Peng-Fei Fan

Peng-Fei Fan
Sun Yat-Sen University | SYSU · School of Life Sciences

PhD

About

127
Publications
43,236
Reads
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1,751
Citations
Introduction
My research interests are 1) behavioural adaptation of primates to harsh or degraded habitat. 2) group size and evolution of social system in primates, especially in gibbons. I try to use socio-ecological model and resource dispersion hypothesis to explain the evolution of bi-female grouping in gibbons. 3) primates conservation. Since 2009, I expanded my research into leaf monkeys based on very similar ideas listed above.
Additional affiliations
January 2016 - December 2016
Sun Yat-Sen University
Position
  • Professor (Full)
September 2011 - December 2015
Dali University
Position
  • Professor (Full)
September 2009 - September 2011
Dali University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)

Publications

Publications (127)
Article
To achieve the grand vision of ‘Ecological Civilization’ and to build a more sustainable Belt and Road Initiative, China’s conservation policies must be underpinned by research. However, recent institutional and vertebrate conservation scientists’ publication data suggest that China has a growing conservation research capacity deficit. China lacks...
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Although conventional wisdom considers knowledge of threatened species' ecology and status essential for conservation , few studies demonstrate this in a quantitative way across many species and within the same political entity. Here, we evaluated the impacts of scientific research against conservation interventions (including funding) and species-...
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The study of vocal communication in nonhuman primates, especially apes, offers critical insight into the origins of human language. Although human language represents a highly derived and complex form of communication, researchers have found that the organization of language follows a series of common statistical patterns, known as ‘linguistic laws...
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Although many species are threatened by hunting or resource extraction from indigenous human communities, traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) of local communities has the potential to support management and conservation of natural resources and wildlife. The newly described skywalker hoolock gibbon (Hoolock tianxing) is found on the border of Ch...
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Gibbons in China represent the northernmost margin of present day gibbon species distribution (around N25°). Compared to tropical habitats, northern gibbon habitats are characterized by low temperatures and remarkable seasonal variation in fruit abundance. How gibbons adapt to their cold and seasonal habitats and what ecological factors affect thei...
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Adult males living in a one-male multi-female social group are expected to try to monopolize copulations with resident females to increase reproductive fitness. Gibbons have traditionally been described as living in monogamous groups, with the sole resident adult male assumed to sire all of the group's offspring. Here, we used microsatellite analys...
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Historically, Internet access has been linked to a country’s wealth. However, starting a decade ago, this situation changed dramatically and Internet access became increasingly available in primate range countries. The rapid growth of smartphone use in developing nations has created new avenues to communicate conservation. Here we assess the potent...
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Gut microbiota influences nutrient metabolism and immunity of animal hosts. Better understanding of the composition and diversity of gut microbiota contributes to conservation and management of threatened animals both in situ and ex situ. In this study, we applied 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing to evaluate the composition and diversity of the fe...
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Finding suitable sleeping sites is highly advantageous but challenging for wild animals. While suitable sleeping sites provide protection against predators and enhance sleep quality, these sites are heterogeneously distributed in space. Thus, animals may generate memories associated with suitable sleeping sites to be able to approach them efficient...
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Adult male and female coordinated singing occur in diverse animal taxa. Adult male-female social bond advertising and strengthening have been proposed as two important functional hypotheses of coordinated singing. Here we studied these two functions in four groups of cao vit gibbon (Nomascus nasutus), a small ape that lives in polygynous family gro...
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Biodiversity is declining in part due to destructive and unsustainable human activity. Nature-based tourism, informed by scientific data, has the potential to replace some income generated by unsustainable practices. We observed two groups of Hoolock tianxing gibbons – one exposed to tourists and the other to small research teams – at Gaoligong Nat...
