Review History

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  • The initial submission of this article was received on July 4th, 2019 and was peer-reviewed by 2 reviewers and the Academic Editor.
  • The Academic Editor made their initial decision on August 5th, 2019.
  • The first revision was submitted on September 9th, 2019 and was reviewed by the Academic Editor.
  • A further revision was submitted on September 13th, 2019 and was reviewed by the Academic Editor.
  • The article was Accepted by the Academic Editor on September 16th, 2019.

Version 0.3 (accepted)

· Sep 16, 2019 · Academic Editor


Dear Dr. Garraffoni,

I am pleased to inform you that your paper has been accepted for publication without further changes.

Thank you for submitting your work to PeerJ. We hope you consider us again for future submissions.

Best regards,

Blanca Figuerola
Academic Editor, PeerJ

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

Version 0.2

· Sep 10, 2019 · Academic Editor

Minor Revisions

The manuscript can be accepted after the following corrections:

Line 196: Please, replace sp1 and sp2 with sp. 1 and sp. 2 as suggested by both reviewers
Lines 271-272: Please replace the following sentence "...has information available about Gastrotricha fauna, and the Brazil can be considered as the more studies and descriptions." with another sentence like this: "...have information available about Gastrotricha fauna, and Brazil can be considered the country with more studies and descriptions."
Lines 288-89: Please replace "Italy has a long-standing traditions in the study of gastrotricha (Balsamo et al. 2014) and Italian..." with "Italy has a long-standing tradition in the study of gastrotricha (Balsamo et al. 2014) and the Italian...".
Line 295: Please delete "mm" after 44.
Line 325: Please replace "record" with "recorded"
Lines 409 and 472, 557...: name of the species in italics: e.g. Thaumastoderma and Tetranchyroderma. Please check along the reference list.

Yours sincerely,

Blanca Figuerola

Academic editor, PeerJ

Version 0.1 (original submission)

· Aug 5, 2019 · Academic Editor

Minor Revisions

Your manuscript was given two reviews and the reviewer comments are appended below. Both reviewers consider the data in this manuscript are valuable as it contains a comprehensive review of species distribution of one of the less known invertebrate phyla. Also, they consider the new interactive map as an useful, more general tool in research on gastrotrichs. However, they have raised points that need to be addressed such as checking more carefully the journal’s rules and numerous inaccuracies and misprints along the manuscript (main text, captions of figures and supplementary material). Note that both reviewers have also provided their advice in annotated pdf files.

Please carefully consider the comments of the reviewers and provide a point-by-point response which clearly defines the changes made. I therefore invite you to revise and resubmit your manuscript, taking into account the points raised.

Thank you for your patience with the evaluation process and for choosing PeerJ.

I look forward to receiving your revised manuscript.

Yours sincerely,

Blanca Figuerola

Academic editor, PeerJ


Basic reporting

No comment

Experimental design

no comment

Validity of the findings

no comments

Additional comments

Gastrotricha is one of the less known invertebrate phyla. Even if representatives of this group are numerous and ubiquities in any aquatic and semi-aquatic environments, both marine and freshwater, there are treated truly neglected in meiofaunistic studies. Without a comprehensive, critical review of species distribution, the knowledge develop is about these animals is impossible.
I have the pleasure to review manuscript entitled: "Synopsis of the knowledge, zoogeography and an online interactive map of Brazilian marine gastrotrichs." This is good quality, a comprehensive, complete review of knowledge about Brazilian Gastrotricha. This work does not contain the only summary of knowledge about species distribution in Brazil but also contain new interactive, easy to use tools allowing for analyses each recorded species together with their habitus and details. I cannot found in the text any bigger mismatches. Taking into consideration all questions above-mentioned, I recommend this manuscript with great satisfaction for publication in PeerJ.
I attached to this review a pdf file with my suggestion marked. I have hope that their help in improving this extensive and very needed work. I am also waiting impatiently on the new gastrotrichs researchers who will start their adventure with these animals just from the studying attached interactive map and online tool.
I also attach my best regards for Editor and all Authors of this manuscript,
Małgorzata Kolicka

