Integrative and Comparative Biology (Integr Comp Biol)

Publisher: Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, Oxford University Press (OUP)

Journal description

Integrative and Comparative Biology (ICB), formerly American Zoologist, is one of the most highly respected and cited journals in the field of biology. The journal's primary focus is to integrate the varying disciplines in this broad field, while maintaining the highest scientific quality. ICB's peer-reviewed symposia provide first class syntheses of the top research in a field, perfect for classes or a quick update. ICB also publishes book reviews, reports, and special bulletins.

Current impact factor: 2.93

Impact Factor Rankings

2015 Impact Factor Available summer 2016
2014 Impact Factor 2.929
2013 Impact Factor 2.969
2012 Impact Factor 3.023
2011 Impact Factor 2.447
2010 Impact Factor 2.626
2009 Impact Factor 1.979
2008 Impact Factor 2.74
2007 Impact Factor 2.66
2006 Impact Factor 2.439
2005 Impact Factor 2.232
2004 Impact Factor 1.866
2003 Impact Factor 1.083

Impact factor over time

Impact factor

Additional details

5-year impact 3.66
Cited half-life 8.00
Immediacy index 1.09
Eigenfactor 0.01
Article influence 1.36
Website Integrative and Comparative Biology website
Other titles Integrative and comparative biology (Online), Integrative and comparative biology
ISSN 1557-7023
OCLC 50649976
Material type Document, Periodical, Internet resource
Document type Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details

Oxford University Press (OUP)

  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author cannot archive a post-print version
  • Restrictions
    • 12 months embargo
  • Conditions
    • Pre-print can only be posted prior to acceptance
    • Pre-print must be accompanied by set statement (see link)
    • Pre-print must not be replaced with post-print, instead a link to published version with amended set statement should be made
    • Pre-print on author's personal website, employer website, free public server or pre-prints in subject area
    • Post-print in Institutional repositories or Central repositories
    • Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used
    • Published source must be acknowledged
    • Must link to publisher version
    • Set phrase to accompany archived copy (see policy)
    • Eligible authors may deposit in OpenDepot
    • The publisher will deposit in PubMed Central on behalf of NIH authors
    • Publisher last contacted on 19/02/2015
    • This policy is an exception to the default policies of 'Oxford University Press (OUP)'
  • Classification
    ​ yellow

