Primate communities are structured more by dispersal limitation than by niches. J Anim Ecol

Graduate Group in Ecology, University of California, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, USA.
Journal of Animal Ecology (Impact Factor: 4.5). 11/2010; 80(2):332-41. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2656.2010.01777.x
Source: PubMed


1. A major goal in community ecology is to identify mechanisms that govern the assembly and maintenance of ecological communities. Current models of metacommunity dynamics differ chiefly in the relative emphasis placed on dispersal limitation and niche differentiation as causal mechanisms structuring ecological communities. Herein we investigate the relative roles of these two mechanisms in structuring primate communities in Africa, South America, Madagascar and Borneo. 2. We hypothesized that if dispersal limitation is important in structuring communities, then community similarity should depend on geographical proximity even after controlling for ecological similarity. Conversely, if communities are assembled primarily through niche processes, then community similarity should be determined by ecological similarity regardless of geographical proximity. 3. We performed Mantel and partial Mantel tests to investigate correlations among primate community similarity, ecological distance and geographical distance. Results showed significant and strongly negative relationships between diurnal primate community similarity and both ecological similarity and geographical distance in Madagascar, but significant and stronger negative relationships between community similarity and geographical distance in African, South American and Bornean metacommunities. 4. We conclude that dispersal limitation is an important determinant of primate community structure and may play a stronger role in shaping the structure of some terrestrial vertebrate communities than niche differentiation. These patterns are consistent with neutral theory. We recommend tests of functional equivalence to determine the extent to which neutral theory may explain primate community composition.

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Available from: Lydia Beaudrot, Oct 05, 2015
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    • "for maximum elevations). Data analyses Many indices measuring similarity between floras and faunas have been used in the literature, but the Jaccard index was rated highly among the 39 binary similarity indices tested by Shi (1993) and is one of the most commonly used similarity indices, particularly in studies on species turnover (e.g., Buckley and Jetz 2008; Anderson et al. 2011; Beaudrot and Marshall 2011). Thus, we calculated species turnover between each pair of provinces, using the Jaccard index of similarity (J) defined as a/(a + b + c), where a is the number of species shared between two localities, and b and c are the numbers of species unique to each locality (Legendre and Legendre 1998). "
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    • "Instead, competition with nonprimate species may be more important for structuring communities than competition between primate species. One line of evidence that supports this explanation is the presence of significant phylogenetic structure in Malagasy primate communities where primates dominate the terrestrial mammalian fauna (Beaudrot and Marshall 2011; Kamilar and Beaudrot 2013). In fact, Malagasy communities were more often phylogenetically even compared to primate communities in other regions (Kamilar and Guidi 2010), which suggests that past competition between closely related species may have resulted in competitive exclusion. "
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    ABSTRACT: Many factors contribute to the structure of primate communities, including historical processes, interspecific competition, and climate. Here, we quantify the phylogenetic structure of individual primate communities to evaluate these factors relative to a null model. Then, we examine the effects of species richness and local climate on variation in community phylogenetic structure. We analyze 71 haplorhine and 29 strepsirrhine communities in Africa and quantify their net relatedness (NRI) and nearest taxon (NTI) indices. Significantly low, i.e., phylogenetically even, NRI and NTI values are indicative of interspecific competition in the past, resulting in closely related species not being found in the same community. In contrast, significantly high, i.e., phylogenetically clustered, NRI and NTI values suggest that closely related species have similar ecological requirements, resulting in closely related species occupying the same community. In a second set of analyses, we used simultaneous autoregressive models to examine if species richness, rainfall, and temperature predict variation in community phylogenetic structure. Most individual communities exhibited phyloge-netically random species assemblages. However, significantly structured haplorhine communities were even whereas strepsirrhine communities were clustered. Species richness significantly predicted variation in haplorhine phylogenetic structure, whereas abiotic factors significantly predicted variation in strepsirrhine phylogenetic structure. We suggest that past interspecific competition and habitat filtering have affected a relatively small proportion of African primate communities, but that past interspecific competition has more strongly influenced haplorhine communities whereas environ-mental conditions have more strongly influenced strepsirrhine communities. Our study illustrates the utility of phylogenetic metrics and spatially explicit models for under-standing primate communities.
    International Journal of Primatology 12/2014; DOI:10.1007/s10764-014-9784-2 · 1.99 Impact Factor
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    • "Primatologists have become increasingly interested in community patterns over the last two decades (Fleagle et al. 1999; Kamilar and Beaudrot 2013; Reed and Bidner 2004). Research on primate community ecology has highlighted the importance of multiple factors in structuring primate communities, including habitat (Haugaasen and Peres 2005; Peres and Janson 1999), competition with primate and nonprimate taxa (Beaudrot et al. 2013a,b; Ganzhorn 1999; Kamilar and Ledogar 2011), dispersal (Beaudrot and Marshall 2011; Beaudrot et al. this volume; Kamilar 2009), plant productivity (Kay et al. 1997), history (Lehman 2006), and phylogeny (Fleagle and Reed 1996). "
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    ABSTRACT: Identifying patterns of primate diversity and abundance over space and time provides a window into the ecological processes that influence species distributions and community composition. Long-term studies of primate communities across multiple habitat types at small spatial scales are rare, yet can improve our understanding of habitat and resource use. Within primate community ecology, there has been recent interest in studying primate species in the context of the broader faunal communities of which they are a part because interactions with ecologically similar but distantly related species may influence habitat use. We present the results of a 64-mo study of 10 vertebrate frugivore species with highly overlapping diets inhabiting seven distinct forest types at the Cabang Panti Research Station, West Kalimantan, Indonesia. We used survey transects and phenology plots to measure variation in vertebrate population densities (four primate, three hornbill, two squirrel, and one pig species) and fruit resources over space and time. We found little evidence of habitat partitioning or specialization. Densities of all 10 frugivore species, however, varied spatially, due largely to elevation and forest structure. Ordination analyses demonstrated that forest types differed in their structure, floristic composition, plant phenology, and frugivore communities. We also documented substantial temporal variation in orangutan densities, reflecting movements over large spatial scales. The densities of other mammalian and avian frugivores, particularly other primates, varied comparatively little over time.
    International Journal of Primatology 12/2014; 35:1178-1201. DOI:10.1007/s10764-014-9774-4 · 1.99 Impact Factor
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