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  • 1
    In: PLoS ONE, 2014, Vol.9(8)
    Description: European white stork ( Ciconia ciconia ) populations have been object to several conservation measures such as reintroduction programs, habitat improvement or supplementary feeding in the last decades. Although recent white stork censuses revealed an upward trend of most of the western populations, evaluations of the relative importance of certain conservation measures are still scarce or even lacking. In our study we analyzed the effect of supplementary feeding on the reproductive success of white storks in conjunction with other factors such as weather or nest site characteristics. We present data of 569 breeding events at 80 different nest sites located in variable distances to an artificial feeding site at Affenberg Salem (south-western Germany) collected from 1990–2012. A multilevel Poisson regression revealed that in our study population (1) reproductive success was negatively affected by monthly precipitation in April, May and June, (2) pairs breeding on power poles had a lower reproductive success than pairs breeding on platforms or trees and (3) reproductive success was significantly higher in pairs breeding in close distance to the feeding site. The number of fledglings per nest decreased by 8% per kilometer distance to the feeding site. Our data suggest that supplementary feeding increases fledgling populations which may be a tool to attenuate population losses caused by factors such as habitat deterioration or unfavorable conditions in wintering habitats.
    Keywords: Research Article ; Biology And Life Sciences ; Ecology And Environmental Sciences
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: PLoS ONE, August 13, 2014, Vol.9(8)
    Description: European white stork (Ciconia ciconia) populations have been object to several conservation measures such as reintroduction programs, habitat improvement or supplementary feeding in the last decades. Although recent white stork censuses revealed an upward trend of most of the western populations, evaluations of the relative importance of certain conservation measures are still scarce or even lacking. In our study we analyzed the effect of supplementary feeding on the reproductive success of white storks in conjunction with other factors such as weather or nest site characteristics. We present data of 569 breeding events at 80 different nest sites located in variable distances to an artificial feeding site at Affenberg Salem (south-western Germany) collected from 1990-2012. A multilevel Poisson regression revealed that in our study population (1) reproductive success was negatively affected by monthly precipitation in April, May and June, (2) pairs breeding on power poles had a lower reproductive success than pairs breeding on platforms or trees and (3) reproductive success was significantly higher in pairs breeding in close distance to the feeding site. The number of fledglings per nest decreased by 8% per kilometer distance to the feeding site. Our data suggest that supplementary feeding increases fledgling populations which may be a tool to attenuate population losses caused by factors such as habitat deterioration or unfavorable conditions in wintering habitats.
    Keywords: Weather – Protection and Preservation ; Weather – Analysis ; Precipitation (Meteorology) – Protection and Preservation ; Precipitation (Meteorology) – Analysis
    ISSN: 1932-6203
    Source: Cengage Learning, Inc.
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: American Journal of Physical Anthropology, January 2012, Vol.147(1), pp.1-10
    Description: The Guizhou snub‐nosed monkey () is a primate species endemic to the Wuling Mountains in southern China. With a maximum of 800 wild animals, the species is endangered and one of the rarest Chinese primates. To assess the genetic diversity within and to analyze its genetic population structure, we collected fecal samples from the wild population and sequenced the hypervariable region I of the mitochondrial control region from 141 individuals. We compared our data with those from the two other Chinese snub‐nosed species (, ) and reconstructed their phylogenetic relationships and divergence times. With only five haplotypes and a maximum of 25 polymorphic sites, shows the lowest genetic diversity in terms of haplotype diversity (), nucleotide diversity (π), and average number of pairwise nucleotide differences (Π). The most recent common ancestor of lived ∼0.36 million years ago (Ma), thus more recently than those of (∼0.91 Ma) and (∼1.33 Ma). Phylogenetic analysis and analysis of molecular variance revealed a clear and significant differentiation among the three Chinese snub‐nosed monkey species. Population genetic analyses (Tajima's D, Fu's F, and mismatch distribution) suggest a stable population size for . For the other two species, results point in the same direction, but population substructure possibly introduces some ambiguity. Because of the lower genetic variation, the smaller population size and the more restricted distribution, might be more vulnerable to environmental changes or climate oscillations than the other two Chinese snub‐nosed monkey species. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2012. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Keywords: Hypervariable Region I ; Phylogeny ; Evolution ; Rhinopithecus ; Conservation
