Variation in hair δ13C and δ15N values in long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) from Singapore
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Much of the primatology literature on stable isotope ratios of carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) has focused on African and New World species, with comparatively little research published on Asian primates. Here we present hair δ13C and δ15N isotope values for a sample of 33 long-tailed macaques from Singapore. We evaluate the suggestion by a previous researcher that forest degradation and biodiversity loss in Singapore have led to a decline in macaque trophic level. The results of our analysis indicated significant spatial variability in δ13C but not δ15N. The range of variation in δ13C was consistent with a diet based on C3 resources, with one group exhibiting low values consistent with a closed canopy environment. Relative to other macaque species from Europe and Asia, the macaques from Singapore exhibited a low mean δ13C value but mid-range mean δ15N value. Previous research suggesting a decline in macaque trophic level is not supported by the results of our study.
KeywordsStable isotopes δ13C δ15N Primates Macaques Macaca fascicularis Singapore
We thank the National Parks Board (Singapore), especially Sharon Chan, for supporting the project. We thank Dr. James Louden and Dr. Mark Schurr for their insightful comments and criticisms of earlier drafts. Trapping and data-collection procedures used for this study were approved by the institutional animal care and use committee of the University of Toronto (protocol no. 20005356). Partial funding for this project was provided by the University of Toronto Scarborough, and the University of Toronto Connaught Fund (awarded to M.A.S.). Thanks are due to Cayce Gulbransen (U.S. Geological Survey) for conducting the stable isotope analyses. The content of this paper is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the views of our funders. Any use of trade, firm, or product names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.
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