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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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Marine functional connectivity

Techniques used to study marine functional connectivity.
Image: Audrey Darnaude

Marine functional connectivity
Marine functional connectivity (MFC) refers to the exchange of biomass, individuals, genes, and species through the collective movements of all marine organisms during their lifetime. Despite advances in techniques that measure or infer the distributions and spatial dynamics of marine species, further research in this emerging field is urgently required to meet global sustainable development goals by 2030. Extensive and comprehensive knowledge on MFC is needed to (1) fully understand the relationships between marine communities and their heterogeneous habitats, (2) accurately quantify the fluxes of matter and energy at sea and at the land–sea interface, and (3) forecast how environmental drivers may change the services provided by marine habitats and species. Thus, advancing MFC research is pivotal for improving management and conservation strategies, at sea and in littoral areas.


This Theme Section aims to highlight the range of approaches and scales for studying MFC, and to illustrate the diversity of ecosystems and taxa investigated worldwide. We encourage contributions that advance knowledge of MFC, provide an understanding of how MFC underpins ecosystem functioning, and illustrate how MFC results can be applied to better manage marine and coastal habitats or species. As examples, applied techniques may include recent developments in biologging, genetics, biomarkers, and biophysical modelling, applied either independently or in combination.


If you wish to contribute your work to this Theme Section, please select the “MFC” Section when you submit your manuscript online and mention in your cover letter that you are interested to have your work included in this Theme Section.


For questions, contact Christine Paetzold (Managing Editor) .


Organizers: Audrey Darnaude, Federica Costantini, Ewan Hunter, Yael Teff-Seker, Myron Peck


Editors: Maria Beger, Audrey Darnaude, Oscar Gaggiotti, Alejandro Gallego, Ewan Hunter, Myron Peck, Pei-Yuan Qian, Susanne E. Tanner


Status: Submissions are closed.


Important notice: Submissions to this Theme Section after 1 November 2022 are not affected by the changes in MEPS Open Access pricing. Pre-November prices will apply along with a 20% discount.


Individual Theme Section articles are published 'Advance View' as soon as they are ready. Once the Theme Section is completed, they will be fully published in a regular volume of MEPS and given a volume number and page range. Theme Section literature cites within the articles will also be updated at that time.



Fleming BFM, Beaulieu SE, Mills SW, Gaggiotti OE, Mullineaux LS
Ecological connectivity in Pacific deep-sea hydrothermal vent metacommunitiesa
MEPS MFC: AV1 | Full text in pdf format


Ryan D, Wogerbauer C, Roche WK
Otolith microchemistry to investigate nursery site fidelity and connectivity of juvenile European sea bass in Ireland
MEPS MFC: AV2 | Full text in pdf format