Abstract # 16:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 20, 2013 09:20 AM-09:35 AM: Session 1 (San Geronimo Ballroom B) Symposium


CAYO SANTIAGO'S DEMOGRAPHIC HISTORY: VARIABILITY AND DENSITY-DEPENDENCE OF RHESUS MACAQUES

R. Hernández-Pacheco1, R. G. Rawlins2, M. J. Kessler1, L. W. Williams3, T. M. Ruiz-Maldonado4, A. V. Ruiz-Lambides5, J. González-Martínez5 and A. M. Sabat1
1University of Puerto Rico, Department of Biology, P.O. Box 23360, San Juan, PR 00931-3360, USA, 2Rush University Medical Center, 3MD Anderson Cancer Center, 4University of Puerto Rico, 5Caribbean Primate Reserach Center
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     Modifying population projection models in order to include density-dependence in vital rates is central for understanding the mechanisms of population regulation. This study employs demographic analyses to determine the effects of density on the long-term variability in population growth rate. Here we make use of the long-term demographic data from Cayo Santiago’s rhesus macaque, Macaca mulatta, to parameterize and analyze a density-dependent population matrix model and compare its projection with the observed population dynamics. We also employ a retrospective analysis to determine how variance in vital rates, and covariance among them, contributed to the observed variation in population growth rate across different levels of population density. The population exhibited density-dependence in fertility and it accounted for 98% of the observed population dynamics. Variation in life cycle transitions of young adult and adult females contributed the most to the variation in population growth rate. As population density increases the relative contribution of adult survival to population growth rate increases while that of the remaining life cycle transition decreases. This study demonstrates density-dependent dynamics in a primate population under a resource-abundant environment, highlighting the importance of incorporating density-dependence into viability analysis in order to effectively design management and conservation strategies for wild primate populations growing under more extreme conditions of food limitation and habitat loss.