City life makes females fussy: sex differences in habitat use

Downloaded from on November 24, 2014
City life makes females fussy: sex differences in habitat use
of temperate bats in urban areas
Paul R. Lintott, Nils Bunnefeld, Elisa Fuentes-Montemayor, Jeroen Minderman, Rebekah
Mayhew, Lena Olley, Kirsty J. Park
Article citation details
R. Soc. open sci. 1: 140200.
Review timeline
Original submission:
Revised submission:
Final acceptance:
28 July 2014
17 October 2014
20 October 2014
Note: Reports are unedited and appear as
submitted by the referee. The review history
appears in chronological order.
Note: This article was transferred from another journal without Peer Review
Review History
RSOS-140200.R0 (Original submission)
Review form: Reviewer 1 (Brock Fenton)
Is the manuscript scientifically sound in its present form?
Are the interpretations and conclusions justified by the results?
Is the language acceptable?
Is it clear how to access all supporting data?
Do you have any ethical concerns with this paper?
Have you any concerns about statistical analyses in this paper?
I do not feel qualified to assess the statistics
© 2014 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons
Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use,
provided the original author and source are credited
Downloaded from on November 24, 2014
Major revision is needed (please make suggestions in comments)
Comments to the Author(s)
The authors would boost the impact of the paper if they provided a clearly articulated version of
the hypothesis that guided the work. They would then link the hypothesis to specific predictions
they could test with their data. The current version of the manucript is not as sharply focused as
it might be. The guiding hypothesis and specific predictions could be inserted around line 65.
There should be some explanation of the timing of mating in this species. It is clear that he
authors did their trapping between 19 May and 1 September 2011 ... But when is mating? The
distribution of the bats in the off season, with respect to breeding, may not reveal very much
about the distribution during the mating season. Unless the authors present data on how bats
used available habitats, particularly green areas within the city, it is difficult to separate
commuting from foraging bats. The authors could use acoustic monitoring, specific the incidence
of feeding buzzes, as a proxy for how the animals used available habitat. The urban habitat could
provide different access to both roosts and foraging sites. Throughout the manuscript the use of
the passive voice increase length and decreases clarity. Remember total is a singular .... total, not
total are .... Also "in order" adds nothing but words to the count.
Decision letter
Dear Mr Lintott,
The Subject Editor assigned to your paper ("City life makes females fussy: sex differences in
habitat use of temperate bats in urban areas") has now received comments from reviewers. We
would like you to revise your paper in accordance with the referee and Subject Editor
suggestions which can be found below (not including confidential reports to the Editor). Please
note this decision does not guarantee eventual acceptance. Please submit a copy of your revised
paper within 14 days - if we do not hear from you within this time then it will be assumed that
the paper has been withdrawn. In exceptional circumstances, extensions may be possible if
agreed with the Editorial Office in advance. Once submitted your paper may be returned to the
previous referees, or new ones if these are unavailable.
To revise your manuscript, log into and enter your Author
Centre, where you will find your manuscript title listed under "Manuscripts with Decisions."
Under "Actions," click on "Create a Revision." Your manuscript number has been appended to
denote a revision. Revise your manuscript and upload a new version through your Author
Centre. When submitting your revised manuscript, you must respond to the comments made by
the referees and upload a file "Response to Referees" in "Section 6 - File Upload". Please use this
to document how you have responded to the comments, and the adjustments you have made. In
order to expedite the processing of the revised manuscript, please be as specific as possible in
your response.
Once again, thank you for submitting your manuscript to Royal Society Open Science and I look
forward to receiving your revision. If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to get
in touch.
Yours sincerely,
Charlotte Wray
Senior Publishing Editor,
Royal Society Open Science
[email protected]
Downloaded from on November 24, 2014
Author's Response to Decision Letter for (RSOS-140200.R0)
Dear Editor,
Thank you for considering our manuscript “City life makes females fussy: sex differences in
habitat use of temperate bats in urban areas” (RSOS-140200) for publication. In response to your
decision, we are now submitting a revised version of the manuscript. We have addressed the
reviewer’s comments and have incorporated the vast majority of the suggested changes.
A detailed list of our response to specific comments (in bold) has been uploaded (file: ‘Response
to Referees’[see Appendix A]). Newly added or modified information is highlighted in yellow
throughout the manuscript.
We appreciate your attention and consideration of our manuscript for publication.
Yours sincerely,
The Authors
Decision Letter (RSOS-140200.R1)
Dear Mr Lintott,
I am pleased to inform you that your manuscript entitled "City life makes females fussy: sex
differences in habitat use of temperate bats in urban areas" is now accepted for publication in
Royal Society Open Science. You can expect to receive a proof of your article within
approximately 10 days. Please contact the editorial office ([email protected]) to let us
know if you are likely to be away from e-mail contact during that period. Due to rapid
publication and an extremely tight schedule, if comments are not received, your paper may
experience a delay in publication. Royal Society Open Science operates under a continuous
publication model ( Your article will be published straight into the next
open issue and this will be the final version of the paper. As such, it can be cited immediately by
other researchers.
As the issue version of your paper will be the only version to be published I would advise you to
check your proofs thoroughly as changes cannot be made once the paper is published. In order to
raise the profile of your paper once it is published, we can send through a PDF of your paper to
selected colleagues.