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: An animal's movement speed affects all behaviors and underlies the intensity of an activity, the time it takes to complete it, and the probability of successfully completing it, but which factors determine how fast or slow an animal chooses to move? Despite the critical importance of an animal's choice of speed (hereafter designated as "speed-choice"), we still lack a framework for understanding and predicting how fast animals should move in nature. In this article, we develop a framework for predicting speed that is applicable to any animal-including humans-performing any behavior where choice of speed occurs. To inspire new research in this area, we (1) detail the main factors likely to affect speed-choice, including organismal constraints (i.e., energetic, physiological, and biomechanical) and environmental constraints (i.e., predation intensity and abiotic factors); (2) discuss the value of optimal foraging theory in developing models of speed-choice; and (3) describe how optimality models might be integrated with the range of potential organismal and environmental constraints to predict speed. We show that by utilizing optimality theory it is possible to provide quantitative predictions of optimal speeds across different ecological contexts. However, the usefulness of any predictive models is still entirely dependent on being able to provide relevant mathematical functions to insert into such models. We still lack basic knowledge about how an animal's speed affects its motor control, maneuverability, observational skills, and vulnerability to predators. Studies exploring these gaps in knowledge will help facilitate the field of optimal performance and allow us to adequately parameterize models predicting the speed-choice of animals, which represents one of the most basic of all behavioral decisions.
    Integrative and Comparative Biology 10/2015; 55(6). DOI:10.1093/icb/icv106
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Speed of movement is fundamental to animal behavior-defining the intensity of a task, the time needed to complete it, and the likelihood of success-but how does an animal decide how fast to move? Most studies of animal performance measure maximum capabilities, but animals rarely move at their maximum in the wild. It was the goal of our symposium to develop a conceptual framework to explore the choices of speed in nature. A major difference between our approach and previous work is our move toward understanding optimal rather than maximal speeds. In the following series of papers, we provide a starting point for future work on animal movement speeds, including a conceptual framework, a simple optimality model, an evolutionary context, and an exploration of the various biomechanical and energetic constraints on speed. By applying a cross-disciplinary approach to the study of the choice of speed-as we have done here-we can reveal much about the way animals use habitats, interact with conspecifics, avoid predators, obtain food, and negotiate human-modified landscapes.
    Integrative and Comparative Biology 10/2015; DOI:10.1093/icb/icv107
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    ABSTRACT: This article provides models and code for numerically simulating muscle-fluid-structure interactions (FSIs). This work was presented as part of the symposium on Leading Students and Faculty to Quantitative Biology through Active Learning at the society-wide meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology in 2015. Muscle mechanics and simple mathematical models to describe the forces generated by muscular contractions are introduced in most biomechanics and physiology courses. Often, however, the models are derived for simplifying cases such as isometric or isotonic contractions. In this article, we present a simple model of the force generated through active contraction of muscles. The muscles' forces are then used to drive the motion of flexible structures immersed in a viscous fluid. An example of an elastic band immersed in a fluid is first presented to illustrate a fully-coupled FSI in the absence of any external driving forces. In the second example, we present a valveless tube with model muscles that drive the contraction of the tube. We provide a brief overview of the numerical method used to generate these results. We also include as Supplementary Material a MATLAB code to generate these results. The code was written for flexibility so as to be easily modified to many other biological applications for educational purposes. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions please email:
    Integrative and Comparative Biology 09/2015; DOI:10.1093/icb/icv102
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Regeneration is a developmental process that allows an organism to re-grow a lost body part. Historically, the most studied aspect of limb regeneration across Pancrustacea is its morphological basis and its dependence on successful molting. Although there are distinct morphological differences in regeneration processes between insects and crustaceans, in both groups the phenomenon is initiated via formation of a blastema, followed by proliferation, dedifferentiation, and redifferentiation of blastemal cells to generate a functional limb. In recent years, with the availability of sequence data and tools to manipulate gene expression, the emphasis of this field has shifted toward the genetic basis of limb regeneration. Among insects this focus is on genes that are known to be required during the development of legs in embryos. RNA interference-mediated functional studies conducted during regeneration of imaginal discs of Drosophila melanogaster, and nymphal legs of Gryllus bimaculatus reveal that several conserved pathways and transcription factors (Wingless, Decapentaplegic, Hedgehog, Dachshund) are required for successful regeneration. In contrast to studies on the regeneration of insects' limbs, work on crustaceans has focused on the hormonal basis of the re-growth of limbs. Regeneration in decapods, like Uca pugilator and Gecarcinus lateralis, occurs in discrete phases of growth in tandem with the stages of the molt cycle. Recent studies have shown that ecdysteroid hormone signaling is necessary for blastemal proliferation. Although the current research emphases of limb regeneration in insect and crustacean are fairly distinct, the results generated by functional studies of a wide array of regeneration genes will be beneficial for generating testable regeneration models.
    Integrative and Comparative Biology 08/2015; DOI:10.1093/icb/icv101
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The broad aim of this symposium and set of associated papers is to motivate the use of inquiry-based, active-learning teaching techniques in undergraduate quantitative biology courses. Practical information, resources, and ready-to-use classroom exercises relevant to physicists, mathematicians, biologists, and engineers are presented. These resources can be used to address the lack of preparation of college students in STEM fields entering the workforce by providing experience working on interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary problems in mathematical biology in a group setting. Such approaches can also indirectly help attract and retain under-represented students who benefit the most from "non-traditional" learning styles and strategies, including inquiry-based, collaborative, and active learning. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions please email:
