepts or conservation challenges (Paper, up to 5,000 words);

(2) provide an authoritative opinion on current issues in ecology or conservation, or a thought-provoking commentary on a previously published paper (Commentary, up to 2,000 words);

(3) describe a concise empirical study that represents a particularly interesting or original development in the field (Insights, up to 2,000 words);

(4) contain significant review, synthetic, and interpretive qualities (Review, up to 8,000 words).

Word counts exclude title page, abstract(s), literature cited, tables, figures, or appendices.

Special Sections and Special Issues are also published through special arrangements with the Editor-in-Chief.  See Special Sections below for details.


The number of submissions to BIOTROPICA far exceeds the number of papers that we can publish. As a result we must be very selective in what we choose to send out to review, and many manuscripts are rejected without review based on an evaluation of suitability by the Editors. Before submitting your manuscript to BIOTROPICA please consider the following questions.

  • Does your manuscript address a topic of broad general interest?
  • Can you clearly describe the novelty of your study?
  • Does your study adopt a hypothesis-testing approach, or does it address an ecological concept of broad relevance?
  • Will your study be relevant to readers in other tropical regions?
  • If your manuscript is very taxonomically focused, or a descriptive study, then might it be better suited to a more specialist journal, or a regional journal?
  • Is your manuscript within the BIOTROPICA word limit (see above). Manuscripts that exceed the word limit will be returned.



For all submissions authors are requested to provide a cover letter that details the novelty, relevance and implications of their work, and a brief explanation of the suitability of the work for BIOTROPICA. The number of words in the manuscript should also be given in the cover letter.

A cover letter is also required for revised manuscripts and resubmissions, in which the responses to the reviewers' comments and resulting changes made to the manuscript are clearly detailed.  


For details on manuscript form and style, please refer to the pre-publication checklist ( and to a recent issue of BIOTROPICA. English abstracts are required for all papers except for commentaries (250 word limit for papers and reviews and 75 word limit for short communications). Authors are strongly encouraged to provide a second abstract in the language of the country in which the research was conducted for publication as Supplemental Online Material on Blackwell's website.  


Our goal is to publish the very best papers in tropical ecology, regardless of the authors' native language. To this end reviewers are asked to judge the quality of a manuscript based on its science, and not on language. Nevertheless, a manuscript that is clearly written in good English is easier to understand, and is likely to receive a more sympathetic review. Authors should therefore make every effort to ensure that the English is of good quality. Our advice is that authors requiring English language assistance should enlist the help of a native speaker or a colleague in the first instance. BIOTROPICA does offer an English copy editing service (for accepted papers only), at a cost of $25 per hour.  


Online submission and review of manuscripts is mandatory effective January 1, 2005. When your manuscript has been prepared in accordance with the pre-publication checklist ( and you are ready to submit, please go to Please follow the instructions for creating your user account and for submitting your manuscript and cover letter. Authors may suggest reviewers and subject editors during the submission process. Online help is provided with the Manuscript Central™ Online User Guide, which can be downloaded from this website. If you are unable to submit your manuscript through Manuscript Central, please contact the BIOTROPICA Editorial Office for assistance (  


In the event that a manuscript has been previously submitted to other journals, authors are welcome to submit earlier reviews together with their response to the comments and criticisms raised and a description of how the manuscript has been revised to accommodate earlier criticisms. Submission of prior reviews will not prejudice any editorial decision made by Biotropica. All submitted manuscripts will still be reviewed by Biotropca, but the editors might choose to short-cut the review process if the manuscript is deemed to have been appropriately revised. 


BIOTROPICA allows free published articles for first or corresponding authors who are members of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation, although voluntary contributions are most welcome. Page charges ($100/article) will be waived for first authors from developing countries, as defined by the World Bank, when they have no funds to support these costs. See the list of developing countries to determine eligibility (


In 2010 BIOTROPICA introduced a Book Reviews section in which recently published books (typically within the last year) on tropical ecology and conservation are evaluated, described and reviewed. Each year BIOTROPICA will publish four to five such reviews in its November issue. Authors, editors and publishers are welcome to suggest books for review. Requests including the title, authors/editors, and a short abstract of the book, should be sent to the BIOTROPICA editorial office ( Following confirmation of agreement to review a particular book, TWO copies of the book should be sent to the following address: Emilio Bruna (BIOTROPICA Editorial Office), University of Florida, PO Box 110430, 110 Newins-Ziegler Hall, Gainesville, FL, 32611-0430. Books sent to BIOTROPICA are non-returnable.  