If you wish to take advantage of this, please reply to this email with the name and email
addresses of up to 10 people who you feel would wish to read your article.
On behalf of the Editors of Royal Society Open Science, we look forward to your continued
contributions to the Journal.
Best wishes,
Ms Charlotte Wray
Appendix A
Reviewer(s)' Comments to Author:
Referee: 1
Downloaded from on November 24, 2014
Comments to the Author(s)
A well conceived and conducted study showing that sexual segregation in bats extends to urban
environments. It therefore carries a significant conservation message - that the presence of a bat
species in a locality does not indicate that the habitat is capable of supporting a breeding
We thank the referee for these comments and address the minor comments below.
I have only minor comments to make:
line 44. Can they be just called bats?
line 75. The meaning of dominant should be defined more precisely
We have changed the sentence to define our use of dominant. It now reads “Urban areas were
designated as those where urban cover was the dominant land use within a 1 km grid square (i.e. the
proportion of the grid square containing urban grey space was greater than all alternative habitat
types) as categorised by the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology Land Cover Map 2000”.
The references contain numerous small errors
References checked and errors corrected.
The X axis label in figure 1A should be explained explicitly in the legend
We have changed figure 1A to include an explanation of the X axis. It now reads “Woodland
connectivity (1A) is measured using the Euclidean nearest neighbour distance (ENN, the mean value
of ENN distances between all woodland patches within the landscape). A landscape containing
highly-connected woodlands would have a low ENN value, whilst poorly-connected woodlands would
have a high ENN value. “
Referee: 2
Comments to the Author(s)
Overall, this paper makes an interesting contribution to the field of urban ecology. The paper is
well written and very clear. My only major comment is that the statistical analysis section could
benefit from further clarification of what models were compared exactly, as this is very unclear. A
table of models showing which variables were included or compared could assist. I also think the
paper would benefit from comparison to other urban bat trapping or radio-tracking papers, to be
able to make the results more broadly applicable. For example, it would be beneficial to include a
discussion comparing your data to other studies, or even other taxa. Suggestions for other studies
to compare your data to are listed below.
We thank the reviewer for these comments and address the points raised below.
Line 18: Spelling error - Female not females
Downloaded from on November 24, 2014
The sentence read “There was a lower probability of findings females within woodlands which were
poorly connected…” We believe that the reviewer was referring to the spelling error in ‘findings’
rather than females, we have fixed this error.
Line 144: I am unclear as to what models were compared. Could you add a table of models that
were compared, or more clearly explain how the estimates were derived from model
comparisons? In Line 144 you say you present the results of each full model, however I’m unclear
as to which terms went into the full model and why there is more than one?
We have changed this sentence to read “We present the result of the full model including..” to reflect
that only one model was constructed. This should prevent any confusion over the number of models
or which terms went into which model.
The degrees of freedom listed in Table 1 suggest that two predictor variables were tested, rather
than all twelve listed. To assist the reader to understand what you analysed it may help to list the
denominator degrees of freedom as well, to be able to really follow what was analysed and what
models were compared.
Clarifying that we only constructed one full model (see above) will prevent confusion with degrees of
freedom in Table 1. The degrees of freedom in Table 1 refer to the Likelihood Ratio Tests that were
constructed to assess the importance of each parameter individually. We have made this clearer by
changing the Table 1 heading from ‘df’ to ‘χ2 df’. This method of presenting degrees of freedom for
Likelihood Ratio Tests follows previous publications (i.e. Minderman et al. 2012, DOI
We believe that the inclusion of denominator degrees of freedom would add confusion and is not
commonly presented (i.e. Minderman et al. 2012, DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0041177).
There have been several radio-tracking studies of bats in other cities in the world that have not
been cited, however the manuscript may benefit from the inclusion of these references, such as:
Evelyn MJ, Stiles DA, Young RA (2004) Conservation of bats in suburban landscapes: roost
selection by Myotis yumanensis in a residential area in California. Biological Conservation 115
Neubaum DJ, Wilson KR, O'Shea TJ (2007) Urban maternity-roost selection by big brown bats in
Colorado. Journal of Wildlife Management 71 (3):728-736.
Rhodes M, Catterall C (2008) Spatial foraging behaviour and use of an urban landscape by a fastflying bat, the Molossid Tadarida australis. Journal of Mammalogy 89 (1):34-42.
Threlfall CG, Law B, Banks PB (2013) Roost selection in suburban bushland by the urban sensitive
bat Nyctophilus gouldi. Journal of Mammalogy 94 (2):307-319.
Threlfall CG, Law B, Banks PB (2013) The urban matrix and artificial light restricts the nightly
ranging behaviour of Gould's long-eared bat (Nyctophilus gouldi). Austral Ecology 38 (8):921-930.
Downloaded from on November 24, 2014
We thank for the reviewer for the references and have added those which fit well within our
manuscript (i.e. Evenlyn et al. 2004 & Threlfall et al. 2013). We believe a direct comparison to the
radio-tracking studies listed would disrupt the narrative of our manuscript given that these do not
address sex differences within the urban landscape. Our manuscript investigates relative habitat use
between sexes (i.e. we do not assess how the species as a whole responds to the urban landscape)
which makes a comparison to radio-tracking studies difficult.