Oecologia

, Volume 90, Issue 4, pp 527–533 | Cite as

Food selection by the silver leaf monkey,Trachypithecus auratus sondaicus, in relation to plant chemistry

  • K. M. Kool
Original Papers

Summary

Samples of leaves and fruits exploited as food items byTrachypithecus auratus sondaicus were analysed for nitrogen content, acid detergent fibre (ADF), pepsin cellulase digestibility (CDIG), condensed tannins (CT), total phenolics (TP) and protein precipitation capacity (PP) and compared with fruits and leaves not eaten. Differences in chemical measures for items eaten and not eaten were not statistically significant but trends indicate that leaves may have been selected for their lower fibre content and greater digestibility. Fruits eaten also had a higher mean level of CDIG and lower mean level of ADF than fruits not eaten but these measures are not considered to be of major importance in fruit selection as CDIG was lower and ADF higher in fruits eaten than in leaves eaten. Levels of CT, TP and PP capacity were higher in fruits eaten than in fruits not eaten but lower in leaves eaten than in leaves not eaten. The role of tannins and phenolics in food selection is discussed. Leaves (and fruits) were not strongly selected on the basis of protein content. Approximately half the dietary intake ofT. auratus sondaicus was leaves, a protein-rich food source. Possibly, protein levels in foliage at Pangandaran were sufficient that selection for this nutrient was not required. A nutrient other than protein (for example, soluble carbohydrates) may have been maximised through food selection. The protein/ADF ratio may provide an indicator of the acceptability of foliage in a habitat as potential food for a colobine. However, this ratio did not govern food selection byT. auratus sondaicus at Pangandaran.

Key words

Trachypithecus auratus Colobine monkey Plant chemistry Food selection 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. M. Kool
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Biological ScienceThe University of New South WalesKensingtonAustralia

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