Review History


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Summary

  • The initial submission of this article was received on June 1st, 2021 and was peer-reviewed by 2 reviewers and the Academic Editor.
  • The Academic Editor made their initial decision on June 24th, 2021.
  • The first revision was submitted on July 28th, 2021 and was reviewed by the Academic Editor.
  • The article was Accepted by the Academic Editor on July 28th, 2021.

Version 0.2 (accepted)

· Jul 28, 2021 · Academic Editor

Accept

There were only a few minor issues left and I believe you properly addressed all of them. Congratulations on an excellent study.

[# PeerJ Staff Note - this decision was reviewed and approved by Robert Toonen, a PeerJ Section Editor covering this Section #]

Version 0.1 (original submission)

· Jun 24, 2021 · Academic Editor

Minor Revisions

As you'll notice, both reviewers were enthusiastic about your work. However, they identified a few minor issues that need to be addressed. Please pay particular attention to the annotated pdf prepared by reviewer 2.

·

Basic reporting

This is an important paper, eDNA is clearly revolutionising how we detected and discover diversity that is otherwise hard to detect. Nowhere is this more important than with critically endangered species amphibians, which, because of their natural history are very hard to detect in the wild with traditional survey protocols (e.g. line transects, spotlighting).
The language, literature reviewed and used to support arguments,ents, the structure and findings based on previously stated hypothesis have no flaws.

Experimental design

Given the set up, of one large population and a much smaller population this presents an ideal natural setting for testing the sensitivity of the used eDNA protocol. In future it would be great to work on trying to correlate the signal detected in the PCR with the abundance of frogs with more than two populations, probably Litoria nannotis would be the ideal candidate, and see if you could link abundance with qPCR scores and then take this a step further, use eDNA to monitor population rather than detect it.

I really have no comments beyond this in terms of experimental design. The protocol has been spelled out with enough detail could replicate it in the lab, thanks for writing simply and plainly.

Validity of the findings

This is a solid contribution, the data are very telling, eDNA in this context does exactly what it is supposed to.

Additional comments

An important contribution, especially in the context of so many stream dwelling populations of frogs that have been lost and are starting to recover. Urgent to run this in amphibian hotspots like Monteverde (Golden Toad) or Eungella National Park (Rheobatrachus) are still holding some of these extinct species alive.

·

Basic reporting

I have included all comments in my attachment.

The manuscript is well written and researched.

Experimental design

I have included all comments in my attachment.

The study is well thought out and experimental design is adequate. The research question is defined, relevant and meaningful.

Validity of the findings

I have included all comments in my attachment.

This study will have high impact and is a novel use of eDNA on a well studied amphibian population.

Additional comments

Villacorta-Rath et al. have produced an excellent manuscript which describes the application of eDNA to identify a well-studied amphibian population. The in-depth knowledge including downstream limits and population abundances of L. lorica and L. nannotis have provided a unique system to test multiple eDNA collection methods for downstream detection of amphibians.

The introduction provided key information and was written to a high standard. The importance and novelty of the work was made very clear by the authors. The research is relevant to a variety of scientists across a number of fields including; eDNA, population genetics and herpetology. The research question and reason for undertaking the study was made clear. The methods included a number of site and technical replicates, there was also thoughtful consideration made to DNA inhibitors. It is an excellent use of eDNA methodologies and has been a delight to review.

I have included all comments requiring attention in my attachment.

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