Talk:WikiJournal Preprints/Moisture Content as a Proximate Factor in Nest Site Attractiveness for Temnothorax rugatulus

From Wikiversity
Jump to navigation Jump to search

WikiJournal Preprints logo.svg

WikiJournal Preprints
Open access • Publication charge free • Public peer review

WikiJournal User Group is a publishing group of open-access, free-to-publish, Wikipedia-integrated academic journals. <seo title=" Wikiversity Journal User Group, WikiJournal Free to publish, Open access, Open-access, Non-profit, online journal, Public peer review "/>

<meta name='citation_doi' value=>

Article information

Author: Andrew Z. Colvin[i]

Andrew Z. Colvin, "Moisture Content as a Proximate Factor in Nest Site Attractiveness for Temnothorax rugatulus", WikiJournal Preprints, Wikidata Q104711952

Questions[edit source]

Is the classic citation method acceptable as opposed to the common one on Wikipedia using ref tags? I included a supplementary materials section as I figure I should attach the data table. Should it be a link, or is there a better way to integrate data tables? Are the keywords acceptable? Should there be an abstract or should the intro serve as the abstract? Andrew Z. Colvin • Talk 18:43, 22 December 2020 (UTC)

Also, the species name in the title needs to be in italics but I was unsure how to do that. Andrew Z. Colvin • Talk 19:00, 22 December 2020 (UTC)

I've updated the title formatting on the mainpage (will implement on talkpage in the coming month). Eventually, it'll be best to have the references inline via the standard wiki citation templates in ref tags. The keywords are fine (had to create a couple of new wikidata items, but they are worth existing anyway). Ideally there should a an abstract that summarises the intro, methods, results and conclusions (typically 1-2 sentences on each). The supp table is probably best as a subpage (example). T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 09:23, 23 February 2021 (UTC)

Plagiarism check[edit source]

Artículo bueno.svg Pass. Report from WMF copyvios tool: 0% plagiarism detected T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 10:34, 3 March 2021 (UTC)

Peer review 1[edit source]

Review by Marina Choppin ORCID iD.svgWikidata-logo.svg ,

These assessment comments were submitted on , and refer to this previous version of the article


I find the study relevant and the structure of the article appropriate. Both the introduction and the discussion contain key information for the understanding of the study although the sentences could use some rephrasing and shortening to make them clearer. However, both the methods and the results are very confusing and need consequent rephrasing and reorganizing. I also detected major flaws in the experimental design, which, in my eyes, significantly impair the quality of the study (i.e., the queen and colony size factors). Based on those observations, I would suggest rejecting the manuscript in its present form, with possibility of resubmission following major revisions.

I divided my review in “Overall comments” and “Suggestions of minor modifications” for each section of the manuscript.


Overall comments
  • The structure in three different paragraphs is clear and informative (mechanisms of colony emigration, nest attractiveness factors, and short presentation of the study)

[Second paragraph]

  • About the sentence “These various nest-attractiveness factors may influence a colony's decision to emigrate. It has been shown that T. curvispinosus can collectively compare qualities of nest sites, distinguishing between different proximate factors (Pratt, 2005).” – does the nest-attractiveness factors influence the colony’s decision to emigrate or the decision where to emigrate? It seems to me that the disturbances influence the colony’s decision to emigrate while the attractiveness factors influence the colony’s decision where to emigrate, please clarify if that is the case.
  • I am missing a take-home message associated with the sentence “Other studies have manipulated proximate factors differentiated by nest cavity size, cavity thickness, entrance size, and light levels in Temnothorax (Mallon & Franks, 2000, Mallon et al., 2001; Pratt & Pierce, 2001; Franks et al., 2003).” – what point does the author want to make here?

