Abstract # 2388 Event # 140:

Scheduled for Saturday, June 21, 2008 11:15 AM-11:25 AM: Session 15 (Meeting Room 2DEF) Oral Presentation


Dominance rank influences space use in wild female chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes): Towards an ideal despotic distribution

C. M. Murray1, S. V. Mane2 and A. E. Pusey3
1Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60614, USA, 2University of Minnesota, 3University of Minnesota
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     Studies from many different taxa have demonstrated that dominance rank greatly influences individual space use. While the importance of dominance among female chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) has been debated in the past, mounting evidence demonstrates that rank is very important. In particular, rank has been shown to influence body mass, foraging strategies, association patterns, and ultimately, reproductive success. In this study, we investigated how rank influenced female space use among chimpanzees (P. t. schweinfurthii) at Gombe National Park, Tanzania. Analyzing ten years of data, we found that new immigrants used areas away from dominant females [two-tailed t-test: n=9 immigrants, t=2.87, p=0.005], and that subordinates had lower site fidelity [n=11 females, F(2,16)=5.72, p=0.01]. We also found that high-ranking females had smaller core areas [n=12 females, F(2, 16)=4.78, p=0.02] and that this size difference was pronounced during periods of food scarcity when food competition is highest [n=12 females, rank*season: F(6,41)=4.52, p<0.01]. These patterns suggest that dominant females out-compete subordinates, forcing them to settle elsewhere, range more widely, and shift their space use across time.