    Integrative and Comparative Biology 08/2015; DOI:10.1093/icb/icv098
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    ABSTRACT: Experiencing the thrill of an original scientific discovery can be transformative to students unsure about becoming a scientist, yet few courses offer authentic research experiences. Increasingly, cutting-edge discoveries require an interdisciplinary approach not offered in current departmental-based courses. Here, we describe a one-semester, learning laboratory course on organismal biomechanics offered at our large research university that enables interdisciplinary teams of students from biology and engineering to grow intellectually, collaborate effectively, and make original discoveries. To attain this goal, we avoid traditional "cookbook" laboratories by training 20 students to use a dozen research stations. Teams of five students rotate to a new station each week where a professor, graduate student, and/or team member assists in the use of equipment, guides students through stages of critical thinking, encourages interdisciplinary collaboration, and moves them toward authentic discovery. Weekly discussion sections that involve the entire class offer exchange of discipline-specific knowledge, advice on experimental design, methods of collecting and analyzing data, a statistics primer, and best practices for writing and presenting scientific papers. The building of skills in concert with weekly guided inquiry facilitates original discovery via a final research project that can be presented at a national meeting or published in a scientific journal. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions please email:
    Integrative and Comparative Biology 08/2015; DOI:10.1093/icb/icv095
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    ABSTRACT: Extensive similarities in the molecular architecture of the crustacean immune system to that of insects give credence to the current view that the Hexapoda, including Insecta, arose within the clade Pancrustacea. The crustacean immune system is mediated largely by hemocytes, relying on suites of pattern recognition receptors, effector functions, and signaling pathways that parallel those of insects. In crustaceans, as in insects, the cardiovascular system facilitates movement of hemocytes and delivery of soluble immune factors, thereby supporting immune surveillance and defense along with other physiological functions such as transport of nutrients, wastes, and hormones. Crustaceans also rely heavily on their cardiovascular systems to mediate gas exchange; insects are less reliant on internal circulation for this function. Among the largest crustaceans, the decapods have developed a condensed heart and a highly arteriolized cardiovascular system that supports the metabolic demands of their often large body size. However, recent studies indicate that mounting an immune response can impair gas exchange and metabolism in their highly developed vascular system. When circulating hemocytes detect the presence of potential pathogens, they aggregate rapidly with each other and with the pathogen. These growing aggregates can become trapped in the microvasculature of the gill where they are melanized and may be eliminated at the next molt. Prior to molting, trapped aggregates of hemocytes also can impair hemolymph flow and oxygenation at the gill. Small shifts to anaerobic metabolism only partially compensate for this decrease in oxygen uptake. The resulting metabolic depression is likely to impact other energy-expensive cellular processes and whole-animal performance. For crustaceans that often live in microbially-rich, but oxygen-poor aquatic environments, there appear to be distinct tradeoffs, based on the gill's multiple roles in respiration and immunity. Insects have developed a separate tracheal system for the delivery of oxygen to tissues, so this particular tradeoff between oxygen transport and immune function is avoided. Few studies in crustaceans or insects have tested whether mounting an immune response might impact other functions of the cardiovascular system or alter integrity of the gut, respiratory, and reproductive epithelia where processes of the attack on pathogens, defense by the host, and physiological functions play out. Such tradeoffs might be fruitfully addressed by capitalizing on the ease of molecular and genetic manipulation in insects. Given the extensive similarities between the insect and the crustacean immune systems, such models of epithelial infection could benefit our understanding of the physiological consequences of immune defense in all of the Pancrustacea. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions please email:
    Integrative and Comparative Biology 07/2015; 55(5). DOI:10.1093/icb/icv094
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: When animals swim in aquatic habitats, the water through which they move is usually flowing. Therefore, an important part of understanding the physics of how animals swim in nature is determining how they interact with the fluctuating turbulent water currents in their environment. We addressed this issue using microscopic larvae of invertebrates in "fouling communities" growing on docks and ships to ask how swimming affects the transport of larvae between moving water and surfaces from which they disperse and onto which they recruit. Field measurements of the motion of water over fouling communities were used to design realistic turbulent wavy flow in a laboratory wave-flume over early-stage fouling communities. Fine-scale measurements of rapidly-varying water-velocity fields were made using particle-image velocimetry, and of dye-concentration fields (analog for chemical cues from the substratum) were made using planar laser-induced fluorescence. We used individual-based models of larvae that were swimming, passively sinking, passively rising, or were passive and neutrally buoyant to determine how their trajectories were affected by their motion through the water, rotation by local shear, and transport by ambient flow. Swimmers moved up and down in the turbulent flow more than did neutrally buoyant larvae. Although more of the passive sinkers landed on substrata below them, and more passive risers on surfaces above, swimming was the best strategy for landing on surfaces if their location was not predictable (as is true for fouling communities). When larvae moved within 5 mm of surfaces below them, passive sinkers and neutrally-buoyant larvae landed on the substratum, whereas many of the swimmers were carried away, suggesting that settling larvae should stop swimming as they near a surface. Swimming and passively-rising larvae were best at escaping from a surface below them, as precompetent larvae must do to disperse away. Velocities, vorticities, and odor-concentrations encountered by larvae fluctuated rapidly, with peaks much higher than mean values. Encounters with concentrations of odor or with vorticities above threshold increased as larvae neared the substratum. Although microscopic organisms swim slowly, their locomotory behavior can affect where they are transported by the movement of ambient water as well as the signals they encounter when they move within a few centimeters of surfaces. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions please email:
    Integrative and Comparative Biology 07/2015; 55(4). DOI:10.1093/icb/icv092