Abstract # 5935 Poster # 59:

Scheduled for Saturday, September 13, 2014 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 11 (Decatur B) Poster Presentation


ARE TEMPORAL PATTERNS OF FRUIT AVAILABILITY DRIVING OWL MONKEY (AOTUS AZARAE) REPRODUCTIVE SUCCESS AND SEASONALITY?

B. J. Finkel1, G. van der Heide2, A. Di Fiore3 and E. Fernandez-Duque1,4,5,6
1Fundación ECO, Proyecto Mirikiná, Casa 100, Ciudad de Formosa, Formosa 3600, Argentina, 2The University of Texas at San Antonio, 3University of Texas at Austin, 4CECOAL-Conicet, Corrientes, Argentina, 5University of Pennsylvania, 6Yale University
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     Seasonal, annual, and supra-annual phenology cycles generate periods of low and high food availability considered to drive primate reproductive success and timing. Owl monkeys (Aotus azarae azarae) of northern Argentina inhabit markedly seasonal subtropical forests. We explored the relations between fruiting phenology and reproduction analyzing 11 years of monthly data on 5 species important to owl monkey diet (Chrysophyllum gonocarpum, Eugenia spp., Ficus spp., Guazuma ulmifolia, Myrcianthes pungens, Syagrus romazoffiana, n=22-197 ind./month) and annual births (n=17-22 groups/year). The percentage of groups having infants fluctuated widely (41-82%), and 72% of births occurred in Oct-Nov (n=241). We found a positive correlation [Spearman’s rank coefficient, p<0.05, n=11 years] between infant production and Chrysophyllum fruit availability during fall (r2= 0.3) and winter (r2= 0.4). Later birth seasons (i.e. more births in Nov-Dec) positively correlated with the abundance of Eugenia in summer (r2=0.05) and fall (r2= 0.4), Mycianthes in fall (r2=0.5) and Ficus in winter (r2= 0.07). We suggest that Chrysophyllum drives reproductive success as a key resource during Mar-Aug when females resume cycling and conceive. Unusual Myrcianthes and Eugenia fruiting periods in fall rather than summer may delay weaning and push back the birth season. Multivariate analyses that consider fruiting stage will be necessary to investigate these patterns further. Upcoming nutritional analyses may bolster our conclusions and provide insights regarding the energetic importance of potential key fruit resources.