Review History


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Summary

  • The initial submission of this article was received on June 5th, 2016 and was peer-reviewed by 3 reviewers and the Academic Editor.
  • The Academic Editor made their initial decision on July 15th, 2016.
  • The first revision was submitted on September 26th, 2016 and was reviewed by the Academic Editor.
  • The article was Accepted by the Academic Editor on September 30th, 2016.

Version 0.2 (accepted)

· · Academic Editor

Accept

Thank you very much for submitting your revised manuscript to PeerJ
After evaluating your resubmission and your responses to my comments on the previous version, I am pleased to tell you that I arrived at the decision that all issues raised in the peer review process are now settled and your revised ms is ready for being published.

Version 0.1 (original submission)

· · Academic Editor

Major Revisions

Thank you very much for submitting your manuscript for publication.
your paper has been evaluated by 3 peer reviewers, one of who (#1) recommend minor corrections, but (#2) recommend rejection and #(3) major corrections. Their basic conclusions differ substantially. Reviewer #2 is clearly more critical and basically recommending to reject the publication.

You need to take care of all concerns expressed by the reviewers, specially do not make speculations, you have to explain how do you collect the samples, how do you consider social status of the guanacos in your analysis etc, and when you submit the revised manuscript, please also provide a detailed RESPONSE. Please state point-by-point which changes you have made in response to the reviews especially those concerns of rev #2 and rev #3 and where and why you have refused to follow a particular suggestion or you consider it. You also have to consider some minor corrections suggested by the 3 Reviewers.

If you are prepared to undertake the work required, I would be pleased to reconsider my decision and eventually accept a revised manuscript for publication

·

Basic reporting

No comments

Experimental design

No comments

Validity of the findings

No comments

Comments for the author

Dear authors,
This is a welcome contribution of ecophysiology, and it is clear to me that you have undertaken an important study and its results will be interesting to specialists in your field. The use of non-invasive methods to address hormonal activities is a novel approach to highlight in your work, together with your sample effort.
There are some minor concerns and issues with writing and presentation of material that need to be addressed - I have indicated them in the list below

# 102: Roff 1992 not listed in References section
#106: Zera & Harshman 2001 not listed in References section
#110: Ketterson & Nolan 1999; Crespi et al. 2013 are not listed in References section
#114: Winfield 2005 not listed in References section
#114, 115,116…….: use “&” or “and” in the reference format when citation includes two or three authors. Please check the entire manuscript and the References section.
#119: Is it Saposlky et al. 2000 or Saposlky 2002?
#119: don´t capitalize “Stress”
#120: use a colon after “…the term”.
#120: I think that you mean that several authors have been researching “ the allostasis theory”, so use this last word.
#121: “Mc Ewen & Wingfield 2003” is cited as “Mc Ewen & Wingfield 2010” in the References section
#121: “Romero et al 2011” not listed in the References section
# 124: Could you give a brief description of the reactive scope model?. I think it will be useful to improve the understanding of your predictions.
#136: use “)” after “Creel et al. 2013”
#137: Some citation to this last sentence? If this sentence is what you are expecting, should begin with ...”It is expected…” or something like that, I think.
#140: “Cavigelli & Parer “ is cited as “Cavigelli..Pareira..” in References section
#141: use “)” after “Creel et al. 2013”
#144: “Wingfield et al. 1990” is cited as “Wingfield et al. 1997” in References section
#144: “Hirschenhauser and Oliviera 2006” not listed in References section
#145: “McGothilin et al. 2010” not listed in References section
#145: use “)” after ..”et al. 2010”
#147: “et al” no in italics
# 148: delete colon before “(McGlot….)”
#150: should be “(Wingfield et al. 1997)”
#152: the citations should be in brackets (same as #150)
#155: “Sapolsky (2005)” not listed in References section, may be is 2002?
#162 to 165# you forgot to include almost all citations in References section (except Marino and Baldi 2008, Bank et al. 2003 and Ovejero 2013).
#163: remove comma after “ecological studies”
#168: the citation should be in brackets (same as #150)
#169: use “To understand how physiology mediates the relationship between life history and the environment in a free-living guanaco population, we predict….
#175: I don´t understand why those predictions provide a description of the relative scope model (see #124). So I can´t figure out easily what you mean in this complete sentence.
#196: indicate how many males and females comprise the sample.
# 198: indicate the months
# 199: Can you briefly explain the way you obtained the samples? How you did unequivocally indentified animals? How did you identified the different ages if all sampled individuals were adults? What are the environmental variables? (did you used it in this work?). May be explaining here the social system of guanacos across the sample period will clarify the reader your methods in the field.
# 200: replace “froze” with “frozen”
# 201: What is the meaning of “LARLAC-IMBECU-CCT CONICET-MENDOZA”?
#202: Could you indicate which months?
#228: “R Development Core Team 2012” not listed in the References section
#233: Delete the subtitle
#244: What do you mean with “The second prediction…..accepted” just saying this tell nothing to the reader.
#247: I think that you want to introduce the reader into the third prediction statement, but you just copied and pasted line #173. This needs to be reworded.
#252 to #259: I don´t understand your model, this paragraph is confusing. It may better be explained like in the Figure 2.
#253: capitalize “figure”
#262: you enunciation seems to be a hypothesis. Change it by the prediction you enunciated in the Introduction or redact it in other way.
#262: don´t capitalize “Social”
#266: don´t capitalize “Male”
#269: in general Figures are not included in the discussion; please check this with PeerJ standards.
#269 to 271: should go to Results section or you can delete it.
#280: the citations should be in brackets (same as #150) and both are lacking in Reference
#283: use the cite
#284 to 286: the experiment you describe is confusing; do you mean that monogamous males became polygamous when implanted with T? and maintain higher levels of T than who?
#287: delete “and south american camelid wildlife”
#288 to 291: I find this statement a little speculative. Have some authors observed this behavior in polygynous animals? Can you provide some evidence? I find this inconsistent in the way that it is explained. The first thing that I thought when reading this passage is the Alee effect, in this case the possible reduction in population number due to the disruption of their social behavior as a consequence of habitat fragmentation.
#293: delete Figure 1
#296: same as “262”
#300: delete “;” before citing Wingfield and it should be in brackets (same as #150).
#303: same as #150
#304: brackets…
#305: same as #150
#308: same as #150
#315: same as #150
#321: replace …”are detrimental, costly…” with.. ..”will be detrimental, costly…”
#329: same as #150. Use a colon before the citation.
#334: same as #150
#339: same as #150
#355: that prediction was not formulated, join it to the others (and in future tense)
#359: capitalize “figure 2” or delete it.
#363: delete “figure 2”
#References: check the entire section, and omissions and inconsistencies with the text.