Book Reviewer Guidelines

Reviewers should describe the purpose and value of the book, its focus and breadth, and its quality in the context of recent developments in the field. The review should be written in the style of an informative essay or commentary that has interest and value in its own right, particularly in the context of the current state of knowledge. Detailed descriptions of the contents or lists of typographical errors should be avoided. Textbooks targeted primarily to students should be additionally evaluated for their value as teaching and learning resources. Reviews should be constructive, and while reviewers are free to express their opinion, they should be careful to avoid unwarranted bias. Book reviews should be no more than 800 words (including title and references) and can include up to five references. Authors may suggest a short title for the review. This should be followed by the following information: title of the book, authors/editors, publisher, publication date, price, hbk/pbk, number of pages, and ISBN. Figures or tables are not permissible. Authors of reviews must confirm that they have not agreed (and will not offer) to review the same book for another journal, and must declare any potential conflict of interest. Completed book reviews should be submitted to BIOTROPICA through Manuscript Central ( All book reviews will be subject


A Special Section is a group of 6–8 original papers focusing on a central topic. The Section should appeal to a broad international audience from all tropical regions. An introductory chapter is required and a synthesis chapter is optional, but strongly encouraged. Papers can be single- or multiple-authored and can present original syntheses or reviews, conceptual advances, or data papers. We discourage multiple papers by the same authors.

Process for approval and publication of a Special Section

A proposal for the Special section should be submitted to the Editor-in-Chief, Emilio Bruna (see format below). Guest Editors are encouraged to discuss their ideas first with the Editor before submitting a proposal. The proposal will be reviewed by the Biotropica Editorial Board and comments will be collated and delivered to the Guest Editor. Topics should be compelling, broad in scope, present new syntheses or comparisons, and should cover a wide range of geographic areas. The author base should be diverse, include a balance of genders, and should include residents of the tropical regions covered.

Once the Special Section is approved, manuscripts should be submitted by individual authors via Manuscript Central and designated as Special Section papers. Authors should be given clear deadlines for submission of manuscripts and revisions. All manuscripts (including introductory and synthesis papers) must be peer-reviewed by at least two reviewers in addition to at least one Guest Editor, who will serve as Subject Editor for that manuscript. Members of the Biotropica Editorial Board can also serve as reviewers. The Editor-in-Chief makes all final decisions regarding acceptance of manuscripts. Regular papers currently in press that are clearly linked thematically to the Special Section may be included, pending approval of the Guest Editors.

Guest Editors will work with the Editor-in-Chief to define the time line and to plan the layout and cover photo, and to gather all needed documents for publication (figures, tables, copyright forms).

Page Charges for Special Sections

All Special Section papers must pay page charges at a cost of US$60 per page. This applies regardless of authors’ ATBC membership, and no exceptions can be made for developing country status or other reasons. Authors should be aware that Special Sections require Biotropica to cover the cost for the extra pages that are incurred by a Special Section, hence the necessity to apply page charges. The proposers of a Special Section must confirm their agreement that all page charges will be covered, and assume responsibility for doing so.

Proposals for Special Sections

If you would like to proposed a special section, please fill out this form and return it to the editorial office.


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.

For authors signing the copyright transfer agreement

If the OnlineOpen option is not selected the corresponding author will be presented with the copyright transfer agreement (CTA) to sign. The terms and conditions of the CTA can be previewed in the samples associated with the Copyright FAQs below: CTA Terms and Conditions

For authors choosing OnlineOpen

If the OnlineOpen option is selected the corresponding author will have a choice of the following Creative Commons License Open Access Agreements (OAA):

Creative Commons Attribution License OAA

Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License OAA

Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial -NoDerivs License OAA

To preview the terms and conditions of these open access agreements please visit the Copyright FAQs hosted on Wiley Author Services and visit

If you select the OnlineOpen option and your research is funded by The Wellcome Trust and members of the Research Councils UK (RCUK) you will be given the opportunity to publish your article under a CC-BY license supporting you in complying with Wellcome Trust and Research Councils UK requirements. For more information on this policy and the Journal’s compliant self-archiving policy please visit: