Abstract # 36:

Scheduled for Saturday, August 26, 2017 06:00 PM-08:00 PM: (National Ballroom AB) Poster Presentation


R. S. Hughes1, C. C. Gilbert1,2,3 and A. L. Baden1,2,3
1Hunter College, Department of Anthropology, 695 Park Ave, New York, NY 10065, USA, 2The Graduate Center, CUNY, 3The New York Consortium in Evolutionary Primatology (NYCEP)
     The influence of phylogeny on diet in primate communities remains an understudied topic in primate ecology and evolution. Previous studies have focused on anthropoid communities and, in general, determined that dietary similarity is correlated with phylogeny such that more closely related species exhibit greater dietary overlap. The role of phylogeny in driving dietary similarity in Malagasy strepsirrhines, however, remains unclear. This study tests the hypothesis that, like haplorrhines, Malagasy primates will show a strong correlation between phylogeny (as measured by divergence distance) and dietary similarity. Phylogenetic and feeding data were obtained from the existing literature. Using Mantel tests, correlations between divergence distance and percent similarity in diet were shown for lemur species with sufficient data in each of four communities: Ranomafana National Park (n=9), Berenty Private Reserve (n=4), Kirindy Forest (n=5), and Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve (n=3). Results were mixed between the communities, showing both a strong negative correlation between divergence distance and overall dietary similarity for Ranomafana and no correlations for the other sites, using 0.05 as threshold of significance. Strepsirrhines seem to differ from haplorrhines in whether phylogeny or niche differentiation shows a stronger influence over diet; however, this may depend on the region in Madagascar. The mixed results seen here raise questions about factors influencing community composition in Madagascar.