Biological Reviews

Publisher: Cambridge Philosophical Society, Wiley

Current impact factor: 9.67

Impact Factor Rankings

2016 Impact Factor Available summer 2017
2014 / 2015 Impact Factor 9.67
2013 Impact Factor 9.79
2012 Impact Factor 10.256
2011 Impact Factor 9.067
2010 Impact Factor 6.574
2009 Impact Factor 6.625
2008 Impact Factor 8.755
2007 Impact Factor 8.833
2006 Impact Factor 5.565
2005 Impact Factor 6.038
2004 Impact Factor 5.325
2003 Impact Factor 4.925
2002 Impact Factor 5.73
2001 Impact Factor 5.303
1996 Impact Factor 3.243
1995 Impact Factor 2.429
1994 Impact Factor 3.129
1993 Impact Factor 2.655
1992 Impact Factor 2.938

Impact factor over time

Impact factor

Additional details

5-year impact 11.20
Cited half-life 8.80
Immediacy index 2.59
Eigenfactor 0.02
Article influence 4.49
Other titles Biological reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society (Online), Biological reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, Biological reviews, Biol. rev
ISSN 1469-185X
OCLC 41882975
Material type Periodical, Internet resource
Document type Internet Resource, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details


  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author cannot archive a post-print version
  • Restrictions
    • 12 months embargo
  • Conditions
    • Some journals have separate policies, please check with each journal directly
    • On author's personal website, institutional repositories, arXiv, AgEcon, PhilPapers, PubMed Central, RePEc or Social Science Research Network
    • Author's pre-print may not be updated with Publisher's Version/PDF
    • Author's pre-print must acknowledge acceptance for publication
    • Non-Commercial
    • Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used
    • Publisher source must be acknowledged with citation
    • Must link to publisher version with set statement (see policy)
    • If OnlineOpen is available, BBSRC, EPSRC, MRC, NERC and STFC authors, may self-archive after 12 months
    • If OnlineOpen is available, AHRC and ESRC authors, may self-archive after 24 months
    • Publisher last contacted on 07/08/2014
    • This policy is an exception to the default policies of 'Wiley'
  • Classification

