Volume 31 Issue 5
Sep.  2010
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Cyril C GRUETER, LI Da-Yong, FENG Shun-Kai, REN Bao-Ping. Niche partitioning between sympatric rhesus macaques and Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys at Baimaxueshan Nature Reserve, China. Zoological Research, 2010, 31(5): 516-522. doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1141.2010.05516
Citation: Cyril C GRUETER, LI Da-Yong, FENG Shun-Kai, REN Bao-Ping. Niche partitioning between sympatric rhesus macaques and Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys at Baimaxueshan Nature Reserve, China. Zoological Research, 2010, 31(5): 516-522. doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1141.2010.05516

Niche partitioning between sympatric rhesus macaques and Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys at Baimaxueshan Nature Reserve, China

doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1141.2010.05516
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  • Author Bio:

    Cyril C GRUETER,current address: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Department of Primatology, Deutscher Platz 6, 04103 Leipzig, Germany;

  • Corresponding author: Cyril C GRUETER
  • Received Date: 2010-03-29
  • Rev Recd Date: 2010-08-19
  • Publish Date: 2010-10-22
  • Here we provide a preliminary assessment of dietary and habitat requirements of two sympatric primate taxa, a “simple-stomached” and “complex-stomached” species (Rhinopithecus bieti Colobinae vs. Macaca mulatta Cercopithecinae), as a basis for illuminating how the two coexist. Of ca. 22 plant food species consumed by the macaques, at least 16 were also eaten by the snub-nosed monkeys. Both species showed a preference for fruits. While the snub-nosed monkeys did not utilize any resources associated with human communities, rhesus macaques did occasionally raid agricultural crops. The mean elevation of the snub-nosed monkey group was 3,218 m, while the mean elevation of the macaque group was 2,995 m. Macaques were also spotted on meadows whereas snub-nosed monkeys evidently avoided these. For both species, mixed deciduous broadleaf/conifer forest was the most frequently used ecotype, but whereas evergreen broadleaf forest (Cyclobalanopsis community) accounted for only 3% of the location records of the snub-nosed monkeys, it accounted for 36% of the location records of the macaques. Groups of the two species usually kept a considerable spatial distance from one another (mean 2.4 km). One close encounter and confrontation between groups of the two species resulted in the macaque group moving away. Our findings suggest that the coexistence of the two taxa is facilitated via differential macrohabitat use and spatial avoidance. Although divergent habitat-use strategies may reflect interspecific competition, they may also merely reflect different physiological or ecological requirements.
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