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Food abundance and weather influence habitat-specific ranging patterns in forest- and savanna mosaic-dwelling red-tailed monkeys (Cercopithecus ascanius)

McLester, E, Brown, M, Stewart, FA and Piel, AK Food abundance and weather influence habitat-specific ranging patterns in forest- and savanna mosaic-dwelling red-tailed monkeys (Cercopithecus ascanius). American Journal of Physical Anthropology. ISSN 1096-8644 (Accepted)

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Abstract

Objectives: Primates that live in predominantly forested habitats and open, savanna mosaics should exhibit behavioral responses to differing food distributions and weather. We compared ecological constraints on red-tailed monkey ranging behavior in forest and savanna mosaic environments. Intra specific variation in adaptations to these conditions may reflect similar pressures faced by hominins during the Plio-Pleistocene.
Methods: We followed six groups in moist evergreen forest at Ngogo (Uganda), and one group in a savanna-woodland mosaic at the Issa Valley (Tanzania). We used spatial analyses to compare home range sizes and daily travel distances (DTD) between sites. We used measures of vegetation density and phenology to interpolate spatially explicit indices of food (fruit, flower, and leaves) abundance. We modeled DTD and range use against food abundance. We modeled DTD and at Issa hourly travel distances (HTD), against temperature and rainfall.
Results: Compared to Issa, monkeys at Ngogo exhibited significantly smaller home ranges and less variation in DTD. DTD related negatively to fruit abundance, which had a stronger effect at Issa. DTD and HTD related negatively to temperature but not rainfall. This effect did not differ significantly between sites. Home range use did not relate to food abundance at either site.
Conclusions: Our results indicate food availability and thermoregulatory constraints influence red-tailed monkey ranging patterns. Intra-specific variation in home range sizes and DTD likely reflects different food distributions in closed and open habitats. We compare our results with hypotheses of evolved hominin behavior associated with the Plio-Pleistocene shift from similar closed to open environments.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0603 Evolutionary Biology, 1601 Anthropology, 2101 Archaeology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Natural Sciences & Psychology (closed 31 Aug 19)
Publisher: Wiley
Date Deposited: 13 Aug 2019 10:56
Last Modified: 13 Aug 2019 11:00
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/11193

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