Ecosphere Author Guidelines

Types of contributions

Peer review process

Submission requirements

Manuscript format

Accepted manuscript requirements

Supporting information



Copyright and Open Access Agreement

Publication fees

Page proofs and publication

New Submissions

If you have not already done so, determine whether there is a profile for you in the ScholarOne database by putting your e-mail address in the “E-mail Address” field under “Password Help” and clicking on "Go". A profile for you may be in the database even if you were never previously an author of a manuscript submitted to any of the ESA journals. Please do not create a new account if you are already in the database. If you suspect the profile in the database is based on an old e-mail address, please contact to update your record. If you have verified that there is no profile for you, you can create a profile at the submission site by clicking on the “Register here” link under “New User?” Please study the site’s Instructions and Forms using the link at the top of the screen and then let the system guide you through the submission process. Online help is available to you at all times during the process.

Author Profiles

We expect authors to update their profile information in ScholarOne in order to keep the editors and staff informed of changes in their contact information. The corresponding author will be notified of receipt of the manuscript. Before submitting a manuscript, please be sure your profile information is current. (In ScholarOne, click on your name in the upper right and then on “Address” in the drop-down menu. Add an alternate e-mail address in the “Primary CC Address” field if you would like to insure receipt of e-mail communication.) Please request that your co-authors update their profiles as well. Please do not put in a co-author's email address (or that of another colleague) as your secondary email address.

Types of contributions

Articles typically follow the format of a traditional research paper (Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusions). Although there are no page limits, concise writing is expected. All parts of a manuscript, including appendices, are to be included as part of the manuscript file for review and are published with the article in Wiley’s Online Library as Supporting Information.

Concepts and Theory papers conceptually advance the field of ecology. These papers are expected to go well beyond works being reviewed to include discussion of new theories and conceptual frameworks that lead to new research directions and resolutions of old questions. These papers may be primarily conceptual, supported by published data, and without the presentation of new data.

Synthesis and Integration papers are intended to provide a synthesis of a field or subfield AND an integration of those findings. These papers can begin by reviewing a topic but then the papers must go beyond the review to provide a new synthesis and blending of those ideas and data in new ways.

Innovative Viewpoints are thought-provoking articles that advocate important future directions, new ideas, or emerging frameworks. Viewpoints can also revisit historic ideas with a modern twist. Novel, cutting-edge linkages between ecology and other disciplines that have the potential to transform science or impact policy are encouraged. Papers submitted as Innovative Viewpoints should be defended with citations or data sufficient to warrant publication. Authors interested in submitting Innovative Viewpoints should first e-mail a one-paragraph proposal (<300 words) to the Editor-in-Chief. All submissions will be peer-reviewed and subject to the same publication cost as other manuscript types.

Emerging Technologies papers are those reporting on the use of a wide array of methods, approaches, and technologies to address ecological questions or test hypothesis. These technologies can include, but are not limited to, applications of machine learning (e.g., computer visualization, acoustic recognition, game and decision theory), robotics and devices (e.g., location tracking, wireless sensor networks), and integrated software solutions (including human–computer interactions and visualization engines). Papers may also report on new developments or refinements in traditional technologies, such as statistical methods, simulation models, and image analysis.

Comments and Replies. A Comment points out errors of fact or interpretation in an article that previously appeared in a published issue of an ESA journal, although we will consider Comments on papers published in other journals. Submissions should not contain more than 16 manuscript pages. Be sure to refer to the special procedures that have been established for preparation and review of comments and responses to comments. No abstract is necessary.

Special Features are intended to address various aspects of a theme that are likely to be of broad interest to ecologists. Ideally, a feature should inform a large audience about an unfamiliar topic or an area in which there has been considerable recent progress or it can reexamine an issue in new ways. An advantage to an online journal is that papers in a Special Feature do not need to be published in the same issue. The papers will be linked using on-line key words. A typical Special Feature will consist of 4–10 papers. A synthesis paper may be used to summarize key findings across papers and identify new research directions. Proposals for Special Features should be addressed to the Editor-in-Chief prior to the submission of manuscripts.

