Ecological and social determinants of association and proximity patterns in the fission–fusion society of spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi)

Adriana R. Aguilar-Melo, Sophie Calmé, Braulio Pinacho-Guendulain, Sandra E. Smith-Aguilar, Gabriel Ramos-Fernández

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1 Scopus citations

Abstract

© 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Some social species exhibit high levels of fission–fusion dynamics (FFD) that improve foraging efficiency. In this study, we shed light on the way that FFD allows animal groups to cope with fluctuations in fruit availability. We explore the relative contribution of fruit availability and social factors like sex in determining association and proximity patterns in spider monkeys. We tested the influence of fruit availability and social factors on the association and proximity patterns using three-year data from a group of spider monkeys in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. We identified subgroup members and estimated their Interindividual distances through instantaneous scan sampling. We evaluated fruit availability by monitoring the phenology of the 10 most important food tree species for spider monkeys in the study site. Social network analyses allowed us to evaluate association and proximity patterns in subgroups. We showed that association patterns vary between seasons, respond to changes in fruit availability, and are influenced by the sex of individuals, likely reflecting biological and behavioral differences between sexes and the interplay between ecological and social factors. In contrast, proximity patterns were minimally affected by changes in fruit availability, suggesting that social factors are more important than food availability in determining cohesion within subgroups.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalAmerican Journal of Primatology
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020

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