Abstract # 108:

Scheduled for Sunday, September 14, 2014 01:30 PM-01:45 PM: Session 17 (Mary Gay) Oral Presentation


MEAN DOMINANCE RELATIONSHIP CERTAINTY IS BETTER THAN RANK AT PREDICTING DIARRHEA INCIDENCE AND WOUNDING IN CAPTIVE RHESUS MACAQUES (MACACA MULATTA)

B. A. Beisner1,2, J. J. Vandeleest1,2, F. Hsieh3, K. Fujii3 and B. McCowan1,2
1University of California - Davis, Department of Population Health & Reproduction, Davis 95616, USA, 2California National Primate Research Center, University of California, Davis, CA, USA, 3University of California - Davis, Department of Statistics
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     Social rank has often been thought to be a source of stress, yet studies on the presence and direction of this relationship in animal societies are equivocal. We hypothesized that the certainty vs. ambiguity of one’s dominance relationships that may have a greater impact on health than rank itself. We evaluated the influence of both rank and mean dominance certainty on (1) frequency of diarrhea, (2) frequency of trauma, and (3) severity of trauma in two captive groups of rhesus macaques at the California National Primate Research Center from behavioral and health data collected March-October 2013. Using a new social network method developed by our team, we calculated dyadic dominance potentials that combine direct win/loss data with information from multiple indirect dominance pathways in the network (via common third parties). Dominance pathways were used to infer missing data and modify the certainty from direct interactions. We fit multilevel models, using AIC scores to select the best-fit models. We found that individuals with higher average dominance relationship certainty had fewer bouts of diarrhea (N=173 individuals; B=-5.1, p=0.01), received fewer injuries (N=469; B-1.10, p=0.004) and had milder severity of trauma (N=460 wounds from 127 individuals; B=-7.5, p=0.02). Rank did not affect diarrhea or trauma frequency. Certainty about rank, rather than rank itself, may be a more important variable in understanding both physical health and psychological stress.