Selection on plant fruiting traits by brown capuchin monkeys: a multivariate approach

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Abstract

We present the use of a recently developed multivariate method (Lande and Arnold, 1983) to estimate selection on plant fruiting traits caused by seed dispersal via wild brown capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella). There was significant selection on some traits influencing the quality of individual fruits (energy content per fruit, carbohydrate and protein concentrations) as well as on spatial aspects of fruit displays (crown size, tree density and distribution). In several cases, the results of this multivariate analysis differed markedly from those of univariate analyses on the same data, in which the effects of correlated variables can obscure the selection coefficients. The feeding behavior of capuchins and birds appears to be affected differently by various plant fruiting traits, but no direct comparison can be made without a comparable multivariate analysis of seed crop removal by birds.