Cooperation and competition in two forest monkeys

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79 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Putty-nosed monkeys, Cercopithecus nictitans stampflii, occur at various sites in West Africa, particularly in the transition zone between rainforest and savannah. The species is sometimes seen in primary rainforest, although at a curiously low density compared with that of other monkey species. We conducted a 24-month field study in the tropical rainforest of Tai National Park, Ivory Coast, and found that putty-nosed monkeys require an ecological niche almost identical to that of the Diana monkeys, Cercopithecus diana diana. Moreover, the niche breadth of putty-nosed monkeys was significantly decreased in the presence of Diana monkeys, suggesting that feeding competition with Diana monkeys kept putty-nosed monkeys from successfully colonizing a rainforest habitat. However, contrary to the interspecies competition hypothesis, groups of both species almost completely overlapped in home ranges and formed near-permanent mixed-species associations, rather than avoiding each other. We hypothesized that Diana monkeys tolerated immigrating putty-nosed monkeys and formed mixed-species groups with them, despite high levels of competition, because of their merit in predation defense. Direct observations and a series of field experiments confirmed that male putty-nosed monkeys play a vital role in defense against crowned eagles, suggesting that putty-nosed monkeys obtain access to feeding trees by offering antipredation benefits to Diana monkeys. We discuss these findings in light of biological market theory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)400-411
Number of pages12
JournalBehavioral Ecology
Volume15
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2004

Keywords

  • alarm calls
  • biological markets
  • feeding ecology
  • mutualism
  • niche overlap
  • predation
  • semantic
  • TAI-NATIONAL-PARK
  • LONG-DISTANCE CALLS
  • IVORY-COAST
  • DIANA MONKEYS
  • POLYSPECIFIC ASSOCIATIONS
  • CERCOPITHECUS-DIANA
  • ALARM CALLS
  • CAMPBELLS MONKEYS
  • RED COLOBUS
  • BEHAVIOR

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