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Interspecific Interactions between Primates, Birds, Bats, and Squirrels May Affect Community Composition on Borneo

Authors

  • LYDIA BEAUDROT,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Anthropology, University of California, Davis, California
    • Graduate Group in Ecology, University of California, Davis, California
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  • MATTHEW J. STRUEBIG,

    1. Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE), School of Anthropology and Conservation, University of Kent, Canterbury, United Kingdom
    2. School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Queen Mary University of London, London, United Kingdom
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  • ERIK MEIJAARD,

    1. People & Nature Consulting International, Jakarta, Indonesia
    2. School of Biological Sciences, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
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  • SEBASTIANUS VAN BALEN,

    1. Basilornis Consults, Arnhem, The Netherlands
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  • SIMON HUSSON,

    1. The Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project, Palangkaraya, Indonesia
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  • CARSON F. YOUNG,

    1. Department of Anthropology, University of California, Davis, California
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  • ANDREW J. MARSHALL

    1. Graduate Group in Ecology, University of California, Davis, California
    2. Department of Anthropology, University of California, Davis, California
    3. Animal Behavior Graduate Group, University of California, Davis, California
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  • Contract grant sponsor:NSF GRF; Contract grant sponsor: UCD PFTF

Correspondence to: Lydia Beaudrot, Department of Anthropology, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616. E-mail: lhbeaudrot@ucdavis.edu

Abstract

For several decades, primatologists have been interested in understanding how sympatric primate species are able to coexist. Most of our understanding of primate community ecology derives from the assumption that these animals interact predominantly with other primates. In this study, we investigate to what extent multiple community assembly hypotheses consistent with this assumption are supported when tested with communities of primates in isolation versus with communities of primates, birds, bats, and squirrels together. We focus on vertebrate communities on the island of Borneo, where we examine the determinants of presence or absence of species, and how these communities are structured. We test for checkerboard distributions, guild proportionality, and Fox's assembly rule for favored states, and predict that statistical signals reflecting interactions between ecologically similar species will be stronger when nonprimate taxa are included in analyses. We found strong support for checkerboard distributions in several communities, particularly when taxonomic groups were combined, and after controlling for habitat effects. We found evidence of guild proportionality in some communities, but did not find significant support for Fox's assembly rule in any of the communities examined. These results demonstrate the presence of vertebrate community structure that is ecologically determined rather than randomly generated, which is a finding consistent with the interpretation that interactions within and between these taxonomic groups may have shaped species composition in these communities. This research highlights the importance of considering the broader vertebrate communities with which primates co-occur, and so we urge primatologists to explicitly consider nonprimate taxa in the study of primate ecology. Am. J. Primatol. 75:170-185, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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