Peer Review Process

  1. The author submits a manuscript via ScholarOne.
  2. The Peer Review Specialist (PRS) checks that the manuscript conforms to editorial policies and publication criteria and then assigns it to the Editor-in-Chief (EiC) or the Associate Editor-in-Chief (AEiC), depending on the subject matter.
  3. The EiC/AEiC evaluates the manuscript and decides whether to review or reject without review. If the former, the EiC/AEiC assigns the paper to a Subject-matter Editor (SME). If the latter, steps 7 and 8 are performed.
  4. The SME reviews the article and may reject the paper without further review (steps 7 and 8) or suggest potential Reviewers. (Ecosphere submissions are generally evaluated by at least two external, anonymous Reviewers.)
  5. The Reviewers review the manuscript and make comments and a recommendation (generally expected within 3 weeks).
  6. Once the Reviewers have submitted their reports, the SME reviews the comments and makes a decision: either (a) Accept, (b) Revise, (c) Reject with resubmission invitation, or (d) Reject.
  7. The SME drafts a decision letter that includes the review comments as appropriate. The SME may provide additional suggestions for revision. The draft is submitted for proofreading by ESA staff.
  8. The decision letter is proofread, finalized, and forwarded to the corresponding author.
  9. The authors revise the manuscript and resubmit via ScholarOne as soon as possible. If the revised manuscript has not been submitted within three months and an extension has not been requested, it will be assumed that the article has been withdrawn. (Authors can request an extension by contacting the editorial office at before the three-month revision deadline.)
  10. The PRS assigns the revised manuscript to the SME.
  11. The SME reviews the revised manuscript and either requests further reviews (repeating steps 4-8 above) or makes a decision (steps 7 and 8 above).
  12. The steps may be repeated as many times as necessary until a final decision is rendered. In the event the paper is accepted for publication, authors are provided a final opportunity to prepare the files related to the article for page production and publication.

Submission Requirements

Original Submission. Provide information describing the extent to which data or text in the manuscript have been used in other works that are published, in press, submitted, or soon to be submitted elsewhere. Enter this information in the section of the submission form titled “Dual Publication.”

No Prior Publication. ESA journals require that all submissions be original contributions, with full disclosure of any possible redundant publication made in the cover letter accompanying the submission. Under certain circumstances use of the same data in two or more publications is appropriate and beneficial. This may be particularly true when new information allows reinterpretation of previously published data. In many cases, however, duplicate publication is wasteful of journal space and user resources. Although it is the responsibility of the Editor-in-Chief or the Subject-matter Editor to decide whether specific duplications are useful or wasteful, these decisions are generally based on information supplied by the authors. ESA journals have adopted a policy to facilitate this process. At the time of submission, authors must provide information describing the extent to which data or text in the manuscript have been used in other papers that are published, in press, submitted, or soon-to-be submitted elsewhere. In cases of overlap with other publications or submissions, authors should include copies of said papers along with the current submission.

Sometimes it is difficult to assess whether a work has truly been published previously. If a previous work was published in a journal or book that is already available in libraries or is available for libraries to purchase, we expect no more than one-third overlap between the previous publication and the submission to ESA. Reference should be made to any closely related previous publication, especially if a table or figure is reproduced. If any data in a manuscript have been included in other published or unpublished manuscripts, the legend of each table or illustration reporting such data must cite those manuscripts. When in doubt, an author should supply copies of the previous publication to be available to the Subject-matter Editor and reviewers, who would then be asked to consider this matter. Authors are responsible for obtaining permission to reproduce previously published material.

A posting of a manuscript or thesis on an author’s personal or home institution’s website or FTP site generally will not be considered previous publication. Similarly, posting of a “working paper” in an institutional repository is allowed so long as at least one author is affiliated with that institution. Submitted manuscripts may have been posted to a preprint archive if the papers in the archive are not peer-reviewed and provided that a link to the published article will be added if the manuscript is accepted by an ESA journal. Authors should disclose whether such a posting has been made at the time of submission. If a manuscript is available as part of a digital publication such as a journal, technical series, or some other entity to which a library can subscribe (especially if that publication has an ISSN or ISBN), we will consider that the manuscript has been published and is thus not eligible for consideration by Ecosphere.

Resubmission Policy. If the manuscript (or an earlier version of the manuscript) has been previously submitted to the same or another ESA journal, provide the previous manuscript number; explain how the current version differs from the previously submitted version and why it should be considered now for possible publication in Ecosphere. There are no guarantees that the paper will be considered for publication. Enter this information in the section titled “Previously Submitted to Ecosphere” in the ScholarOne submission site.

Adherence to the ESA Code of Ethics. Authors should adhere to the ESA Code of Ethics; it deals with authorship, plagiarism, fraud, unauthorized use of data, copyrights, errors, confidentiality, intellectual property, attribution, willful delay of publication, and conflicts of interest, as well as other matters that are not specific to the publication process. The following general principles will be adhered to in dealing with situations in which an author's ethics are in question.

Manuscripts submitted to ESA journals are confidential. We will not normally reveal whether an author has submitted a manuscript to us or what a particular manuscript might contain, unless the authors ask that we do so. To do otherwise would be to compromise the ability of an author to obtain proper credit for his or her discoveries.

In the event that a private individual reports to us concerns about the ethics of a particular author, we will take note of such concerns and watch for any manuscript by that author that might represent questionable ethical practices.

If ESA has reason to doubt the ethical practices of an author of a manuscript, either because of concern raised by an editor or because of information obtained from some other source, the Editor-in-Chief will process the manuscript in accordance with normal practice, but will simultaneously refer the matter to the ESA Professional Ethics Committee for review. The Committee will conduct whatever investigation it feels appropriate, taking care not to inadvertently damage the reputation of any of the parties concerned. The Editor-in-Chief will receive the advice of the Committee and decide upon a course of action in consultation with the Executive Director of the Society.