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As a top predator, the Eurasian otter ( Lutra lutra) is an indicator of healthy freshwater ecosystems and a flagship species for conservation. Once widespread in China, the species is now distributed mainly in the upper reaches of the great rivers of western China. However, a lack of knowledge on local otter populations continues to hinder their co...
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an diversity in China ranks it as one of the key groups in maintaining ecological function. Since Mr. John R. Reeves conducted the first mammalian survey in Guangdong,China,from 1829 to 1834,Chinese mammaltaxonomic and systematic researches have made remarkable progress in the past 200 years. Presently,the number of mammal species in China has reac...
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Scientific research provides essential information for conservation of threatened species. Data deficiency due to insufficient research impedes the design of conservation plans, and research bias may mistakenly direct limited resources to low biodiversity regions or less threatened species. Here, we conducted a systematic review of published papers...
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Objectives Although fermented food use is ubiquitous in humans, the ecological and evolutionary factors contributing to its emergence are unclear. Here we investigated the ecological contexts surrounding the consumption of fruits in the late stages of fermentation by wild primates to provide insight into its adaptive function. We hypothesized that...
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Reproductive and life-history characteristics, such as age at first reproduction, interbirth interval (IBI), sex ratio of newborns, and infant mortality, are crucial for assessing the population dynamics and survival of threatened species. There are no longitudinal data on the life histories of the threatened northern white-cheeked gibbons (Nomascu...
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Phylogenetic relationships within the sinica-group of macaques based on morphological, behavioral, and molecular characteristics have remained controversial. The Nepal population of Assam macaques (Macaca assamensis) (NPAM), the westernmost population of the species, is morphologically distinct but has never been used in phylogenetic analyses. Here...
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Trachypithecus, which currently contains 20 species divided into four groups, is the most speciose and geographically dispersed genus among Asian colobines. Despite several morphological and molecular studies, however, its evolutionary history and phylogeography remain poorly understood. Phayre's langur (Trachypithecus phayrei) is one of the most w...
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Aim Species ranges in mountain areas may shift both horizontally and altitudinally, resulting from climate change and anthropogenic impact. Two hypotheses (the abundant centre hypothesis and the contagion hypothesis) have been proposed to account for patterns of horizontal range contraction. However, undulating topograph causes a mosaic of unsuitab...
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Establishing protected areas (PAs) is an essential strategy to reduce biodiversity loss. However, many PAs do not provide adequate protection due to poor funding, inadequate staffing and equipment, and ineffective management. As part of China's recent economic growth, the Chinese government has significantly increased investment in nature reserves...
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Gibbons’ loud morning songs are hypothesized to function in territorial defense. To efficiently defend their territory, gibbons could sing more frequently along the territory boundary. Alternatively, singing may advertise occupancy of a territory, regardless of the singer’s location. Further, gibbons should choose singing sites that facilitate soun...
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Threats to biodiversity are well documented. However, to effectively conserve species and their habitats, we need to know which conservation interventions do (or do not) work. Evidence-based conservation evaluates interventions within a scientific framework. The Conservation Evidence project has summarized thousands of studies testing conservation...
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Studies on behavioral flexibility in response to habitat differences and degradation are crucial for developing conservation strategies for endangered species. Trachypithecus species inhabit various habitats and display different patterns of strata use; however, the effect of habitat structure on strata use remains poorly studied. Here, we investig...
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With 60% of all primate species now threatened with extinction and many species only persisting in small populations in forest fragments, conservation action is urgently needed. But what type of action? Here we argue that restoration of primate habitat will be an essential component of strategies aimed at conserving primates and preventing the exti...
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Positional behavior and its relationship with substrate are crucial to understand animal morphological and behavioral adaptation, and can contribute to habitat conservation of endangered species. Colobine monkeys show diverse inter- and intra-species variations in positional behavior. Although the effects of substrate type on positional behavior ar...
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Research is a highly competitive profession where evaluation plays a central role; journals are ranked and individuals are evaluated based on their publication number, the number of times they are cited and their h-index. Yet such evaluations are often done in inappropriate ways that are damaging to individual careers, particularly for young schola...