Best wishes,
Sonia Zapata

·

Basic reporting

This paper uses a non-invasive technique collecting feces from wild guanacos during an entire year to measure cortisol and testosterone.
The introduction is extremely long an attempt to explain many aspects of life history and natural/anthropogenic factors that are not measured later.
I suggest to focus more specifically in the actual question and what was measured making the introduction shorter.
This paper speculates a lot about social, ecological and environmental factors that could explain the HPG and HPA axis without actually measuring any of them apart from collecting feces from the ground. It would be ideal to have a detailed description of the groups sizes, population density and a better description of behaviors seen in the wild to link that information with the hormone results.
The authors should explain how they avoided to collect samples from the same animal in different days as well.

Experimental design

Samples were collected opportunistically from the ground in different seasons and labelled and associated to individual animals. Sex and season were used as independent variables that explained Cortisol and Testosterone levels in collected feces.

Validity of the findings

The data is not provided beyond a summary graph (figure 1).
This papers is too speculative and does not describe previous baseline values for South American Camelids that are available.

Comments for the author

This papers contributes to understand hormone values for guanacos in different seasons and describes the cortisol and testosterone levels in feces. Hormone data should be coupled with behavioral and population data in order to sustain predictions and improve the discussion.

Reviewer 3 ·

Basic reporting

I am not an Native English speaker, but I think that the English requires revision

The Introduction includes sufficient information and most relevant literature is referenced.

Figures are relevant.

Hypotheses require review.
Prediction A is rather simplistic: the secretion of T and GC probably shows great inter-individual variability, and surely is affected by social status: dominant males are expected to have large production of T, while subordinate males probably show large GC and suffer more social stress.
Prediction B is not a true prediction that can be tested, while it is a vague hypothesis that demand specific predictions.
Prediction C is also vague, because "prolonged" is not defined. In general, the Introduction seems to suggest that intense social interactions elicit stress, while in many conditions, they produce the opposite effect: a guanaco foraging alone in the open probably suffers more stress than a guanaco surrounded by others that collaborate in scanning predators, mother-offspring "intense" interactions reduce significantly stress to young in relation to those breed without their mothers.

Experimental design

The submission describes original primary research within the scope of the journal

The techniques used are fine.

Field Methods are not described with sufficient information, specially on the distribution and timing of sample collection.

The research appears to be conducted in conformity with ethical standards.

Validity of the findings

Values on standard deviation should be given. It is probably better to show results on medias, sd, and t-student tests in a Table. Reproductive and non-reproductive periods should be clearly defined, and precise dates on data collection should be given in Methods. Apparently, data on the same individuals and different individuals were mixed, which in not correct: mean for each individualized animal at each season should be taken, and repeated measured statistics should be applied. T-student tests were incorrectly used. Comparisons between periods within males should be done using post-hoc mean comparisons after the ANOVA.

Comments for the author

I do not evaluate the Discussion in detail because I think that the Results section requires sustantial improvement.

Minor comments:
101-2. Darwin should be cited instead.
102-3. Not clear, citation required
133. "T" means testosterone?
141. )
145. )
155 replace ", " by "(", and removed"(" before 2005. What sort of physiological "problems"?
158-159. What means "establishes important incompatibilities in life stages"?
156-159. The paragraph can be removed.
161. Remove "these organisms"
165-8 There are several studies on GCs in South American camelids that should be cited, especially from Zapata & Bocinovic's groups.
171. remove "individual".

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