Animal welfare. Authors using experimental vertebrate animals must certify that their care was in accordance with institutional guidelines.

Endangered species. Authors must certify that research involving endangered species was conducted in conformance with all applicable laws.

Data Policy. Although public data availability is not strictly a requirement for manuscripts published in Ecosphere at this time, any information on materials, methods, or data necessary to verify the conclusions of the research reported must be made available to the Subject-matter Editor upon request.

By depositing data prior to publication of a manuscript, a permanent link can be made to and from the published paper. Wiley Online Library can be used for this purpose, but only if the material is submitted with the original submission for peer review. Data may be deposited in other depositories following acceptance and prior to publication.

Authors are strongly encouraged to deposit the data underlying their manuscripts in the Dryad data repository or Figshare, both of which provide flexible platforms for a wide variety of digital data. Other permanent depositories include GenBank for DNA sequences, ORNL-DAAC for biogeochemical data, Knowledge Network for Biocomplexity: KNB and the LTER Data Portal, as well as institutional repositories such as that at the University of Illinois.

Advantages of depositing data in a permanent repository include:

* Visibility: Making your data available online (and linking it to the publication) provides a new pathway for others to learn about your work.

* Citability: All data you deposit will receive a persistent, resolvable identifier that can be used in a citation as well as listed on your CV.

* Workload reduction: If you receive individual requests for data, you can simply direct them to files in the archive.

* Preservation: Your data files will be permanently and safely archived in perpetuity.

* Impact: You will garner citations through the reuse of your data.

Authors are responsible for any fees charged by external data repositories.

Include computer code. Authors must disclose software and statistical procedures used in the manuscript. Any novel computer code used for models, simulations, or statistical analyses reported in the manuscript must be described. Such code may be part of the submission and become permanently archived supporting information to an accepted manuscript. Computer code should be sufficiently documented so that reviewers and readers can reconstruct simulations, models, or analyses as reported in the submission and ultimate publication. Executable code is not sufficient; source code should be provided. Sufficient metadata should accompany the code so that others can readily use the files and interpret output.

English. Authors whose native language is not English are encouraged to enlist the aid of a native English-speaking colleague to check the manuscript for correct usage and clarity prior to submission. The Wiley English Language Editing Service can help to ensure the paper is clearly written in standard, scientific English language and is available for a fee on the submission page in ScholarOne. No guarantees are associated with the use of these services.

Agreement to pay the publication fee. Authors must agree to pay the publication fee. All accepted papers, including Special Feature articles, are subject to publication fees: $1250/article for ESA members, $1500/article for nonmembers. The discount is based on the membership status of the corresponding author before acceptance of the article for publication. No grants are available.

Manuscript Format

For purposes of review, submitted manuscripts need not adhere to journal style in every detail; however, preparation of final revisions of manuscripts accepted for publication will be easier if ESA style is followed from the outset. Be sure to abide by the following minimum formatting requirements for manuscripts submitted for review:

* The manuscript text and literature cited must be double-spaced at three lines per inch (12 lines/10 cm) in 12-point Times New Roman font. Choose the "double-spacing" option for line spacing. Leave a 1-inch (2.54-cm) margin on all sides of each page. Page size should be Letter 8 ½" by 11". Do not justify the right margin.

* Assemble the parts of the manuscript in this order: title page, abstract, key words, text, acknowledgments, literature cited, tables, figures, appendices. Please include the figure legend below each figure. Appendices should be merged into the main manuscript file for the convenience of reviewers and editors.

* See tips on preparing figures (see New Submissions Checklist: Figures below).

* Number all pages (including tables and figures), starting with the title page.

* All pages of text must have line numbers.

Allowable File Formats

It is preferable for all elements of the manuscript to be included in one main document for review purposes, if possible, but the ScholarOne submission system allows submission of separate files, most of which are then assembled into one document, ready for review.

Manuscript files: may be submitted in Word (.doc or .docx),  LaTeX (.tex) or .pdf format. If submitting in LaTeX, please also upload a PDF version, with fonts included, no T3 fonts.

Tables: may be submitted in .doc, .docx, .tex, or .pdf format (tables must be included in the manuscript file).

Figures/Images: may be submitted in .doc, .docx, .jpg, .tif, .eps, .ps, .pdf, .ppt, or .ai format. It is preferable though for figures to be included in the main document for review purposes.

Appendices: may be submitted in .doc, .docx, .pdf, or .html format.

Video appendices should be submitted in .mpg or .mov format.

Data/Code: Supporting information can include, but is not limited to, original and derived data sets, source code for simulation models, and details of and software for unusual statistical analyses. Data and code must be submitted in a zipped file. A metadata document in Word or plain text format that describes the data or code in the zip file should be included with the submission and uploaded separately from the zip file.

New Submission Checklist: Figures


Figure Preparation Guidelines and Tips for Peer Review Submission.

Are all figures included in your submission in an inclusive PDF/Word document/LaTeX suite?

