Advertisement

Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 59, Issue 2, pp 185–190 | Cite as

Towards an ecological solution to the folivore paradox: patch depletion as an indicator of within-group scramble competition in red colobus monkeys (Piliocolobus tephrosceles)

  • Tamaini V. Snaith
  • Colin A. Chapman
Original Article

Abstract

A number of socioecological models assume that within-group food competition is either weak or absent among folivorous primates. This assumption is made because their food resources are presumed to be superabundant and evenly dispersed. However, recent evidence increasingly suggests that folivore group size is food-limited, that the primates prefer patchily distributed high-quality foods, and display some of the expected responses to within-group scramble competition. To investigate this apparent contradiction between theoretical models and recent empirical data, we examined the foraging behaviour of red colobus monkeys (Piliocolobus tephrosceles) in Kibale National Park, Uganda. We found that red colobus monkeys foraged in a manner that suggests they deplete patches of preferred foods: intake rate slowed significantly during patch occupancy while movement rate, an index of foraging effort, increased. Furthermore, patch occupancy was related to the size of the feeding group and the size of the patch. These results suggest that within-group scramble competition occurs, may limit folivore group size, and should be considered in models of folivore behavioural ecology.

Keywords

Colobines Kibale Patch depletion Red colobus Scramble competition Social systems Socioecological models 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Funding for this research was provided by the Wildlife Conservation Society, the National Science Foundation (grant number SBR-9617664, SBR-990899, SBR-0342582), the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and the Harvard University Anthropology Department. Lauren Chapman, Lynne Isbell, Cheryl Knott, Andrew Marshall, Matthew McIntyre, Richard Wrangham, and anonymous reviewers provided helpful comments on the manuscript. Permission to conduct this research was given by the National Council for Science and Technology, and the Uganda Wildlife Authority. All research reported in this paper complies with the laws of the country in which it was conducted