Article
Food abundance and climatic factors can significantly affect the behavior of animals and constrain their activity budgets. The population of western black crested gibbons (Nomascus concolor) in Mt. Wuliang lives in montane forest and is close to the northern extreme of the distribution for gibbons (Hylobatidae). Their habitats show remarkable seaso...
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The cao vit gibbon Nomascus nasutus , also known as eastern black crested gibbon, is categorized as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List and was considered one of the world's 25 most threatened primates. The only known population occurs along the border between China and Viet Nam. Accurate information on population size and dynamics is critic...
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Considering the high energetic costs of maintaining constant body temperature, mammals must adjust their thermoregulatory behaviors in response to cold temperatures. Although primate daytime thermoregulation is relatively well studied, there is limited research in relation to nighttime strategies. To investigate how Skywalker hoolock gibbons (Hoolo...
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According to the sexual selection hypothesis, infanticide during resident male replacement is an adaptive strategy that has evolved because the killing of unweaned offspring sired by previous males shortens the inter-birth intervals of the mothers whose infants are targeted and thereby increases the reproductive fitness of the perpetrator. To test...
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China is facing an unprecedented set of challenges in balancing the effects of economic development and global climate change with environmental protection and maintaining biodiversity. Although positive steps have been undertaken to remedy this situation, currently 80% of China’s 25 extant primate species are threatened, 15–18 species have populat...
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Gibbons are generally reported to live in small socially monogamous family groups in which both sexes disperse when they reach maturity. For the first time, we documented the dispersal pattern in a population of gibbons living in stable polygynous groups (Nomascus concolor) integrating 16 years' field observation and genetic information from fecal...
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China supports the richest non-human primate diversity in the northern hemisphere, providing an excellent opportunity for Chinese primatologists to take a leading role in advancing the study of primatology. Primatology in China began to flourish after 1979. To date, Chinese primatologists have published more than 1000 papers in journals indexed by...
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In habitats such as temperate evergreen forests, fruit, and seed productivity is reported to exhibit marked changes in seasonal availability, such that fruit is most available in summer and seeds are most available in autumn. Primates living in these habitats, therefore, are expected to adjust their diets in response to the spatial and temporal var...
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Studying sleeping behavior can provide key information for understanding the ecology of a species. Antipredation is an important factor that affects primate sleeping behavior. We studied antipredation sleeping behavior in skywalker hoolock gibbons (Hoolock tianxing). We studied one group (NA) and a solitary female (NB) at Nankang from July 2010 to...
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Eastern black crested gibbons (Nomascus nasutus) are listed as Critically Endangered in the IUCN Red List, because of their small population size. The single remaining population is comprised of about 110 individuals living in a karst forest patch along the border of China and Vietnam. We monitored gibbon calls from fixed listening posts to survey...
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Species of the genus Trachypithecus normally live in groups of less than 20 individuals composed of only one adult male and several adult females (one-male unit). While Indochinese gray langurs (T. crepusculus) live in one male group and multi-male group with less than 30 indiviudals in northeastern Thailand, the conspecific populations in Wuliang...
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We describe a species of Hoolock gibbon (Primates: Hylobatidae) that is new to science from eastern Myanmar and southwestern China. The genus of hoolock gibbons comprises two previously described living species, the western (Hoolock hoolock) and eastern hoolock (H. leuconedys) gibbons, geographically isolated by the Chindwin River. We assessed the...
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The Cao Vit gibbon (Nomascus nasutus) has only one population with about 110 individuals living in a degraded karst forest along the China–Vietnam border. Investigation of food choice in relation to chemical nutrition will offer important insights into its conservation. We studied the food choice of two groups of Cao Vit gibbons using instantaneous...