    ISSN: 0002-9483
    E-ISSN: 1096-8644
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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 14 October 2014, Vol.111(41), pp.14740-5
    Description: Male relationships in most species of mammals generally are characterized by intense intrasexual competition, with little bonding among unrelated individuals. In contrast, human societies are characterized by high levels of cooperation and strong bonds among both related and unrelated males. The emergence of cooperative male-male relationships has been linked to the multilevel structure of traditional human societies. Based on an analysis of the patterns of spatial and social interaction in combination with genetic relatedness data of wild Guinea baboons (Papio papio), we show that this species exhibits a multilevel social organization in which males maintain strong bonds and are highly tolerant of each other. Several "units" of males with their associated females form "parties," which team up as "gangs." Several gangs of the same "community" use the same home range. Males formed strong bonds predominantly within parties; however, these bonds were not correlated with genetic relatedness. Agonistic interactions were relatively rare and were restricted to a few dyads. Although the social organization of Guinea baboons resembles that of hamadryas baboons, we found stronger male-male affiliation and more elaborate greeting rituals among male Guinea baboons and less aggression toward females. Thus, the social relationships of male Guinea baboons differ markedly from those of other members of the genus, adding valuable comparative data to test hypotheses regarding social evolution. We suggest that this species constitutes an intriguing model to study the predictors and fitness benefits of male bonds, thus contributing to a better understanding of the evolution of this important facet of human social behavior.
    Keywords: Association Index ; Fission–Fusion ; Multilevel Society ; Range Expansion ; Social Network Analysis ; Behavior, Animal ; Hierarchy, Social ; Social Behavior ; Primates -- Physiology
    ISSN: 00278424
    E-ISSN: 1091-6490
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  • 5
    In: American Journal of Primatology, August 2015, Vol.77(8), pp.878-889
    Description: Sex differences in philopatry and dispersal have important consequences on the genetic structure of populations, social groups, and social relationships within groups. Among mammals, male dispersal and female philopatry are most common and closely related taxa typically exhibit similar dispersal patterns. However, among four well-studied species of baboons, only hamadryas baboons exhibit female dispersal, thus differing from their congenerics, which show female philopatry and close-knit female social relationships. Until recently, knowledge of the Guinea baboon social system and dispersal pattern remained sparse. Previous observations suggested that the high degree of tolerance observed among male Guinea baboons could be due to kinship. This led us to hypothesize that this species exhibits male philopatry and female dispersal, conforming to the hamadryas pattern. We genotyped 165 individuals from five localities in the Niokolo-Koba National Park, Senegal, at 14 autosomal microsatellite loci and sequenced a fragment of the mitochondrial hypervariable region I (HVRI) of 55 individuals. We found evidence for higher population structuring in males than in females, as expected if males are the more philopatric sex. A comparison of relatedness between male– ;male and female-female dyads within and among communities did not yield conclusive results. HVRI diversity within communities was high and did not differ between the sexes, also suggesting female gene flow. Our study is the first comprehensive analysis of the genetic population structure in Guinea baboons and provides evidence for female-biased dispersal in this species. In conjunction with their multilevel social organization, this finding parallels the observations for human hunter-gatherers and strengthens baboons as an intriguing model to elucidate the processes that shaped the highly cooperative societies of Homo. Am. J. Primatol. 77:878-889, 2015. © 2015 The Authors. American Journal of Primatology Published by Wiley Periodicals Inc. Copyright John Wiley & Sons. Reproduced with permission. An electronic version of this article is available online at http://www.interscience.wiley.com
    Keywords: Social System ; Male Philopatry ; Microsatellites ; Population Structure ; Hypervariable Region I
    ISSN: 0275-2565
    E-ISSN: 1098-2345
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  • 6