References

  1. Boesch C (1996) Social grouping in Tai chimpanzees. In: McGrew WC, Marchant LF, Nishida T (eds) Great ape societies. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 101–113Google Scholar
  2. Brown JS (1988) Patch use as an indicator of habitat preference, predation risk, and competition. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 22:37–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Brown JS (1989) Desert rodent community structure: a test of four mechanisms of coexistence. Ecol Monogr 59:1–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brown JS, Kotler BP, Mitchell WA (1994) Foraging theory, patch use, and the structure of a Negev desert granivore community. Ecology 75:2286–2300CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chapman CA (1988) Patch use and patch depletion by the spider and howling monkeys of Santa Rosa National Park, Costa Rica. Behav Ecol 105:99–116Google Scholar
  6. Chapman CA (1990a) Association patterns of spider monkeys: the influence of ecology and sex on social organization. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 26:409–414CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chapman CA (1990b) Ecological constraints on group size in three species of neotropical primates. Folia Primatol 55:1–9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chapman CA, Chapman LJ (2000a) Constraints on group size in red colobus and red-tailed guenons: examining the generality of the ecological constraints model. Int J Primatol 21:565–585CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chapman CA, Chapman LJ (2000b) Determinants of group size in primates: the importance of travel costs. In: Boinski S, Garber PA (eds) On the move: how and why animals travel in groups. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp 24–41Google Scholar
  10. Chapman CA, Chapman LJ (2002) Foraging challenges of red colobus monkeys: influence of nutrients and secondary compounds. Comp Biochem Physiol A Physiol 133:861–875CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Chapman CA, Chapman LJ, Bjorndal KA, Onderdonk DA (2002a) Application of protein-to-fiber ratios to predict colobine abundance on difference spatial scales. Int J Primatol 23:283–310CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Chapman CA, Chapman LJ, Gillespie TR (2002b) Scale issues in the study of primate foraging: red colobus of Kibale National Park. Am J Phys Anthropol 117:349–363CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Chapman CA, Chapman LJ, Wrangham RW, Isabirye-Basuta G, Ben-David K (1997) Spatial and temporal variability in the structure of a tropical forest. Afr J Ecol 35:287–302CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Chapman CA, Lambert JE (1999) Habitat alteration and the conservation of African primates: a case study of Kibale National Park, Uganda. Am J Primatol 50:169–186CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Chapman CA, Wrangham RW, Chapman LJ (1995) Ecological constraints on group size: an analysis of spider monkey and chimpanzee subgroups. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 36:59–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Charnov EL (1976) Optimal foraging, the marginal value theorem. Theor Popul Biol 9:129–136CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Clutton-Brock TH, Harvey PH (1977) Primate ecology and social organization. J Zool Soc Lon 183:1–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Crockett CM, Janson CH (2000) Infanticide in red howlers: female group size, group composition, and a possible link to folivory. In: van Schaik CP, Janson CH (eds) Infanticide by males and its implications. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 75–98Google Scholar
  19. Davies AG (1994) Colobine populations. In: Davies AG, Oates JF (eds) Colobine monkeys. Their ecology, behaviour and evolution. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  20. Fimbel C, Vedder A, Dierenfeld E, Mulindahabi F (2001) An ecological basis for large group size in Colobus angolensis in the Nyungwe Forest, Rwanda. Afr J Ecol 39:83–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Ghiglieri MP (1984a) The chimpanzees of Kibale Forest. Columbia University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  22. Ghiglieri MP (1984b) Feeding ecology and sociality of chimpanzees in Kibale Forest, Uganda. In: Rodman PS, Cant JGH (eds) Adaptations for foraging in nonhuman primates: contributions to organismal biology of prosimians, monkeys, and apes. Columbia University Press, New York, pp 161–194Google Scholar
  23. Gillespie TR, Chapman CA (2001) Determinants of group size in the red colobus monkey (Procolobus badius): an evaluation of the generality of the ecological-constraints model. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 50:329–338CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Goodall J (1986) The chimpanzees of Gombe: patterns of behaviour. Harvard University Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  25. Grether GF, Palombit RA, Rodman PS (1992) Gibbon foraging decisions and the marginal value model. Int J Primatol 13:1–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Isbell LA (1991) Contest and scramble competition: patterns of female aggression and ranging behaviour among primates. Behav Ecol 2:143–155CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Isbell LA, Young TP (2002) Ecological models of female social relationships in primates: similarities, disparities and some directions for future clarity. Behaviour 139:177–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Janson CH, Goldsmith ML (1995) Predicting group size in primates: foraging costs and predation risks. Behav Ecol 6:326–336CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Janson CH, van Schaik CP (1988) Recognizing the many faces of primate food competition: Methods. Behaviour 105:165–186CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Koenig A (2000) Competitive regimes in forest-dwelling Hanuman langur females (Semnopithecus entellus). Behav Ecol Sociobiol 48:93–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Koenig A, Borries C (2002) Feeding competition and infanticide constrain group size in wild hanuman langurs. Am J Primatol 57:33–34Google Scholar
