Seasonality in fruit availability affects frugivorous primate biomass and species richness


  • Goro Hanya,

  • Pablo Stevenson,

  • Maria van Noordwijk,

  • Siew Te Wong,

  • Tomoko Kanamori,

  • Noko Kuze,

  • Shin-ichiro Aiba,

  • Colin A. Chapman,

  • Carel van Schaik

G. Hanya (, Primate Research Inst., Kyoto Univ., Inuyama JP-484-8506, Japan. – P. Stevenson, Depto de Ciencias Biológicas, Univ. de los Andes, CO-4976 Bogotá, Columbia. – M. van Noordwijk and C. van Schaik, Anthropology Inst. and Museum, Univ. of Zurich, CH-8057 Zurich, Switzerland. – S. Te Wong, Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre, Sandakan, Malaysia. – T. Kanamori and N. Kuze, Wildlife Research Center, Kyoto Univ., Kyoto JP-606-8203, Japan. – S.-I. Aiba, Faculty of Science, Kagoshima Univ., Kagoshima JP-890-8580, Japan. – C. A. Chapman, Dept of Anthropology and McGill School of Environment, McGill Univ., Montréal, QC H3A 2A7, Canada.


We examine the effect of total annual food abundance and seasonal availability on the biomass and species richness for frugivorous primates on three continents (n=16 sites) by data on fruit fall. We reveal that the best-fit models for predicting primate biomass include total annual fruit fall (positive), seasonality (negative) and biogeography (Old World>New World and mainland>island) and that these factors explain 56–67% of the variation. For the number of species, the best-fit models include seasonality (negative) and biogeography (Old World>New World and mainland>island) but not total annual fruit fall. Annual temperature has additional effects on primate biomass when the effects of fruits and biogeography are controlled, but there is no such effect on species richness. The present results indicate that, measured on local scales, primate biomass and number of species is affected by the seasonal variation in food availability.