Seasonal Variations in the Diet and Feeding Effort of Two Groups of Howlers in Different Sized Forest Fragments
Source: International Journal of Primatology, Volume 31, Number 5, October 2010 , pp. 887-903(17)
Abstract:Little is known about how resource limitation affects the feeding ecology of primates in forest fragments. Here, we describe seasonal variation in the diet and feeding effort of 2 groups (RH and RC3) of howlers (Alouatta palliata mexicana) living in different sized forest fragments in Los Tuxtlas, Mexico. The RH group, which lived in a larger and more preserved forest fragment, with a higher availability of fruit and Ficus trees, had a higher and more constant consumption of fruit throughout the study year. Moreover, this group fed from larger food sources, i.e., trees, lianas, and shrubs, and spent more time feeding from each food source. The feeding effort, defined as the time spent feeding and traveling divided by time spent resting, of the RH group was also significantly lower and more stable than that of the RC3 group throughout the study year. As feeding effort has been positively related to stress in primates, such increases in feeding effort could have negative consequences for howlers in small or degraded forest fragments. Our study suggests that habitat characteristics interact with plant seasonality to determine the diet and feeding effort of howlers in forest fragments and that groups living in small and degraded forest fragments may be particularly vulnerable to years of low fruit production.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Centre Especial de Recerca en Primats, Departament de Psiquiatria i Psicobiologia Clínica, Facultat de Psicología, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 2: Laboratorio de Ecofisiología Animal, Centro de Investigaciones Tropicales, Universidad Veracruzana, Veracruzana, México 3: Centre Especial de Recerca en Primats, Departament de Psiquiatria i Psicobiologia Clínica, Facultat de Psicología, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
Publication date: 2010-10-01