African Primate Assemblages Exhibit a Latitudinal Gradient in Dispersal Limitation
- 501 Downloads
Recent studies have demonstrated that dispersal limitation, which refers to the limited ability of individuals to reach distant geographic areas, is an important influence on the species that are found in primate assemblages. In this study, we investigate the relative influences of dispersal limitation and environmental filtering in 131 African primate assemblages in 9 biogeographic regions throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Specifically, we evaluate the dispersal-ecological specialization hypothesis, which posits that there are trade-offs between dispersal ability and ecological specialization that are influenced by climatic variation along latitudinal gradients. The hypothesis predicts that species in assemblages near the equator, where climatic conditions are more stable, will exhibit stronger dispersal limitation and greater ecological specialization than species within assemblages located further from the equator, where climate is more variable. In contrast, assemblages located at higher latitudes are expected to be influenced more strongly by environmental filtering than dispersal limitation. We used hierarchical cluster analysis to identify regions, conducted partial Mantel tests to evaluate the contributions of dispersal limitation and environmental filtering in each region, and evaluated predictors of those contributions with linear regression. In all regions, dispersal limitation was a stronger predictor of community similarity than was environmental filtering, yet the strength of dispersal limitation varied. Dispersal limitation was greatest at low latitudes and declined with increasing absolute latitude. Thus, primate assemblages exhibited a significant latitudinal gradient in dispersal limitation, but not in environmental filtering. These results support aspects of the dispersal-ecological specialization hypothesis and call for future mechanistic studies to address this broad-scale pattern.
KeywordsBiogeography Community assembly Gene flow Macroecology Metacommunity Niche Primate communities
We thank Joanna Setchell for the invitation to contribute to this International Journal of Primatology special issue following the 2013 American Association of Physical Anthropologists (AAPA) symposium on primate communities and for editing this paper; Jillian DeBenny and Joshua Kohn for African primate data compilation; Catherine Graham, Sandy Harcourt, Marcel Rejmánek, Kelly Stewart, Katie Feilen, Nicole Sharp, Julie Linden, Dena Clink, and Jay Read for discussion; and two anonymous reviewers for comments that improved this manuscript. This work was supported by University of California Davis fellowships to L. Beaudrot from the Graduate Group in Ecology and the Office of Graduate Studies.
- Baselga, A., Jimenez-Valverde, A., & Niccolini, G. (2007). A multiple-site similarity measure independent of richness. Biology Letters, 3(6), 642–645.Google Scholar
- Chase, J. M., Amarasekare, P., Cottenie, K., Gonzalez, A., Holt, R. D., Holyoak, M., et al. (2005). Competing theories for competitive metacommunities. In M. Holyoak, M. A. Leibold, & R. D. Holt (Eds.), Metacommunities: Spatial dynamics and ecological communities (pp. 334–354). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Dapporto, L., Ramazzotti, M., Fattorini, S., Talavera, G., Vila, R., & Dennis, R. L. H. (2013a). recluster: An unbiased clustering procedure for beta-diversity turnover. Ecography. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0587.2013.00444.x.
- Dapporto, L., Ramazzotti, M., Fattorini, S., Vila, R., Talavera, G., & Dennis, R. L. H. (2013b). recluster: Ordination methods for the analysis of beta-diversity indices. R package version 2.5.Google Scholar
- Fielding, A. H. (2007). Cluster and classification techniques for the biosciences. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Fleagle, J. G., Janson, C. H., & Reed, K. E. (Eds.). (1999). Primate communities. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Gandon, S., & Michalakis, Y. (2001). Multiple causes of the evolution of dispersal. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Grubb, P. (1982). Refuges and dispersal in the speciation of African forest mammals. In G. T. Prance (Ed.), Biological diversification in the tropics (pp. 537–553). New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
- Harcourt, A. H. (1998). Ecological indicators of risk for Primates, as judged by species’ susceptibility to logging. In T. Caro (Ed.), Behavioral ecology and conservation (pp. 56–79). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Holt, B. G., Lessard, J. P., Borregaard, M. K., Fritz, S. A., Araujo, M. B., Dimitrov, D., et al. (2013). An update of Wallace’s zoogeographic regions of the world. Science, 339, 74–78.Google Scholar
- Hubbell, S. P. (2001). The unified neutral theory of biodiversity and biogeography. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
- Kamilar, J. M., & Guidi, L. M. (2010). The phylogenetic structure of primate communities: variation within and across continents. Journal of Biogeography, 37(5), 801–813.Google Scholar
- Oksanen, J., Blanchet, F., Kindt, R., Legendre, P., Minchin, P. R., O’Hara, R. B., et al. (2013). vegan: Community Ecology Package. R. p. v. 2.0-7. Available at http://CRAN.R-project.org/package=vegan
- R Development Core Team. (2013). R: A language and environment for statistical computing. Vienna, Austria: R Foundation for Statistical Computing.Google Scholar
- Rapoport, E. H. (1982). Areography: Geographical strategies of species. New York: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
- Rovero, F., Marshall, A. R., Jones, T., & Perkin, A. (2009). The primates of the Udzungwa Mountains: Diversity, ecology and conservation. Journal of Anthropological Science, 87, 93–126.Google Scholar
- Steinbauer, M. J., Dolos, K., Reineking, B., & Beierkuhnlein, C. (2012). Current measures for distance decay in similarity of species composition are influenced by study extent and grain size. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 21, 1203–1212. doi: 10.1111/j.1466-8238.2012.00772.x.
- Vavrek, M. J. (2011). Fossil: palaeoecological and palaeogeographical analysis tools. Palaeontologia Electronica, 14:1T. http://palaeo-electronica.org/2011_1/238/index.html. Accessed 1 Oct 2013.
- Whitmee, S., & Orme, C. D. L. (2013). Predicting dispersal distance in mammals: a traitbased approach. Journal of Animal Ecology, 82(1), 211–221.Google Scholar