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The role of sex and age in the architecture of intrapopulation howler monkey-plant networks in continuous and fragmented rain forests

AuthorsBenítez-Malvido, Julieta; Martínez-Falcón, Ana Paola; Dattilo, Wesley; González-DiPierro, Ana María; Lombera Estrada, Rafael; Traveset, Anna
Sex class
Age class
Habitat fragmentation
Consumer-resource interactions
Alouatta pigra
Issue Date14-Mar-2016
CitationPeerJ 2016(3): 1809 (2016)
AbstractWe evaluated the structure of intrapopulation howler monkey-plant interactions by focusing on the plant species consumed by different sex and age classes in continuous and fragmented forests in southern Mexico. For this we used network analysis to evaluate the impact of fragmentation on howler population traits and on resource availability and food choice. A total of 37 tree and liana species and seven plant items (bark, immature fruits, flowers, mature fruits, immature leaves, mature leaves and petioles) were consumed, but their relative consumption varied according to sex and age classes and habitat type. Overall, adult females consumed the greatest number of plant species and items while infants and juveniles the lowest. For both continuous and fragmented forests, we found a nested diet for howler monkey-plant networks: diets of more selective monkeys represent subsets of the diets of other individuals. Nestedness was likely due to the high selectivity of early life stages in specific food plants and items, which contrasts with the generalized foraging behaviour of adults. Information on the extent to which different plant species and primate populations depend on such interactions in different habitats will help to make accurate predictions about the potential impact of disturbances on plant-animal interaction networks.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.1809
Identifiersdoi: 10.7717/peerj.1809
issn: 2167-8359
Appears in Collections:(IMEDEA) Artículos
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