Do all figures have an accompanying legend that describes the content and explains any abbreviations or symbols?

Are all figures cited in the main text of your article in numeric order?

Are all words or symbols appearing in your figures large enough for easy reading?


Accepted Manuscript Requirements

Manuscript format


• Assemble the parts of the manuscript in this order: title page, abstract, key words, text, acknowledgments, literature cited, tables, figure legends.

• Number all pages in the main article document consecutively.

• Figure images must be provided in separate files. Each numbered figure file must contain the entire figure image (e.g., parts A and B of Fig. 1 should not be supplied in separate files). Figures that require more than one PDF page should be numbered separately, with individual figure legends.

• Appendices, data, and code should be in separate files.

Language usage

All papers must be in English. Use American spellings (e.g., behavior, not behaviour). The CBE Style Manual, Fifth Edition, is recommended for details of style.

Organization of the Paper

Title Page

Title.—Titles should be concise, informative, tell what the paper is about and what it found. It should contain key words necessary for digital search and retrieval methods. Avoid vague declarations (e.g., "effects of ..."); strive for information content (e.g., “fungi kill tardigrades"). The maximum length is 120 characters, including spaces. Do not include the authority for taxonomic names in the title or in the abstract. Titles may not include numerical series designations. Use sentence case: the first letter of the first word in the title is capitalized and all other words, except for proper nouns, are lowercase.

List of Authors.—For each author, give the relevant address—usually the institutional affiliation of the author during the period when all or most of the research was done. Author names should be keyed by superscripted number to the appropriate affiliation. Each author’s present address, if different from that at the time the work reported was done, should appear as a numbered footnote at the bottom of the title page. Key the corresponding author’s e-mail address with a dagger symbol.

Individuals listed as authors should have played a significant role in designing or carrying out the research, writing the manuscript, or providing extensive guidance on the execution of the project. Those whose role was limited to providing materials, financial support, or review should be recognized in the Acknowledgments section.

Corresponding author: One author (and only one author) should be designated as the corresponding author, and his or her e-mail address should be included on the manuscript title page. This information will be published with the article if accepted. However, a corresponding author during the production of the article does not need to be the same as that after publication. In this case, enter the corresponding author’s information in ScholarOne for that during production; the corresponding author after publication should be listed on the title page.


The abstract should

  • contain no more than 350 words
  • explain to the general reader why the research was done and why the results should be viewed as important
  • include very brief statements of the purpose of the research, the methods used, scientific names of the organisms studied, results, and significant conclusions
  • contain descriptions of the experiment in the past tense

Abstracts should not include:

  • references to taxonomic authorities and statistical results (e.g., P values, R2 values)
  • references to literature citations
  • long lists of common methods or discursive explanations of what you set out to accomplish
  • abbreviations, if possible
  • footnotes

The primary purpose of an abstract is to allow readers to determine quickly and easily the content and results of a paper.

Key Words

  • There should be no more than 12 key words or phrases.
  • All items should appear in alphabetical order and should be run in as a paragraph.
  • Items should be separated by semicolons, with a period after the last item.
  • Words from the title of the article may be included in the key words.
  • Each key word should be useful as an entry point for a literature search.
  •  Avoid unhinged adjectives.

Body of the Article

If appropriate, organize your article in sections labeled Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusions. If the nature of your research requires a different organization, specify the level of each section heading (first-order head, second-order head, etc.) by using unique type styles (italics, boldface) consistently for each heading in the hierarchy. Note that Ecosphere page style allows for only four heading levels in the hierarchy.




First order

Materials and Methods

Initial caps, flush left

Second order

Species description

Sentence case, italic, flush left

Third order

Nestling survival

Sentence case, italic, run into paragraph

Fourth order

1. Reproductive factors

Numbered, sentence case, italic, run into paragraph


A brief Introduction describing the paper's significance should be intelligible to the general reader of the journal. The Introduction should state the reason for doing the research, the nature of the questions or hypotheses under consideration, and essential background. The Introduction is not a place for a lengthy review of the topic!

The Methods section should provide sufficient information to allow someone to repeat your work. A clear description of your experimental design, sampling procedures, and statistical procedures is especially important. Do not describe commonplace statistical tests in Methods, but allude to them briefly in Results. If you list a product (e.g., animal food, analytical device), supply the name and location of the manufacturer. Give the model number for equipment specified. Supply complete citations, including author (or editor), title, year, publisher and version number, for computer software mentioned in your article.

Results generally should be stated concisely and without interpretation, though in complex studies modest interpretation of individual parts can provide context helpful for understanding subsequent parts.

The Discussion should explain the significance of the results. Distinguish factual results from speculation and interpretation. Avoid excessive review.


Acknowledgments, including funding information, should appear in a brief statement at the end of the body of the text. Acknowledgments of specific author contributions to the paper should appear here. Use full names, rather than initials only, in the acknowledgments section.

