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Thank you for your attention to this revision and well crafted and easy to follow response. This was a job well done and congratulations on a strong manuscript.
# PeerJ Staff Note - this decision was reviewed and approved by Ann Hedrick, a PeerJ Section Editor covering this Section #
Thank for a concise and important paper. Two reviewers, and I, agree this paper is important and nearly ready or acceptance. Please note an important comment from Reviewer 2, which I agree with. Resource selection and niche modeling are not synonymous, though many authors lump these together because of similarities in analysis tools. Please work to revise the sentence in the abstract. There are several other simple fixes required from Reviewer 2.
The anonymous reviewer has several questions worth addressing in the narrative. I leave it to you to answer those and decide if additional modeling is required or if you can address the comments on performance and sample size.
I look forward to your revised submission.
The author proposes a new approach on the use of mahalanobis distance in ecological niche modeling. Niche modeling has been indicated in conservation strategies and there are many methods available and at the same time many uncertainties. This study is important for reducing uncertainties. However, there is no certainty as to which modeling method is most effective and the method consensus approach has been the most indicated. Therefore I thought that in the introduction of this study lacked tacked mentioning what advantages of malalanobis distance compared to other methods in conservation strategies. Can it be used with species of few occurrences? Can it be used with species of restricted distribution?
The experimental delineation of the article has been understood. However, I suggest performing experiments with different numbers of occurrences to evaluate the performance of the method.
The article is important so that the uncertainties in the forecasts are reduced. However, it is necessary to reinforce the importance of using the distance malanobis method for niche modeling and what its main impacts are when used erroneously.
I enjoyed learning from the article on improving a modeling method. Many details can make a difference in the parameterization of niche modeling. I thought was very valid. However, I think the study would be better with simulations with different amounts of occurrences. I would like to know the consequences for species conservation.
This paper identifies a pervasive little problem in the use of Mahalanobis distances to characterize the niches of species. The paper is concise and well-written, the bug the author identified is real, and potentially damaging. I believe the paper should be published, almost as it is, with the following minor comments:
1) Figure 2 lacks the first three labels.
2) In the abstract, the author choice of words suggest that niche modeling is equivalent to resource selection, habitat suitability, or distribution modeling. It should be perfectly obvious that modeling a distribution is not synonymous with modeling the selection of resources, for example. Just change the wording so it is clear that Mahalanobis distances are used in all those fields, without implying that the fields are synonymous.
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