Manuscript submission information

Manuscripts must be submitted online.

After screening for compliance with the Submission Preparation Checklist, Editors forward the manuscript to a Subject Editor who will handle the review process.

For the review process, manuscripts can be submitted as single file (*.doc, *.txt or *.rtf) with figures and tables embedded. If a manuscript is accepted for publication, separate original files for text, the figures and tables must be uploaded.

Electronic Supplementary Material (ESM) must be submitted in a separate file that does not exceed 30 MB in size. In exceptional cases (e.g. videos) that are larger, you should contact the Editors.


Preparation of manuscripts

  • Articles generally should not exceed 10 printed pages (corresponding to ca. 35 manuscript pages) including references, figures and tables.
  • Short communications are limited to max. 5 printed pages (corresponding to ca. 17 manuscript pages) including references, figures and tables.
  • Reviews should not exceed 15 printed pages (corresponding to ca. 50 manuscript pages) including references, figures, and tables.
  • Field stations are limited to max. 3 printed pages (corresponding to ca. 10 manuscript pages).
  • All manuscripts must be written in English. The use of active voice is recommended.
  • All manuscripts must be double-spaced throughout, including the references. Use page numbers and consecutive line numbers, except for tables and figures.
  • Use Times New Roman or Calibri with a font size 12.
  • Names of genera and species must be in italics. Common names should not be capitalized. At first mentioning of a species name, spell out the genus name. Thereafter, abbreviate the genus name except at the beginning of a sentence.
  • In the text, numbers up to nine are written out except if followed by a unit (e.g., eight individuals, but 8 m²), numbers equal or larger than 10 are always provided as numerals.
  • Use correct units. E.g. “sampling quadrats of 5 m x 5 m” or “sampling quadrats of 5 x 5 m²”, but not “sampling quadrats of 5 x 5 m”. Use “mass” instead of “weight”, unless you really measured weight (which is very rarely the case).
  • For all calculated means and medians use only the number of decimals that corresponds to the measuring accuracy.
  • Use the following format for dates: 01-Jun-2018.
  • Footnotes should be avoided.


Manuscript structure

1. Articles

  • Title page

Use concise and informative titles with a maximum of 250 characters.

List all authors after the title. Use superscripts to refer to authors’ affiliations. List the affiliation where the research has been done and eventually the current address if different from this affiliation. Use * to refer to the e-mail address of the corresponding author. Shared first or senior authorship or equal contributions by authors can be indicated in a separate footnote.

List the affiliations and current addresses of all authors.

  • Abstract

The length of abstracts should not exceed 300 words. The abstract should include the research question, key results and methodological information, and the major conclusions. Do not use references in the abstract and undefined abbreviations. Write in a style accessible to non-specialists. Remember that the quality of the abstract may decide whether a reader continues or stops reading your article.

A second abstract in another language, generally French, Spanish or Portuguese, can be provided. Contact the Editors if you would like to publish a second abstract in a different language (only languages that can be printed in western fonts are possible). The same criteria for length and content apply as for the English abstract.

  • Key words

Provide up to six key words below the abstract. Do not repeat terms already used in the title. Consider that the title and the key words are crucial for detecting your article through search engines.

  • Introduction

The Introduction should provide the specific theoretical background of the study, but should avoid textbook-like general introductions or overviews. Hypotheses and predictions should be stated in the Introduction, not in the Methods or Results sections.

  • Methods

Include concise methodological information (study site, study organisms, data collection and experimental methods, statistical design) so that your study could potentially be replicated.

Provide a statement at the end of the Methods section that you adhered to the legal requirements of the country/countries where your research has been carried out and provide research permit numbers along with the name of the institution(s) that issued the permits.

  • Results

State results explicitly, do not write e.g. “results are shown in Fig. 1”.

  • Discussion

Be concise and also refer to findings that might contrast with your findings. The Discussion may end with separate Conclusions.

  • Acknowledgments

Include persons that contributed to the work but did not qualify for authorship. If your work has been accepted for publication, you should also acknowledge reviewers as a courtesy, even though you may not agree with the opinion expressed in their reviews. Acknowledge funding organizations and provide the grant numbers.


2. Short communications

Short communications are not structured into Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion, but the content of the manuscript should follow this order. No abstract is required, but keywords should be provided. Formatting of references in the text and in the reference list is the same as for Articles.


3. Reviews

Depending on the type of review, the manuscript can be structured like articles, but can also follow a different structure. An abstract and keyword should be provided. Formatting of references in the text and in the reference list is the same as for Articles.


4. Field station profile

Articles published in this rubric should include the following information (in this order):

  • Name of field station
  • Geographic location: country, region, geographic coordinates (degrees and UTM)
  • Habitat(s)
  • If available: references or links to lists of fauna and flora
  • Infrastructure and fees
  • Legal requirements (e.g. research permits, export permits for biological material etc.)
  • Key research and five selected publications from research at the station (reference formatting as for articles)
  • Link to website of the station (if available)
  • Contact information

Up to three figures representing the station, habitat and/or fauna/flora are allowed.

Provide the name of at least two scientists who can provide a reference for the station.



  • In-text references

In the text references should be ordered alphabetically according to the (first) author’s surname, e.g. (Fittkau 1965, Kalko & Handley 2001). If reference is made to more than one article from the same author, list them chronologically, e.g. (Kalko 1995, 1998). For articles with three or more authors the first authors’ surname followed by et al. should be used (Kalko et al. 1999).  

  • Reference list

List all references quoted in the text in alphabetical order according to the first author’s name at the end of the manuscript. If there are two or more references from the same author(s) and the same year, add a, b etc. after the year to distinguish between references, following the order as they are referred to in the text. Only published work or work accepted for publication should be listed. Personal communications, personal observations and unpublished data should be referred to as such in the text.

Format your references according to the following examples:

Journal articles

Myster RA (2010) Flooding gradient and treefall gap interactive effects on plant community structure, richness, and alpha diversity in the Peruvian Amazon. Ecotropica 16:43-49

Parolin P, Wittmann F, Ferreira LV (2013) Fruit and seed dispersal in Amazonian floodplain forests – a review. Ecotropica 19:15-32

Book chapters

Terborgh J, Pitman N, Silman M, Schichter H, Núñez P (2002) Maintenance of tree diversity in tropical forests. In: Levey DJ, Silva WR, Galetti M (eds) Seed dispersal and frugivory: ecology, evolution and conservation. CABI, Wallingford, pp 1-17


Corlett RT, Primack RB (2011) Tropical rain forests. An ecological and biogeographical comparison, 2nd edn. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford


Valenta K (2014) Primate-plant interactions in the tropical dry forests of northwestern Madagascar. PhD dissertation, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

Websites (2017) Climate: Moyobamba. Last access: 29 May 2017



Present each table on a separate page with a heading (title) above the table. All tables must be quoted in the text and numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals.

Do not use frames, horizontal or vertical separation lines. Separate columns with tab stops.

Footnotes to tables should use superscript lower-case letters


Figures and figure legends

Provide all figure legends on a separate page preceding the figures, in the order as figures are quoted in the text. 

Present each figure on a separate page with a figure number. All figures must be quoted in the text and numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals.

When preparing your figures, make sure that text, symbols etc. are legible even after size reduction (use at least font size 16).


Electronic supplementary material

This may include files in the following formats: *.doc, *.docx, *.rtf, *.txt, *.pdf, *.xls, *.xlsx, *.jpg, *.mpg, *.mp3, *.mp4, *.avi, *.mov