Literature Cited (and other citations)

Avoid excessive citations; cite only essential sources. Before submitting the manuscript, check each citation in the text against the Literature Cited to see that they match exactly. Delete citations if they are not actually cited in the article. See the examples below for proper citation format.

The Literature Cited section of a paper may refer only to permanently archived material. If a reasonably diligent scholar 20 years in the future could not be assured of finding a particular source, it would not be acceptable as literature cited. Because Internet sources typically have a short half-life, they may not be included in Literature Cited sections unless there is reasonable evidence of permanency (e.g., Dryad). As a general rule, any publication that has an ISSN or ISBN is acceptable, but should be referenced by name (the URL may be added, but is not essential).

Do not list abstracts, manuscripts in review, or unpublished material in the Literature Cited. These materials may be listed in the text as personal observations (by an author of the present paper), personal communications (information from others), public communications (information in published abstracts or information publicly distributed over the Internet but not permanently archived), unpublished manuscript, or unpublished data. The author(s) is expected to verify for all "personal communications" that the authority cited agrees to the use of his or her name. For public communications, the reference should include date printed or accessed, the title of the source, and basic access information, such as URL that resolves to the information cited, not simply the organization’s home page.


Examples of proper citation format

1) Journal article: author, date, title, journal name, volume, pages:

Hargreaves, A. L., L. D. Harder, and S. D. Johnson. 2010. Native pollen thieves reduce the reproductive success of a hermaphroditic plant, Aloe maculata. Ecology 91:1693–1703.

Include a doi only if volume and page range/article numbers are not known.


2) Book: author, date, title, publisher (name, city, state, country); do not include the total number of pages in the book:

Sokal, R., and F. Rohlf. 1995. Biometry: the principles and practice of statistics in biological research. Third edition. W. H. Freeman, New York, New York, USA.

3) Article in book: author, date, title, pages, editor[s], book title, publisher (name, city, state, country):

Witman, J. D., and P. K. Dayton. 2001. Rocky subtidal communities. Pages 339–366 in M. D. Bertness, S. D. Gaines, and M. E. Hay, editors. Marine community ecology. Sinauer, Sunderland, Massachusetts, USA.

4) Article in symposium: author, date, title, pages, editor, book title, series title, number in series, publisher (name, city, state, country):

Tate, C. M., T. F. Cuffney, G. McMahon, E. M. P. Giddings, J. F. Coles, and H. Zappia. 2005. Use of an urban intensity index to assess urban effects on streams in three contrasting environmental settings. Pages 291–315 in L. R. Brown, R. M. Hughes, R. Gray, and M. R. Meador, editors. Effects of urbanization on stream ecosystems. Symposium 47. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

5) Article in proceedings of a conference or symposium: author, date, title, pages, editor, conference title, publisher (name, city, state, country):

Wang, H. V., and R. S. Chapman. 1995. Application of vertical turbulence closure schemes in the Chesapeake Bay circulation model: a comparative study. Pages 283–297 in Malcolm L. Spaulding and Ralph T. Cheng, editors. Proceedings of the 4th International Conference, San Diego, California, October 26–28, 1995. American Society of Civil Engineers, New York, New York, USA.

6) Dissertation or thesis: author, date, title, Dissertation [for Ph.D.] or Thesis [for M.S., M.A.], university (name, city, state, country):

Nelson, W. A. 2004. Competition in structured zooplankton populations: coupling population genetics and dynamics using theoretical and experimental approaches. Dissertation. University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

7) Government or institutional monograph [separate publication]: author, date, title, type and number of publication, publisher (agency or institution name, city, state, country):

Graham, R. T., S. McCaffrey, and T. B. Jain. 2004. Science basis for changing forest structure to modify wildfire behavior and severity. RMRS GTR-120. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA.

8) Computer program: author, date, title, publisher (name, city, state, country):

R Development Core Team. 2007. R: a language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria.

9) Database: author, date, title, URL (note angle brackets and lack of punctuation):

State of New South Wales, Department of Primary Industries. 2005. Fishing and aquaculture database: Caulerpa taxifolia.

10) Documents that are published online: author, date, title, URL (note lack of ending punctuation).

Spratt, J. 2002. A history of natural and anthropogenic fire disturbance in central Florida. Katharine Ordway Preserve, Melrose, Florida, USA.

11) Work formally accepted, awaiting publication. Include in press at the end of citation if the year of publication is known or in place of the year of publication if it is unknown:

Tylianakis, J. M., E. Laliberte, A. Nielsen, and J. Bascompte. In press. Conservation of speceis interaction networks. Biological Conservation. doi: 10.1016/j.biocon. 2009.12.004

Turner, D. C. In press. The vampire bat: a field study in behavior and ecology. Revised edition. Tropical Science Center, San Jose, Costa Rica.

Travis, J. 1994. The vampire bat. In J. Smith, editor. Bats. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Illinois, USA, in press.


Citations to material authored by an institution using an abbreviation:

• Cite in text by the abbreviation, e.g., “(USDA ARS 2015)”; the citation in the list of literature cited should begin as “USDA ARS [U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service]. 2015.”