[Third paragraph]

  • Reading the last sentence it is not clear to me why the author investigated emigration preferences to low quality nests? Are the colonies in low quality nests originally to induce colony emigration? Or are the tested nests of low quality and if yes, why? Please clarify.
Suggestions of minor modifications

[First paragraph]

  • “Ant species of the genus Temnothorax
  • “colonies typically nests
  • Maybe replace “elemental” with “environmental”
  • Maybe replace “correspond directly to preferences” with “explain preferences for”
  • “as a means for survival”
  • Maybe replace “condition” with “issue”

[Third paragraph]

  • Maybe rephrase this sentence, I suggest “As water plays a central role in the survival of individuals, colonies necessitate proximity to a water source for consumption, and to minimize the risk of desiccation”.


Overall comments
  • The short descriptive paragraph at the beginning of the section is helpful, however, I would already mention that the hydrophilic foam was either soaked in water (wet condition) or let dry (dry condition) because this is mentioned rather late although it is the main design factor.
  • I am not sure I understand why two identical nests of the same condition (wet or dry) were provided in the arena? So that all ants could potentially fit in a nest?
  • I assume that the statistical control in the experiment B serves the same purpose as switching sides from right to left during the experiment A (i.e., control for side preferences due to light gradient) – if I am correct, then I am not sure I understand why you have not used the same control for both experiments?
  • Related to my comment above: choosing the letters A and B for differentiating both the two experiments and the right and left sides of the arena in experiment A can be misleading – maybe think of using a different naming and add the information to Figure 2.
  • The “Statistical Analysis” paragraph is very confusing to me. If I understand correctly, for experiment A you first used the percentage of ants at the wet nest to create a binary variable (“yes or no” wet decision) to test for colony decision, which was then used as input for a chi-square test. You also compared the number of ants at wet versus dry nests using t-tests and then you did other t-tests to compare the number of ants at wet versus home nests. I find the tests redundant here, please think about the question you want to answer and what test would be more appropriate for that, and to be consistent with what you did for experiment B.
  • For experiment B you mention t-tests but not what was tested exactly, please clarify.
  • I also suggest splitting the paragraphs between experiments A and B for more clarity.
  • Please explain what you mean by “Noting the presence of brood and queens was done to make judgements in cases of splits” – also, from the supplementary material it seems like that some colonies had queens and others did not, which is likely to influence the emigration of the colony but is not controlled for or properly tested, this is a very negative point to me.
  • Colony sizes should be provided somewhere in the methods so that the reader knows how many ants the colony had originally and can compare this number with how many ants emigrated.
  • After reading the entire manuscript it is not clear to me why you chose those two experiments (disturbance and removal) and whether you expected different outcomes, which I assume not? Was it because some colonies did not emigrate in the first experiment so you tried another, “harsher” method in a second experiment? Please be transparent about your motivation behind the experiments in the methods.
Suggestions of minor modifications

[First paragraph]

  • Maybe spell species name fully (i.e., Temnothorax rugatulus) as it is mentioned for the first time in this manuscript section
  • Since “after disturbance or removal of their “home” nest” are your two different experiments maybe mention them in between brackets right after as follows “[…] after disturbance (experiment A) or removal of their “home” nest (experiment B)”
  • “home nest” might be a little anthropomorphic, maybe use “initial nest” or “original nest” → this comment applies for the rest of the manuscript and that way you do not need to use “” anymore

[“Subjects and Design” paragraph]

  • I would use the plural here “Eleven colonies of T. rugatulus were housed in an artificial nests” to not confuse the reader
  • I would not mention the dimensions of the glass slides here since it is already mentioned above
  • “after the emigration timeframe was completed” – how long?
  • “taken off
  • “the number of ants at in each nest”
  • I would rephrase so that the mention of the three different nests comes earlier “[…] photographs were taken of each nest (insert mention of three different nests) and the number of ants […]  

[“Nest disturbance” paragraph]

  • I do not see a difference between the two sentences “For trial one […]” and “For trial two […]” and do not see a reason for having them separated if they are identical?
  • I assume that the last sentence of this paragraph is your prediction, please phrase it as such (e.g., “we predict that…”)

