Abstract # 13225 Poster # 82:

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


LEMUR FUNCTIONAL DIVERSITY IN A FRAGMENTED LANDSCAPE IN SOUTHEAST MADAGASCAR

P. R. Narváez1, Z. E. Rahasivelo2, S. M. Holmes1, E. E. Louis Jr.3,4 and S. E. Johnson1
1Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, University of Calgary, 2500 University Dr. NW, Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4, USA, 2Faculté des Sciences, de Technologies et de l'Environnement, Université de Mahajanga , 3Center for Conservation and Research, Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium , 4Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership
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     Slash-and-burn agriculture is the leading cause of forest fragmentation in Madagascar, leaving lemurs at risk of population declines and extirpation. We evaluated the potential effects of disturbance, vegetation structure, and edge effects on the functional diversity (FD; total variation in ecological traits) of lemur communities in the Kianjavato forest fragment network using linear mixed models. We chose FD as our response variable as it has strong links to ecosystem function and services. Nine species of lemurs have been identified at Kianjavato, representing a wide range of lineages and niches. Lemur surveys were conducted using ~500m line-transects (n=36); total sampling effort was 189.3km. Vegetation and disturbance surveys were also performed in all transects. To quantify FD based on diet, body size and activity pattern, we used Petchey and Gaston’s FD index. We found that tree diameter at 1.3m height had a significant positive effect on lemur FD (t=2.22, p=0.037). Contrary to prediction, neither anthropogenic disturbance (t=-1.315, p=0.204) nor distance to edge (t=-1.197, p=0.246) were significant predictors of FD. Our results support that forest fragments with larger trees present a higher diversity of lemurs from a range of ecological niches, as taller and more stratified forests would have more available habitats to accommodate arboreal primates. This study was supported by Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and Conservation International-Margot Marsh Biodiversity Foundation Primate Action Fund.