Citation order

• Alphabetize citations by the names of first authors on a letter-by-letter basis; a particle, definite article, or preposition that is part of the name should precede the family name (e.g., van der Hoof).

• Alphabetize citations with multiple authors by the last names of second and succeeding authors.

• Two or more entries by the same author(s) should be ordered chronologically:

Smith, G. C. 1980.

Smith, G. C., S. T. Baker, and A. B. Jones. 1972.

Smith, G. C., S. T. Baker, and A. B. Jones. 1978.

Smith, G. C., and A. B. Jones. 1969.

• Alphabetize institution abbreviations letter by letter: USDA should precede USEPA.



• Final versions of accepted manuscripts must have “true” tables in an editable format, created by using the “Insert Table” function in Microsoft Word, for example, rather than using tabs or spaces. In Microsoft Word you should select “Insert”, “Table”, then specify the number of rows and columns and fill in the individual cells.

• Tables should be numbered in the order of their reference in the text.

• Start each table on a separate page.

• Each table must fit on an 8.5″ × 11″ page in portrait view in 10-point Times New Roman type, width-wise. Tables may run to subsequent pages in the vertical direction only. Wider tables (those that fit only on a landscape-oriented page) or tables with sections with varying numbers of columns must be divided into separate tables by the author (i.e., tables must have the same number of columns from the first row after the headings to the bottom row of the entire table).

• Avoid merged columns or merged rows within the body of the table (below column headings) as the typeset table style allows only for strict grid alignment. Repeat information in table cells as necessary.

• Provide a short descriptive title at the top of each table; rather than simply repeating the labels on columns and rows of the table, the title should reveal the point of grouping certain data in the table.

• A table should contain only one set of column headings. New headings within the body of the table are not allowed.

• All columns must have headings (even if the category is obvious, such as “Site” or “Year”). Avoid excessive wordiness in column headings. Abbreviate where possible and define abbreviations in footnotes. Include units where necessary. Footnote excessive information.

• Do not format column headings in turned position (180°) to fit.

• Statistical and other details should be provided as footnotes or as a Note at the foot of the table rather than appearing in the title or within columns of unrelated data.

• Tables cannot contain colors, shading, or graphics. If such enhancements are needed, the information should be formatted as a figure.

• Footnote symbols should be used in this order: †, ‡, §, ¶, #, ||, and then doubled symbols. Footnote symbols are ordered by first occurrence within the table, assuming that tables are read across each row from top to bottom (i.e., any occurrence in the first row precedes any occurrence in the next row, including row headings). Authors should ensure that footnote symbols within the table match those below the Notes section.

• Levels of significance should be expressed as *P < 0.05, **P < 0.01, ***P < 0.001. Use asterisks only for this application.



Figures should be submitted in the following formats as separate files for accepted manuscripts:



• EPS (vector graphics)

• PDF (with fonts embedded)



• AI


Files should adhere to the following resolution requirements:

• 300 dpi for black and white or color line art (bar graphs, charts, etc.)

• 300 dpi for photographs

• 300 dpi for combination images (photographs that also contain line art, text, or thin lines)


General Appearance:

• Number each figure with Arabic numerals in order of their citation in text. Label panels of multipart figures with consecutive letters of the alphabet. Place the panel label so that it does not interfere with the data representation but is within the overall image outline.

• We suggest using a colorblind-friendly palette (e.g., blue-orange rather than red-green).

• Color figures are preferred.

• Avoid small dotted lines, thin lines, multiple levels of gray shading, and stippling. For bar graphs, use color, black, white, striped, or hatched designs, but only if they are sufficiently widely spaced to appear distinct from one another at a size that will fit on the PDF page.

• Define abbreviations in the figure legend, not on the figure itself.

• Symbol keys and scale bars should appear on the figures, not in the figure legends.

• Maps generally should include longitude and latitude, an indication of compass direction, and a thin outer line as a border. Make lines on maps bold and distinct while eliminating information not pertinent to the subject.

Size and Proportion:

• Figure sizes should be no more than 6 inches wide and 7 inches high. When possible, submit figures in the size you wish to have them appear on the PDF page. Many illustrations, except some maps and very wide graphs, can be 1-column width (3 inches) at a resolution of 300 dpi.

• The font size of the x- and y-axis numbers should be slightly smaller than the axis label. A consistent font (Helvetica is preferred) should be used throughout the set of figures in a single manuscript. Use boldface type only if required for journal style. Use sentence case (i.e., only capitalize the first word) for axis titles, labels, and legends.


Figure Preparation Guidelines and Tips for Post-Acceptance Page Production.  Read the full guidelines [here].

Are all figures included in your submission as separate image files?  Tip! Single, original, unconverted files are best.

Do all figures have an accompanying legend in the main manuscript file that describes the content and explains any abbreviations or symbols?  Tip!  Describe symbols with words in the legend rather than using similar symbols to those in the figure (e.g., “Open circles represent 2014 data; solid circles represent 2015 data.”)

