Aims and Scope

Functional Ecology publishes high-impact papers that enable a mechanistic understanding of ecological pattern and process from the organismic to the ecosystem scale.  Because of the multifaceted nature of this challenge, papers can be based on a wide range of approaches.  Thus, manuscripts may vary from physiological, genetics, life-history, and behavioural perspectives for organismal studies to community and biogeochemical studies when the goal is to understand ecosystem and larger scale ecological phenomena.  We believe that the diverse nature of our journal is a strength, not a weakness, and we are open-minded about the variety of data, research approaches and types of studies that we publish.  Certain key areas will continue to be emphasized: studies that integrate genomics with ecology, studies that examine how key aspects of physiology (e.g., stress) impact the ecology of animals and plants, or vice versa, and how evolution shapes interactions among function and ecological traits.  Ecology has increasingly moved towards the realization that organismal traits and activities are vital for understanding community dynamics and ecosystem processes, particularly in response to the rapid global changes occurring in earth’s environment, and Functional Ecology aims to publish such integrative papers.

Read the journal Author Guidelines for more details.

Why publish in Functional Ecology?

Functional Ecology is a leading journal in organismal ecology. It has a dynamic international editorial board led by Editors Chuck Fox, Duncan Irschick, Alan Knapp and Ken Thompson. The journal is aimed at a broad readership of ecologists interested in work that explores in depth the links between the development of organisms and their relationship with nature. If your work is focused on the roles, or functions, that species play in the community or ecosystem in which they occur then Functional Ecology is a good journal for your work. Our time to first decision is fast at 39 days and we provide our authors with thoughtful consideration of their work.

The 2014 Functional Ecology ISI® Impact Factor is 4.8 placing the journal 15th in the ranking of 145 ecology journals.

We have an efficient and author-friendly web-based system for submission and review on ScholarOne Manuscripts.  To access the journal on this site please visit:

Indexed / Abstracted in

  • Cambridge Scientific Abstracts
  • BIOBASE/Current Awareness in Biological Sciences
  • Current Contents
  • Science Citation Index


Search the Site


Site Adverts

Virtual issue: Early Career Research
Virtual issue: Invasives
Special Feature:Plant-Pollinator Interactions
Plant-Pollinator Interactions
Ecology of Exercise
Advances and Challenges in the Study of Ecological Networks
Virtual Issue: Towards a mechanistic understanding of global change ecology
30 years of Functional Ecology
Join today for a year's free membership