Fission-Fusion Dynamics in Southern Muriquis (Brachyteles arachnoides) in Continuous Brazilian Atlantic Forest

Fission-Fusion Dynamics in Southern Muriquis (Brachyteles arachnoides) in Continuous Brazilian Atlantic Forest

Author Coles, Rebecca C. Google Scholar
Lee, Phyllis C. Google Scholar
Talebi, Mauricio Autor UNIFESP Google Scholar
Institution Univ Stirling
Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP)
Univ Cambridge
Abstract Fission-fusion social dynamics, the spatiotemporal variance in subunit size, composition, and cohesion, are the subject of considerable interest owing to their complex nature and widespread appearance in the primate order. We here aim to describe the nature of fission-fusion dynamics in a population of egalitarian southern muriquis inhabiting a relatively undisturbed extension of mildly seasonal Brazilian Atlantic forest to provide insights into the functions of fission-fusion dynamics and to examine the constraints on and opportunities for associations among individuals. We collected instantaneous scan samples and ad libitum data over a total of 13 mo in 2 yr (1599 observation hours) on subunit size at 2 spatiotemporal scales (party and nomadic party), party composition, spatial cohesion, and the behavioral context of fission-fusion events. These southern muriquis exhibited high levels of fission-fusion with significant variation in party size, cohesion, and composition. the group was weakly cohesive with a small mean party size (3.74 adults, 5.32 all individuals) and nomadic party size (13.73 adults, 19.38 all individuals). Mixed parties were the most frequently observed party type, although the high frequency of all-male parties suggests strong relationships based on philopatry and a mating strategy under scramble competition. We compare fission-fusion dynamics across populations of Brachyteles and highlight the striking continuum of these dynamics in the genus. We make interspecific comparisons with Ateles and Pan, with well documented high levels of fission-fusion, and demonstrate interspecific variation and convergence in grouping patterns.
Keywords Brachyteles
Group cohesion
Party composition
Party size
Language English
Sponsor University of Cambridge
Margot Marsh Biodiversity Foundation
Conservation International Brazil
Idea Wild
Manfred Hermsen Stiftung Foundation, Bremen, Germany
British Airways Assisting Conservation Bureau
Downing College and University of Cambridge, UK
Date 2012-02-01
Published in International Journal of Primatology. New York: Springer, v. 33, n. 1, p. 93-114, 2012.
ISSN 0164-0291 (Sherpa/Romeo, impact factor)
Publisher Springer
Extent 93-114
Access rights Closed access
Type Article
Web of Science ID WOS:000301979500006

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