Are all figures cited in the main text of your article?  Tip!  Ensure all figures are numbered in the order in which they are mentioned in the manuscript.

Are all words or symbols appearing in your figures large enough for easy reading?  Tip!  Closely follow the preferred resolution guidelines for best presentation.

Tip!  Use the preferred file types for best image quality.

Is each individual figure file less than 10 MB?  Tips!  Remove excess white space surrounding figures for lower file size.  Use the LZW compression option when saving TIFF files to reduce file size without affecting image quality. Save black and white images as grayscale instead of RGB or CMYK.

Were figures created between 80 and 180 mm in width and using 200-300 DPI?  Tip!  Higher quality figures are more useful to readers.

Are all figure files named with their appropriate figure number?  Tip!  Use only figure numbers in the file names to ensure correct typesetting (i.e., Figure 1).


Supporting Information

Digital appendices, data, and code to be posted in conjunction with the online version of the article must be provided with your original submission or revision for peer review and editorial approval. New material cannot be added after acceptance of your article. This information will be linked to the manuscript in the online journal, but is not copyedited or typeset.  All supporting information should be prepared for publication in the Wiley Online Library and labeled with the prefix "S"; for example, Appendix S1 (for the first appendix), Appendix S2, and so on. Within each appendix, for references to the material within the text, provide the appendix number as well as specific table or figure references (e.g., “Appendix S1: Table S3” or “Appendix S2: Fig. S1”).

 Image table

File naming ECS

Metadata file: In addition to the data or code files themselves, as in an R script file, the author(s) must submit a Word document detailing the following: (1) authors, title, and journal, of main manuscript, (2) a brief title for the data set or code file(s) that is descriptive of the content but restricted to one phrase or sentence, (3) the authors of the data code along with their full addresses, (4) a list of the files in the data set or code, and (5) a description of how the files are to be used.

Best practices for computer code and statistics: Authors must disclose software and statistical procedures used in the manuscript and provide any novel computer code used for models, simulations, or statistical analyses. With respect to computer code and scripts (e.g., in R), authors should adhere to the following best practices when possible:

  1.  Computer source code and scripts should either be submitted as supporting information with the manuscript or should be made publicly available in a code repository such as Github or Bitbucket unless there are justifiable reasons (e.g., third party intellectual property) not to do so. If the code is submitted to a public code repository, a persistent identifier such as a DOI for the specific revision of the software is needed; e.g., see . Scripts can normally be provided as readable text that can be opened in a plain text editor; examples of suitable formats include .txt, .csv, .R, .r, .m.
  2. Provide the version number of the software used in the manuscript (e.g., R version 3.2.3). Optionally, authors may also list the make and version of the platform on which the code was run and version numbers of any other software packages that a successful code run would depend upon.
  3. Include documentation (i.e., metadata) and comments that are sufficient to enable interpretation and reuse of the code including specific instructions for how to rerun analyses presented in the paper. [Follow good coding/scripting practices and use meaningful file and variable names in the code whenever possible (e.g., "Sevilleta_2015_community_phylogeny.txt" instead of "mydata.txt" and “plant_height” instead of “ht”). Although optional, authors may wish to provide example code and expected output to better enable re-use and to support simple testing that the code is running as desired.]
  4. Authors are also encouraged to include an explicit license for code—ideally one that is a permissive, free software license that places very minimal restrictions on re-use such as the MIT License or other Open Source Initiative (OSI)-approved licenses—or to place the code in the public domain.



Identification of the objects of study

Early in the manuscript, identify the type(s) of organism or ecosystem you studied; e.g., "Cornus florida L. (flowering dogwood), a small deciduous tree." Avoid descriptive terms that may be familiar only to specialists. Provide the scientific names of all organisms. Common names may be used when convenient after stating the scientific names.


Genus names must be spelled out the first time they are used, but may be abbreviated to a single letter thereafter if no confusion will result. If the article contains several different scientific names, it is a good idea to spell out the generic name the first time it appears in each major section. Species names must always be spelled out in text; space limitations in tables or figures may require use of a "code," such as the first letter of the genus and species name; these letters should be in italics, like the original scientific name.


Check carefully the spelling of all scientific nomenclature.


Because usage of scientific names may vary between investigators and can be ambiguous when out of context, conformance to a comprehensive nomenclatural standard is highly desirable. Suggestions for nomenclature standards are available for commonly studied groups.


Symbols and abbreviations


• Define all symbols, abbreviations, and acronyms the first time they are used.

• It is preferable to present one-letter abbreviations for all variables in italic type, but use roman, nonitalic type for multi-letter variable abbreviations (e.g., “df,” “SE,” “F,” and “P”). Use boldface roman, nonitalic type to denote matrices and vectors. For single-letter subscripts that are variables, use italic type; for subscripts that are merely identifying tags, use roman, nonitalic type (e.g., “Tmax” and “Tmin”).