Reviewer 2 ·

Basic reporting

This manuscript represents a commendable effort to gather and take stock of the faunistic and taxonomic knowledge of marine species of Gastrotricha from Brazil, the study of which has only started systematically in the last few decades.
The study aims at giving an overall view of the diversity of the marine gastrotrich fauna from Brazilian coast, correlating it to the marine ecoregions of the area and discussing the geographical distribution of each species. The study also includes numerous undescribed species. To support their analysis, the authors present an on-line interactive map with a number of parameters related to each species.

- The Introduction gives an overall picture of the research on marine Gastrotricha over the world, with particular reference to the knowledge of marine species from South America. The context of the work is well described and completed with adequate references.
- The manuscript’s structure conforms to PeerJ standards
- The figures illustrate the text appropriately, are of high quality and adequately labelled.
- Supplementary material include two detailed lists of marine gastrotrich records throughout Brazilian coast and the world, the first concerning the species formally described and the second one the species undescribed but reported in this analysis.
- the English language is clear and generally applied correctly.

Experimental design

- The subject matter falls within the scope of the journal
- The topic of this study is clearly defined and really integrates the knowledge of gastrotrich fauna with data from Brazil
- The analysis of data is complete and based on reliable techniques

Validity of the findings

- Results of this analysis are very detailed and can provide a current picture of the diversity of marine Gastrotricha along Brazilian coasts within a context of global kowledge on this subject.
- Records of all the species, both named and still unnamed, are listed into two separate lists and include essential information
- Conclusions adequately summarize the topics advanced in the Introduction and covered in the text, and are sufficiently clear

Additional comments

1. I consider this work quite valid especially because it provides the first check-up of the marine gastrotrich fauna of Brazil and also it proposes a interactive map as an useful, more general tool in research on gastrotrichs. That is a strength of this manuscript.

2. The authors' effort to carry out a careful and detailed analysis of the Brazilian marine species and to outline a reliable picture of the current faunistic situation must be acknowledged: this is a strength of this article, too.

3. I have some doubts about the extensive use of the unnamed species in the global list of species, even producing a special list for them. I agree that a global overview of marine gastrotrich fauna rests on the knowledge of all the species found so far, both named and unnamed, but that can only give a rough idea of the total species diversity and should be only a preliminary step, waiting for the formal description of the unnamed species. Otherwise, the unnamed species constitute a mass of partial information that can be managed only at genus level.
The literature on gastrotrichs is even too rich in formally named species but incompletely described: if also unnamed species are added, from the taxonomic point of view a 'ballast' is created which is hard to manage in subsequent works and by other researchers.
The suggestion, indeed a reminder, is to describe these new species as soon as possible because they are useful now in the overall counts on the diversity and the distribution of the phylum in Brazil, but may constitute a non-irrelevant taxonomic problem if they remain unnamed..
All that cannot be considered as a weakness of the manuscript but it is certainly an aspect to be considered and explained in the objectives of the work.

4. While acknowledging the merit of the authors for having relaunched the research on the marine Gastrotrichs of Brazil, I find that the text in some points underlines this point in an excessive way, risking to seem self-congratulatory (see for example Lines 217-222).

5. From the point of view of the formal style of the text I notice numerous inaccuracies and misprints both in the text, in the captions of the figures and in the supplementary material. I corrected or highlighted a number of them for correction through small notes along the text. Among them is the unifomity of the style in reporting bibliographic references according to the journal’s rules.

Overall, in my opinion, the manuscript could be accepted with minor revision especially focused on two points:
1. To eliminate inaccuracies of the current version: I found a high number of misprints, oversights and also few errors. Authors should check more carefully the journal’s rules.
2. to revise some passages of the text that in the current version have tones a bit too emphatic for what should be in a scientific work (I marked these passages with comment notes)

I attach a revised version of the manuscript with a number of corrections and notes, hoping it may be useful to Authors for improving this interesting manuscript.

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