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Dance is a universal art form practiced by all human societies and has many functions including sexual attraction, social cohesion, and the therapeutic release of energy. Dance also has been reported in a small number of non-human primate species, in particular apes. However, its function has not been systematically evaluated. We observed 357 inten...
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For Critically Endangered "species of extreme rarity," there is an urgent need to clarify the potential survival of remnant populations. Such populations can be difficult to detect using standard field methods. Local ecological knowledge (LEK) represents an important alternative source of information, but anecdotal reports of rare or possibly extin...
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White-cheeked macaque is a newly described species in genus Macaca. Here, the complete mitochondrial genome was firstly determined, which was deposited in Genbank with accession number KU564271. The length of the mitogenome is 16,494 base pairs (bp). It includes 13 protein-coding genes (PCGs), 22 transfer RNA (tRNA) genes, two ribosomal RNA (rRNA)...
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Many non-human primates produce species-specific loud calls to communicate within and between groups over long distances. Understanding these calling patterns can provide insights into how individuals modify their behavior in response to environmental variables as well as help to design efficient bioacoustic survey techniques. Eastern hoolock gibbo...
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Food acquisition is an important factor in the evolution of primate postural behavior. Gibbons are well known for their ability to exploit terminal branches by means of below branch suspensory feeding, but few studies of gibbon positional behavior have been conducted since the seminal work of the 1970s and 1980s. We studied the feeding posture of t...
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Peripheral populations are valuable for conservation because of their potential genetic distinctiveness and ecological differentiation, but they tend to be smaller and more easily isolated than central populations. The Indochinese gray langurs living in the Wuliang Mountains of southwestern China, which form the northernmost peripheral population o...
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We describe a newly discovered Macaca species from the Modog, in southeastern Tibet, China, Macaca leucogenys sp. nov or the "white-cheeked macaque". Based on 738 photos taken during direct observations and captured by camera traps this new species appears to be distinct from the Macaca sinica species group. Moreover, the species is distinguished f...
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Species of the order Primates are highly gregarious with most species living in permanent heterosexual social groups. According to theory in socioecology maximum social group size is limited by rates of intra-group feeding competition and associated increases in travel costs. Unlike other hylobatids, which are predominantly pair living, cao vit gib...
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Identifying ecological factors underlying primate group size has been a central theme in primate behavioral ecology. The ecological constraints model proposes that increased group size leads to enhanced within-group feeding competition, necessitating increased travel to encounter additional or more productive feeding sites. Over the course of three...
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Vocal individuality and stability has been used to conduct population surveys, monitor population dynamics, and detect dispersal patterns in avian studies. To our knowledge, it has never been used in these kinds of studies among primates. The cao vit gibbon is a critically endangered species with only one small population living in a karst forest a...
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In this study, the quadrat method was used to study the effects of tsaoko (Fructus tsaoko) plantation on tree diversity and canopy structure of two natural habitats of eastern hoolock gibbon (Hoolock leuconedys): Nankang (characterized by extensive tsaoko plantation) and Banchang (relatively well reserved and without tsaoko plantation). Totally, 10...
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Diet and activity rhythms are important aspects of animal behavior. Studying these topics provides valuable insights into how variations of food, temperature and illumination time impact animal behavior and behavioral adaptations. To better understand how these variables affect the endangered cao vit gibbon, we collected behavioral and dietary data...
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The cao vit gibbon is a critically endangered species. Only approximately 110 individuals remain in degraded karst forest along the China-Vietnam border. Karst forest is unusual gibbon habitat. Currently, the canopy height of cao vit gibbon habitat is approximately 10 m. Research on the locomotor behavior of gibbons living in this particular forest...
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Black crested gibbons (Nomascus concolor) are 1 of only 3 gibbon species that have been observed in long-term polygynous groups, but their mating behavior and reproductive characters have never been reported. Based on population monitoring over 7 years and direct observation for 26 months of the study groups in Wuliang Mountain, central Yunnan, we...