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Peroxisomes are ubiquitous eukaryotic organelles with the primary role of breaking down very long- and branched-chain fatty acids for subsequent β-oxidation in the mitochondrion. Like mitochondria, peroxisomes are major sites for oxygen utilization and potential contributors to cellular oxidative stress. The accumulation of oxidatively damaged proteins, which often develop into inclusion bodies (of oxidized, aggregated, and cross-linked proteins) within both mitochondria and peroxisomes, results in loss of organelle function that may contribute to the aging process. Both organelles possess an isoform of the Lon protease that is responsible for degrading proteins damaged by oxidation. While the importance of mitochondrial Lon (LonP1) in relation to oxidative stress and aging has been established, little is known regarding the role of LonP2 and aging-related changes in the peroxisome. Recently, peroxisome dysfunction has been associated with aging-related diseases indicating that peroxisome maintenance is a critical component of 'healthy aging'. Although mitochondria and peroxisomes are both needed for fatty acid metabolism, little work has focused on understanding the relationship between these two organelles including how age-dependent changes in one organelle may be detrimental for the other. Herein, we summarize findings that establish proteolytic degradation of damaged proteins by the Lon protease as a vital mechanism to maintain protein homeostasis within the peroxisome. Due to the metabolic coordination between peroxisomes and mitochondria, understanding the role of Lon in the aging peroxisome may help to elucidate cellular causes for both peroxisome and mitochondrial dysfunction.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · Biological Reviews
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Given the pressures on land to produce ever more food, doing it 'sustainably' is growing in importance. However, 'sustainable agriculture' is complex to define, not least because agriculture impacts in many different ways and it is not clear how different aspects of sustainability may be in synergy or trade off against each other. We conducted a meta-analysis to assess the relationships between multiple measures of sustainability using novel analytical methods, based around defining the efficiency frontier in the relationship between variables, as well as using correlation analysis. We define 20 grouped variables of agriculture's impact (e.g. on soil, greenhouse gas, water, biodiversity) and find evidence of both strong positive and negative correlations between them. Analysis based on the efficiency frontier suggests that trade-offs can be 'softened' by exploiting the natural between-study variation that arises from a combination of farming best practice and context. Nonetheless, the literature provides strong evidence of the relationship between yields and the negative externalities created by farming across a range of measures.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · Biological Reviews
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The Modern Synthesis enshrined natural selection as the driver of adaptive evolution mainly by eliminating competing explanations. One of the eliminated competitors was Lamarckism, particularly 'mutational Lamarckism', a hypothesis according to which mutations may be directed towards producing phenotypes that improve the performance of the organism in a particular environment. Contrary to this hypothesis, the Modern Synthesis' view claims that mutations are 'random', even though the precise meaning of the term was never formally explicated. Current evidence seemingly in favour of the existence of legitimate cases of mutational Lamarckism has revitalized interest to seek a clarification of the meaning of the term 'random' in this context. Herein we analyse previous definitions of random mutations and show that they are deficient in three ways: either they are too wide, or too narrow, or dyadic. We argue that the linguistic expression 'random mutation' refers to a triadic rather than a dyadic relationship, propose a new, formal and precise definition based on the probabilistic concept of conditional independence, and finally provide examples of its application. One important consequence of our analysis is that the genomic specificity of the mutational process is not a necessary condition for the existence of mutational Lamarckism.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Biological Reviews
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The effects of sex hormones on immune function have received much attention, especially following the proposal of the immunocompetence handicap hypothesis. Many studies, both experimental and correlational, have been conducted to test the relationship between immune function and the sex hormones testosterone in males and oestrogen in females. However, the results are mixed. We conducted four cross-species meta-analyses to investigate the relationship between sex hormones and immune function: (i) the effect of testosterone manipulation on immune function in males, (ii) the correlation between circulating testosterone level and immune function in males, (iii) the effect of oestrogen manipulation on immune function in females, and (iv) the correlation between circulating oestrogen level and immune function in females. The results from the experimental studies showed that testosterone had a medium-sized immunosuppressive effect on immune function. The effect of oestrogen, on the other hand, depended on the immune measure used. Oestrogen suppressed cell-mediated immune function while reducing parasite loads. The overall correlation (meta-analytic relationship) between circulating sex hormone level and immune function was not statistically significant for either testosterone or oestrogen despite the power of meta-analysis. These results suggest that correlational studies have limited value for testing the effects of sex hormones on immune function. We found little evidence of publication bias in the four data sets using indirect tests. There was a weak and positive relationship between year of publication and effect size for experimental studies of testosterone that became non-significant after we controlled for castration and immune measure, suggesting that the temporal trend was due to changes in these moderators over time. Graphical analyses suggest that the temporal trend was due to an increased use of cytokine measures across time. We found substantial heterogeneity in effect sizes, except in correlational studies of testosterone, even after we accounted for the relevant random and fixed factors. In conclusion, our results provide good evidence that testosterone suppresses immune function and that the effect of oestrogen varies depending on the immune measure used.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Biological Reviews
