Feedback and proofread for bachelor thesis abstract about Gagea spathaceae

Dear iNatuaralist community,
I just finished my bachelor thesis about the Belgian Gagea (Gagea**spathaceae) and would like to have somebody to proofreading the abstract. The rest of the thesis is written in German. Is there somebody who could help me?
I’ll leave it here and looking foreword to your responses.

Abstract

Based on the studies of Fichtner et al. (2020) this paper aims to find an interconnection between the appearance of Gagea spathaceae and the phytodiversity of the herb layer in deciduous forest communities in Northern Germany. Therefore, the vegetation of 200 plots at the habitat of the Belgian Gagea-populations were recorded and analysed. These habitats were located in the Fagetalia forests mainly in Schleswig-Holstein and occasionally in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Lower Saxony. The content is structured in four blocks, regarding: The locations characterized by the averaged Ellenberg Indicator Values of the plots, an overview of the biodiversity at the population sites and the most associated species occurring within the plots. Further the abundance of vital Gagea spathacea-populations and the phytodiversity of the locations were put into perspective and indicator species determined which indicate the vitality level of Gagea spathacea in three different categories. If there is a definite positive correlation the Belgian Gagea can be considered as an indicator species itself for deciduous forest communities with a high phytodiversity and further safeguard will be required.

The word “therefore” in the second sentece is unnecessary.

“The habitats were located occasionally” doesn’t really make sense to me, but I don’t really know what you’re trying to say there so I don’t have a suggestion.

Instead of “the content is structured,” use a more describing word, like “this paper” or something. “Blocks” is a kind of weird word to use there also.

“Further the abundance…” → “Further, the abundance…”

“indicator species determined” → “indicator species were determined” Not sure what the sentence is saying, so just use this edit if you think it makes it sound right.

Missing several commas in the last sentence, also I’m not sure why you say “itself,” that word doesn’t really fit.

All in all, it’s a pretty good abstract. I noticed several times that you switch tenses, though. Abstracts are usually written in present tense, as they refer to the following text, so “were put into perspective” should be "are put into perspective.

Hope this helps!

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Thank you so much! :otter: Yes it helps a lot and I wasn’t sure about the tense regulation. Thanks again for your time and effort and best wishes for you.

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Just two locations weren’t recorded in SH, one in Mecklenburg and the other one in Lower Saxony.

Habitat should be plural both times

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Say “this analysis” or “this paper” instead of “the content” which is too vague

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I prefer a comma before “and”

Grammatically it should be “safeguarding,” but actually the intended meaning of your phrase is unclear to me. Perhaps “protection” is a better word? Or “conservation”? Do you mean conservation action should be taken?

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Thanks @arboretum_amy for your comments! I’ll integrate your corrections and “conservation” is probably a more accurate term.

That’s the new version now:

Abstract

Based on the studies of Fichtner et al. (2020) this paper aims to find an interconnection between the appearance of Gagea spathaceae and the phytodiversity of the herb layer in deciduous forest communities in Northern Germany. The vegetation of 200 plots at the habitats of the Belgian Gagea-populations are recorded and analysed. These habitats are located in the Fagetalia forests mainly in Schleswig-Holstein and separatly in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Lower Saxony. This analysis is structured in four thematic blocks, regarding: The locations characterized by the averaged Ellenberg Indicator Values of the plots, an overview of the biodiversity at the population sites, and the most associated species occurring within the plots. Further, the abundance of vital Gagea spathacea-populations and the phytodiversity of the locations are put into perspective and indicator species are determined indicating the vitality level of Gagea spathacea. If there is a definite positive correlation, the Belgian Gagea can be considered as an indicator species for deciduous forest communities with a high phytodiversity, and further protection will be required.

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Looks a lot better!

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Hi @sphingo. This seems like an interesting paper! A few more suggestions:

  • I’d recommend that you use scientific names consistently in the paper and just provide the common name once for reference. Alternating between the two suggests there’s a reason why you’re using one or the other, and I don’t believe that’s the case.
  • Am I right to think the distinction between the three states is just that most of the G. spathaceae populations are in Schleswig-Holstein and fewer in the other two states? I’ve edited the version below based on that interpretation. If there’s a more nuanced distinction, feel free to provide more details and people can help with phrasing.
  • You mention four thematic blocks, but appear to list only three. What’s missing from the list?
  • I’m reading your second-to-last sentence to mean that you (1) examined the correlation between the abundance of healthy G. spathacea populations and overall phytodiversity and (2) identified indicator species correlated with the vitality of G. spathacea. If I’m overstating what you did in your work, please adjust the edited abstract below to reflect that. For example, you could say that the paper “discusses the link” rather than “examines the correlation”.
  • Depending on whether you did actually prove a correlation, the last sentence could be edited to make the indicator species claim more or less strongly.

