Abstract # 13137 Poster # 88:

Scheduled for Thursday, August 9, 2018 06:00 PM-08:00 PM: (Chula Vista ) Poster Presentation


DO HOWLER MONKEYS (ALOUATTA PIGRA) RESPOND WITH AGGREGATED FOOD SELECTION TO THE SPATIAL HETEROGENEITY OF FOOD RESOURCES IN FOREST FRAGMENTS? A PROBLEM FOR SPATIAL ECOLOGY

J. F. Aristizabal1,2, S. Negrete-Yankelevich3, A. López-Ríos4 and J. C. Serio-Silva1,2
1Red de Biología y Conservación de Vertebrados, Instituto de Ecología, AC, Carretera Antigua a Coatepec No 351, El Haya, Xalapa, Veracruz 91070, USA, 2Group for Transdisciplinary Studies in Primatology , 3Red de Ecología Funcional, Instituto de Ecología, AC., 4Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos
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     Anthropogenic activities in tropical regions have transformed the original landscape leaving only forest fragments. Under these conditions, the expected temporal (climatic season) and spatial (tree distribution) fluctuations in leaves and fruits availability might be exacerbated influencing primate feeding behavior. Despite the heterogeneous nature of food availability (FA), the spatial distribution and its influence on the patterns of food selection (FS) by primates have not been formally studied. Variography was used to model the spatial distribution of FA and FS (at fragment scale) in an annual cycle of two groups of black howler monkeys (A. pigra) inhabiting forest fragments (<2.1 ha) in Balancán, Tabasco, México. FA was estimated by performing an intra-and-interspecific phenology index (FEN and FAI) of fruits and leaves (per item/season/year). FEN was based on individual tree availability, and FAI was based on tree species availability. FS was based on estimating the food ingested mass (per item/season/year). Results show that fruit availability (FEN) is spatially structured during the dry-season in a north-south gradient across the fragments and with 7-17m (mean diameter) patches. FS of pooled items was patch structured (14m) in dry-season. Leaves presented a gradient and patches (10-15m) throughout the seasons, but their FS only present a north-south gradient. The results indicate that the FA and FS spatial relationship depends on the season and might be spatially structured at larger scales.