[“Nest removal” paragraph]

  • “Under the same conditions” → I assume that you refer to the previous experiment? Please make an explicit statement
  • Same comment regarding your prediction, please make the sentence more explicit
  • Replace “to find a statistical preference” with “to test for a statistical preference”


Overall comments
  • This section is very confusing. The information in the table does not match the text. The phrasing is redundant and not formatted as a scientific article should be. Everything needs to be rephrased – for example, the results from the experiment A can be simplified with a single sentence as such “Ten out of twenty colonies chose the wet nests and zero colonies chose the dry nests (insert statistics)”.
  • I do not understand the statistics in the sentence “This unexpected results […]” – what is compared to what here?
  • In experiment A the t-test using the number of ants is redundant with the chi-square test using the number of colonies, maybe choose one or the other as for experiment B or justify/clarify the use of both in the methods (see my related comment in the methods)
  • The control in the table only refers to experiment B which should be mentioned somewhere and once again, the letters corresponding to the sides of the arena confuses the information here
  • The title of the table needs to be rephrased, I suggest “mean number of ants in each nest after emigration” or something similar
  • The table in the supplementary material needs to show similar group names to the ones used in the manuscript (i.e., wet nest, dry nest and home nest in that case)


Overall comments
  • Although most important ideas are discussed in this section, it needs rephrasing and shortening of sentences (see suggestions of minor modifications below) and I would go further in the discussion of the results by linking them with more environmental information  
Suggestions of minor modifications

[First paragraph]

  • Sentences need shortening: for example, the first sentence could read “In Experiment A all colonies that emigrated chose the wet nest, supporting our prediction that […]”
  • Statistics from tests need to be removed from the main text, they belong to the results section
  • Please carefully check the use of commas: for example “The colonies that remained, were exposed […]”
  • As mentioned before, I would not use anthropomorphic terms such as

“roof” to describe the lid of the nest

[Second paragraph]

  • This paragraph only focuses on how the presence of queens might have influenced the outcome of the tests: as mentioned above, it is problematic to me that some colonies had queens and others did not, considering how important this factor can be in the emigration of colonies. I believe the author should have controlled for that or tested it in a different experiment.

[Third paragraph]

  • Sentences need shortening as well here: for example, the first sentence could read “In Experiment B 100% of colonies that chose to emigrate were found in the wet nest, confirming our prediction that T. rugatulus colonies will choose the nest with higher moisture content when faced with a forced relocation”
  • The statement about the small colonies highlights the importance of being transparent about the colony sizes in the methods as mentioned before, as this might have been yet another factor influencing emigration decision (and not controlled for)

[Fourth paragraph]

  • Please use full species name at the beginning of a sentence (3rd sentence)
  • Remove the parenthesis around “T. albipennis” and rephrase, I suggest:
    “Nest preferences might be similar in the related species T. albipennis which have been shown to prefer compact spaces and small nest entrances, since these factors have been suggested to [...]”
  • I am missing a statement about the type of environment T. rugatulus lives in compared to other species, which might explain (or not) preferences for moisture in nests
  • I am also missing a point regarding the first experiment: it seems like removing the lid of the nests was not enough to induce emigration for some colonies – maybe the author could state how risky emigration can be and how this risk could influence the decision to stay in a damaged nest instead of emigrating?

Peer review 2[edit source]

Review by Zachary Shaffer ORCID iD.svgWikidata-logo.svg , Arizona State University

These assessment comments were submitted on , and refer to this previous version of the article

I found this to be a nice study, generally, that may speak to the importance of moisture in nest site selection for ants in the genus Temnothorax. One little typo occurs in the last section of Methods (Subjects and Design): 'photographs were taken off each nest'. I believe you meant to say 'photographs were taken of each nest'.

T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 22:39, 17 March 2021 (UTC)