  32. Koenig A, Beise J, Chalise MK, Ganzhorn JU (1998) When females should contest for food – testing hypotheses about resource density, distribution, and quality with Hanuman langurs (Presbytis entellus). Behav Ecol Sociobiol 42:225–237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Korstjens AH, Sterck EHM, Noe R (2002) How adaptive or phylogenetically inert is primate social behaviour? A test with two sympatric colobines. Behaviour 139:203–225CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Kotler BP, Brown JS (1988) Environmental heterogeneity and the coexistence of desert rodents. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 19:281–307CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Leighton M, Leighton DR (1982) The relationship of size of feeding aggregate to size of food patch: howler monkeys (Alouatta palliata) feeding in Trichilia cipo fruit trees on Barro Colorado Island. Biotropica 14:81–90CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. McKey DB, Gartlan JS, Waterman PG, Choo GM (1981) Food selection by black colobus monkeys (Colobus satanas) in relation to plant chemistry. Biol J Linn Soc 16:115–146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Oates JF (1994) The natural history of African colobines. In: Davies AG, Oates JF (eds) Colobine monkeys. Their ecology, behaviour and evolution. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  38. Oates JF, Davies AG (1994) What are the colobines. In: Oates JF, Davies AG (eds) Colobine monkeys: their ecology, behaviour and evolution. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 1–10Google Scholar
  39. Pyke GH (1984) Optimal foraging theory: a critical review. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 15:525–575CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Siex K, Struhsaker TT (1999) Ecology of the Zanzibar red colobus monkey: demography variability and habitat stability. Int J Primatol 20:163–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Skorupa JP (1988) The effect of selective timber harvesting on rain forest primates in Kibale Forest, Uganda. PhD Thesis, University of California, DavisGoogle Scholar
  42. Steenbeek R, van Schaik CP (2001) Competition and group size in Thomas's langurs (Presbytis thomasi): the folivore paradox revisited. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 49:100–110CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Sterck EHM, Watts DP, van Schaik CP (1997) The evolution of female social relationships in nonhuman primates. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 41:291–309CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Strier KB (1989) Effects of patch size on feeding associations in Muriquis (Brachyteles arachnoides). Folia Primatol 52:70–77PubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. Struhsaker TT (2000a) The effects of predation and habitat quality on the socioecology of African monkeys: lessons from the islands of Bioko and Zanzibar. In: Whitehead PF, Jolly CJ (eds) Old world monkeys. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 393–430Google Scholar
  46. Struhsaker TT (2000b) Variation in adult sex ratios of red colobus monkey social groups: implications for interspecific comparisons. In: Kappeler PM (ed) Primate males: causes and consequences of variation in group composition. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 108–119Google Scholar
  47. Struhsaker TT, Leland L (1987) Colobines: infanticide by adult males. In: Smuts BB, Cheney DL, Seyfarth RM, Wrangham RW, Struhsaker TT (eds) Primate societies. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp 83–97Google Scholar
  48. Struhsaker TT, Marshall AR, Detwiler K, Siex K, Ehardt C, Lisbjerg DD, Butynski TM (2004) Demographic variation among Udzungwa red colobus in relation to gross ecological and sociological parameters. Int J Primatol 25:615–658CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Treves A, Chapman CA (1996) Conspecific threat, predation avoidance, and resource defense: implications for grouping in langurs. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 39:43–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Tutin CG, McGrew WC, Baldwin PJ (1983) Social organization of savanna-dwelling chimpanzees, Pan troglodytes verus, at Mt. Assirik, Senegal. Primates 24:154–173CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. van Schaik CP (1999) The socioecology of fission-fusion sociality in orangutans. Primates 40:69–86CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. van Schaik CP, van Hooff JARAM (1983) On the ultimate causes of primate social systems. Behaviour 85:91–117CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. van Schaik CP (1989) The ecology of social relationships amongst female primates. In: Standen V, Foley RA (eds) Comparative socioecology: the behavioural ecology of humans and other mammals. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Boston, pp 195–218Google Scholar
  54. Waterman PG, Ross JAM, Bennet EL, Davies AG (1988) A comparison of the floristics and leaf chemistry of the tree flora in two Malaysian rain forests and the influence of leaf chemistry on populations of colobine monkeys in the old world. Biol J Linn Soc 34:1–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Wrangham RW (1980) An ecological model of female-bonded primate groups. Behaviour 75:262–300CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Wrangham RW (2000) Why are male chimpanzees more gregarious than mothers? A scramble competition hypothesis. In: Kappeler PM (ed) Primate males: causes and consequences of variation in group composition. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 248–258Google Scholar
  57. Wrangham RW, Chapman CA, Clark-Arcadi AP, Isabirye-Basuta G (1996) Social ecology of Kanyawara chimpanzees: implications for understanding the costs of great ape groups. In: McGrew WC, Marchant LF, Nishida T (eds) Great Ape Societies. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 45–57Google Scholar
  58. Wrangham RW, Gittleman JL, Chapman CA (1993) Constraints on group size in primates and carnivores: population density estimates and day-range as assays of exploitation competition. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 32:199–209CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Yeager CP, Kirkpatrick CR (1998) Asian colobine social structure: ecological and evolutionary constraints. Primates 39:147–155CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Yeager CP, Kool K (2000) The behavioral ecology of Asian colobines. In: Whitehead PF, Jolly CJ (eds) Old world monkeys. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 496–521Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Anthropology, 5th Floor Peabody MuseumHarvard UniversityBostonUSA
  2. 2.Anthropology Department and McGill School of EnvironmentMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  3. 3.Wildlife Conservation SocietyBronxUSA

Personalised recommendations