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    ABSTRACT: The evolution of vertebral fusion is a poorly understood phenomenon that results in the loss of mobility between sequential vertebrae. Non-pathological fusion of the anterior cervical vertebrae has evolved independently in numerous extant and extinct mammals and reptiles, suggesting that the formation of a 'syncervical' is an adaptation that arose to confer biomechanical advantage(s) in these lineages. We review syncervical anatomy and evolution in a broad phylogenetic context for the first time and provide a comprehensive summary of proposed adaptive hypotheses. The syncervical generally consists of two vertebrae (e.g. hornbills, porcupines, dolphins) but can include fusion of seven cervical vertebrae in some cetaceans. Based on the ecologies of taxa with this trait, cervical fusion most often occurs in fossorial and pelagic taxa. In fossorial taxa, the syncervical likely increases the out-lever force during head-lift digging. In cetaceans and ricochetal rodents, the syncervical may stabilize the head and neck during locomotion, although considerable variation exists in its composition without apparent variability in locomotion. Alternatively, the highly reduced cervical vertebral centra may require fusion to prevent mechanical failure of the vertebrae. In birds, the syncervical of hornbills may have evolved in response to their unique casque-butting behaviour, or due to increased head mass. The general correlation between ecological traits and the presence of a syncervical in extant taxa allows more accurate interpretation of extinct animals that also exhibit this unique trait. For example, syncervicals evolved independently in several groups of marine reptiles and may have functioned to stabilize the head at the craniocervical joint during pelagic locomotion, as in cetaceans. Overall, the origin and function of fused cervical vertebrae is poorly understood, emphasizing the need for future comparative biomechanical studies interpreted in an evolutionary context.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Biological Reviews
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    ABSTRACT: A hallmark assumption of traditional approaches to disease modelling is that individuals within a given population mix uniformly and at random. However, this assumption does not always hold true; contact heterogeneity or preferential associations can have a substantial impact on the duration, size, and dynamics of epidemics. Contact heterogeneity has been readily adopted in epidemiological studies of humans, but has been less studied in wildlife. While contact network studies are becoming more common for wildlife, their methodologies, fundamental assumptions, host species, and parasites vary widely. The goal of this article is to review how contact networks have been used to study macro- and microparasite transmission in wildlife. The review will: (i) explain why contact heterogeneity is relevant for wildlife populations; (ii) explore theoretical and applied questions that contact networks have been used to answer; (iii) give an overview of unresolved methodological issues; and (iv) suggest improvements and future directions for contact network studies in wildlife.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Biological Reviews
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    ABSTRACT: A mechanistic understanding of seed movement and survival is important both for the development of theoretical models of plant population dynamics, spatial spread, and community assembly, and for the conservation and management of plant communities under global change. While models of wind-borne seed dispersal have advanced rapidly over the past two decades, models for animal-mediated dispersal have failed to make similar progress due to their dependence on interspecific interactions and complex, context-dependent behaviours. In this review, we synthesize the literature on seed dispersal and consumption by scatter-hoarding, granivorous rodents and outline a strategy for development of a general mechanistic seed-fate model in these systems. Our review decomposes seed dispersal and survival into six distinct sub-processes (exposure, harvest, allocation, preparation, placement, and recovery), and identifies nine intermediate (latent) variables that link physical state variables (e.g. seed and animal traits, habitat structure) to decisions regarding seed allocation to hoarding or consumption, cache placement and management, and deployment of radicle-pruning or embryo excision behaviours. We also highlight specific areas where research on these intermediate relationships is needed to improve our mechanistic understanding of scatter-hoarder behaviour. Finally, we outline a strategy to combine detailed studies on individual functional relationships with seed-tracking experiments in an iterative, hierarchical Bayesian framework to construct, refine, and test mechanistic models for context-dependent, scatter-hoarder-mediated seed fate.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Biological Reviews
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    ABSTRACT: Fitness results from an optimal balance between survival, mating success and fecundity. The interactions between these three components of fitness vary depending on the selective context, from positive covariation between them, to antagonistic pleiotropic relationships when fitness increases in one reduce the fitness of others. Therefore, elucidating the routes through which selection shapes life history and phenotypic adaptations via these fitness components is of primary significance to understanding ecological and evolutionary dynamics. However, while the fitness components mediated by natural (survival) and sexual (mating success) selection have been debated extensively from most possible perspectives, fecundity selection remains considerably less studied. Here, we review the theoretical basis, evidence and implications of fecundity selection as a driver of sex-specific adaptive evolution. Based on accumulating literature on the life-history, phenotypic and ecological aspects of fecundity, we (i) suggest a re-arrangement of the concepts of fecundity, whereby we coin the term 'transient fecundity' to refer to brood size per reproductive episode, while 'annual' and 'lifetime fecundity' should not be used interchangeably with 'transient fecundity' as they represent different life-history parameters; (ii) provide a generalized re-definition of the concept of fecundity selection as a mechanism that encompasses any traits that influence fecundity in any direction (from high to low) and in either sex; (iii) review the (macro)ecological basis of fecundity selection (e.g. ecological pressures that influence predictable spatial variation in fecundity); (iv) suggest that most ecological theories of fecundity selection should be tested in organisms other than birds; (v) argue that the longstanding fecundity selection hypothesis of female-biased sexual size dimorphism (SSD) has gained inconsistent support, that strong fecundity selection does not necessarily drive female-biased SSD, and that this form of SSD can be driven by other selective pressures; and (vi) discuss cases in which fecundity selection operates on males. This conceptual analysis of the theory of fecundity selection promises to help illuminate one of the central components of fitness and its contribution to adaptive evolution.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Biological Reviews
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    ABSTRACT: Nematode-trapping fungi (NTF) are potential biological control agents against plant- and animal-parasitic nematodes. These fungi produce diverse trapping devices (traps) to capture, kill, and digest nematodes as food sources. Most NTF can live as both saprophytes and parasites. Traps are not only the weapons that NTF use to capture and infect nematodes, but also an important indicator of their switch from a saprophytic to a predacious lifestyle. Formation of traps and their numbers are closely related to the nematicidal activity of NTF, so the mechanisms governing trap formation have become a focus of research on NTF. Recently, much progress has been made in our understanding of trap formation, evolution, and the genome, proteome and transcriptome of NTF. Here we provide a comprehensive overview of recent advances in research on traps of NTF. Various inducers of trap formation, trap development, structural properties and evolution of traps are summarized and discussed. We specifically discuss the latest studies of NTF based on genomic, proteomic and transcriptomic analyses.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Biological Reviews