Abstract # 220:

Scheduled for Monday, September 19, 2011 11:40 AM-12:00 PM: Session 28 (Salon F (Sixth Floor)) Oral Presentation


THE VALUE OF MEASURING FOOD AVAILABILITY ON THE GROUND FOR A TERRESTRIAL SEED PREDATOR, THE TANA RIVER MANGABEY CERCOCEBUS GALERITUS OF KENYA

J. Wieczkowski
Buffalo State College, Department of Anthropology, 1300 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo, NY 14222, USA
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The Tana River mangabey (Cercocebus galeritus) (n = 3 groups) spends 42% of its eating time on the ground. Dry seeds collected from the ground contribute 11.8% of its diet. I hypothesized that measuring phenology on the ground would result in stronger correlations with diet than measuring it in the canopy alone. From July 2005 until June 2006, I conducted monthly 3-day follows on a mangabey group in lower Tana River, Kenya. I recorded 4774 eating records. I measured phenology in 105 individuals of their top seven tree species. Canopy phenology was measured on a 0-5 scale. Ground phenology was measured in four 1m2 grids under the canopy. Monthly canopy biomass and monthly ground biomass were calculated as kilograms per hectare. Spearman correlations were performed between contribution to the diet and canopy biomass, ground biomass, and total biomass for 15 diet items. Diet contribution best correlated to ground biomass for five (rho = .777, p = .003; rho = .674, p = .016; rho = .617, p = .033; rho = .691, p = .013; rho = .696, p = .012) and to total biomass for three (rho = .592, p = .043; rho = .683, p = .014; rho = .914, p < .005) diet items. Studies of feeding ecology in terrestrial primates may be improved by collecting phenological data on the ground.