• Use true symbols from the Times New Roman or Symbol fonts (in Word) to guarantee their proper representation in the typeset page (e.g., a minus sign, en dash, or em dash rather than a hyphen where appropriate; a degree sign rather than a superscripted letter o; a multiplication symbol rather than an asterisk [*] or a keyboard x). 


Units and numbers

• Consult Standard Practice for Use of the International System of Units (ASTM Standard E-380-93) for guidance on unit conversions, style, and usage. An abbreviated version may be downloaded from the ASTM website.

• Units of measure should conform to the International System of Units (SI). If measurements were made in other units, include the SI equivalents.

• When preparing text and figures, note in particular that SI requires the use of the terms “mass” or “force” rather than “weight.”

• When one unit appears in a denominator, use the solidus (e.g., g/m2); for two or more units in a denominator, use negative exponents (e.g., g∙m−2∙d−1 ).

• Use a capital L as the abbreviation for liter.

• Spell out numbers <10. Use commas (not spaces) in numbers composed of more than four digits.

• Use leading zeroes with all numbers <1, including significance values (e.g., P < 0.001).

• Units should follow numbers where appropriate (e.g., “The density was 16 plants/plot” rather than “The plants per plot was 16.”)


Statistical analyses and data presentation

Authors are free to interpret statistical analyses as they see fit. The author, however, needs to provide the reader with information sufficient for an independent assessment of the analysis. Thus, the assumptions and the model underlying any statistical analysis must be clearly stated, and the presentation of results must be sufficiently detailed. Sampling designs, experimental designs, data collection protocols, precision of measurements, sampling units, and sample sizes must be succinctly described. Reported statistics usually include the sample size and some measure of their precision (standard error [SE] or specified confidence interval [CI]), except where this would interfere with graphical clarity. The specific statistical procedure must always be stated. Unusual statistical procedures need to be explained in sufficient detail, including references if appropriate, for the reader to reconstruct the analysis. If a software product was used, complete citation should be given, including version number. When reporting results, actual P values are preferred. For more information consult the guidelines on "Statistical analysis and data presentation" prepared by the Statistical Ecology Section of ESA.


Any novel computer code used for models, simulations, or statistical analyses reported in the manuscript must be described. Such code must be part of the submission and will become permanently archived supporting information to an accepted manuscript. Computer code should be sufficiently documented so that reviewers and readers can reconstruct simulations, models, or analyses as reported in the submission and ultimate publication. Executable code is not sufficient; source code must be provided. Sufficient metadata should accompany the code so that others can readily use the files and interpret output. Such metadata should be provided in a short text file or Word doc. The metadata file must include the author(s) name(s), address(es), file name, and a description of how the file(s) can be used..



Authors are responsible for obtaining permission to reprint a previously published table, figure, or extract of more than 250 words and for submitting written permissions with their manuscript. Acknowledgment alone is not sufficient; if in doubt, obtain permission. Permissions should be submitted quickly after your paper is accepted to avoid any delays in publication. Authors should exercise customary professional courtesy in acknowledging intellectual properties such as patents.


Copyright and Open Access Agreement

Authors retain the copyright for their manuscript.  All article published in Ecosphere are open-access articles distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. 

If your paper is accepted, the author identified as being the corresponding author for the paper will be presented with the option to sign an open-access agreement (on behalf of all co-authors) to make articles available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY). For more information on the terms and conditions of this license please visit:

The open-access agreement is administered electronically. The author identified as the 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. Information about the Terms of Use and the underlying Legal Code can be found at


Publication Fees

All articles published by Ecosphere are fully open access: immediately freely available to read, download, and share. To cover the cost of publishing, Ecosphere charges a publication fee. If your manuscript is accepted, you will be given the option of paying by credit card or invoice. The Ecosphere publication charge is $1500 USD for non-society members and $1250 USD if the Contact Author is a Member of the Ecological Society of America (ESA).

If the Contact Author is not currently an ESA member at the time of ORIGINAL submission but wishes to apply, the membership application form is available at: To qualify for the discount after joining the society, please supply your membership number, discount code, the manuscript ID number and manuscript title by email to the membership administrator at BEFORE your manuscript is accepted for publication.

Geographic Discount

A discount on the publication fee will automatically be given to corresponding authors from the Wiley Open Access Discount Country List:

Page Proofs and Publication

To expedite publication, page proofs will be provided electronically. Approximately two weeks after the manuscript is received by the publisher, the corresponding author will be notified via email that the page proofs have been posted to an online proofing system. Please return your proofs as quickly as possible, preferably within 48 hours of receipt. Late return may cause a delay in publication or cause an article to be published without the author's review of the typeset copy. Please check text, tables, legends, and references carefully, but do not use the proof stage to make revisions or substantial rewrite to the article as this causes delays in production for all articles. We recommend that authors closely proofread the article for errors introduced in the typesetting and paging of the content.

Authors are able to track their manuscript through the production process by registering for Author Services. See for additional information.



Production Questions

Production questions may be directed to:

Isis Ng Futterman

Production Editor, Wiley