Here’s a version that shows some possible edits (in bold and strikethrough) including the points above.

Based on the studies of Fichtner et al. (2020) this paper aims to find an interconnection between the appearance presence of Gagea spathaceae (Belgian Gagea) and the phytodiversity of the herb herbaceous layer in deciduous forest communities in Northern Germany. The vegetation of 200 plots at within the habitats of the Belgian Gagea-populations G. spathaceae are is recorded and analysed. These habitats are located in the Fagetalia forests mainly primarily in Schleswig-Holstein, and separately but also in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Lower Saxony. This analysis is structured in four thematic blocks regarding: The locations characterized by the characterization of locations based on averaged Ellenberg Indicator Values of the plots, an overview of the biodiversity at the population sites, and the most commonly associated species occurring within the plots. Further, The paper also examines the correlation between the abundance of vital G. spathacea populations and the phytodiversity of the these locations are put into perspective and. Indicator species are determined indicating the vitality level of G. spathacea. If there is a A definite positive correlation the Belgian Gagea between abundance of this species and overall phytodiversity would show that G. spathacea can be considered as an indicator species for deciduous forest communities with a high phytodiversity, and signal a need for further protection will be required of these locations.

And here’s a version with the edits taken in (still need to detail the fourth “block”):

Based on the studies of Fichtner et al. (2020) this paper aims to find an interconnection between the presence of Gagea spathaceae (Belgian Gagea) and the phytodiversity of the herbaceous layer in deciduous forest communities in Northern Germany. The vegetation of 200 plots within the habitats of G. spathaceae is recorded and analysed. These habitats are located in Fagetalia forests primarily in Schleswig-Holstein, but also in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Lower Saxony. This analysis is structured in four thematic blocks: characterization of locations based on averaged Ellenberg Indicator Values of the plots, an overview of the biodiversity at the population sites, and the most commonly associated species occurring within the plots. The paper also examines the correlation between the abundance of vital G. spathacea populations and the phytodiversity of these locations. Indicator species are determined indicating the vitality level of G. spathacea. A definite positive correlation between abundance of this species and overall phytodiversity would show that G. spathacea can be considered an indicator species for deciduous forest communities with high phytodiversity, and signal a need for further protection of these locations.

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First of all, as a copy editor for the Nature journals, let me tell you that your abstract is better written than a lot of the papers we get in.

A few more suggestions to add to the good advice above:

  • “Based on the studies of Fichtner et al. (2020)”: add a comma after this phrase
  • “Northern Germany”: lower-case “northern”
  • “Ellenberg Indicator Values”: lower-case “indicator values”
  • “spathacea-populations”: change the hyphen to a space
  • “blocks”: change to “sections”
  • “Indicator species are determined indicating the vitality level of G. spathacea”: “Indicator … indicating” is repetitive, “level” is superfluous, and the passive voice is acceptable but wouldn’t be my first choice. Also, “vitality” is fine but “vigor” might be better. “The study identifies indicator species of G. spathacea vigor” (edit as needed to work it in with the previous sentence, depending on what you decide to do with that).
  • “definite positive correlation”: “definite” adds nothing; either delete it or change to “significant” or “statistically significant” if the latter is what’s meant.
  • “itself” works for me, but “in turn” might be clearer. And I would put it with the verb: “can in turn be”.

Congratulations on your thesis, & best of luck!

-Anita

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Former copy editor here, too! I agree with pretty much all of @anita363’s suggestions. A couple of the capitalization decisions may depend on the “house style” of the publisher or institution. If it’s particularly relevant to refer to the regional political entity of Northern Germany then both words might be capitalized, but it probably isn’t relevant and you probably should use “northern Germany” instead. Most styles of English use far fewer capitals than German does.

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Thank you all so much for your comments and corrections! :relaxed: You made my abstract a real piece of scientific work. The thesis is now handed in, and fingers crossed the rest of it is almost as good as my abstract now. Best wishes to all of you.

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