    In: PLoS ONE, 2013, Vol.8(8)
    Description: To evaluate the conservation status of a species or population it is necessary to gain insight into its ecological requirements, reproduction, genetic population structure, and overall genetic diversity. In our study we examined the genetic diversity of Rhinopithecus brelichi by analyzing microsatellite data and compared them with already existing data derived from mitochondrial DNA, which revealed that R. brelichi exhibits the lowest mitochondrial diversity of all so far studied Rhinopithecus species. In contrast, the genetic diversity of nuclear DNA is high and comparable to other Rhinopithecus species, i.e. the examined microsatellite loci are similarly highly polymorphic as in other species of the genus. An explanation for these differences in mitochondrial and nuclear genetic diversity could be a male biased dispersal. Females most likely stay within their natal band and males migrate between bands, thus mitochondrial DNA will not be exchanged between bands but nuclear DNA via males. A Bayesian Skyline Plot based on mitochondrial DNA sequences shows a strong decrease of the female effective population size (N ef ) starting about 3,500 to 4,000 years ago, which concurs with the increasing human population in the area and respective expansion of agriculture. Given that we found no indication for a loss of nuclear DNA diversity in R. brelichi it seems that this factor does not represent the most prominent conservation threat for the long-term survival of the species. Conservation efforts should therefore focus more on immediate threats such as development of tourism and habitat destruction.
    Keywords: Research Article
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 7
    In: PLoS ONE, 2013, Vol.8(12)
    Description: We address the question why papers dealing with the ecology of primates are so sparsely represented in the general ecological literature. A literature analyses based on entries in Web of Science and PrimateLit reveals that despite a large number of papers published on primates in general and on the ecology of primates, only a very small fraction of these papers is published in high-ranking international ecological journals. We discuss a number of potential reasons for the disproportion and highlight the problems associated with experimental research on wild primates and constraints on sample size as major issues.
    Keywords: Research Article ; Biology
    ISSN: 14647931
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
    E-ISSN: 1469185X
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  • 8
    In: Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues, News, and Reviews, 02 January 2014, Vol.23(1), pp.21-23
    Description: Since Darwin's time, the question “what a species” has provoked fierce disputes and a tremendous number of publications, from short opinion papers to thick volumes.[] The debates covered fundamental philosophical questions, such as: Do species exist at all independently of a human observer or are they just a construct of the human mind to categorize nature's organismic diversity and serve as a semantic tool in human communication about biodiversity?[][][] or: Are species natural kinds (classes) or individuals that are “born” by speciation, change in course of time, and finally “die” when they go extinct or diverge into new species?[][][][] Also included was the problem of species as taxa (taxonomic) versus species as products of the speciation process (evolutionary).[] More pragmatic issues arose, such as: How can we reliably delineate and delimitate species?[][] The great interest in what a species is reflects the importance of “species” as fundamental units in most fields of biology, especially evolutionary biology, ecology, and conservation.[][][][]
    Keywords: Molecular Phylogeny ; Species Delimination ; Primate Taxonomy
    ISSN: 1060-1538
    E-ISSN: 1520-6505
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  • 9
    Language: English
    In: American Journal of Physical Anthropology, January 2013, Vol.150(1), pp.133-140
    Description: Baboons (genus ) are an interesting phylogeographical primate model for the evolution of savanna species during the Pleistocene. Earlier studies, based on partial mitochondrial sequence information, revealed seven major haplogroups indicating multiple para‐ and polyphylies among the six baboon species. The most basal splits among baboon lineages remained unresolved and the credibility intervals for divergence time estimates were rather large. Assuming that genetic variation within the two studied mitochondrial loci so far was insufficient to infer the apparently rapid early radiation of baboons we used complete mitochondrial sequence information of ten specimens, representing all major baboon lineages, to reconstruct a baboon phylogeny and to re‐estimate divergence times. Our data confirmed the earlier tree topology including the para‐ and polyphyletic relationships of most baboon species; divergence time estimates are slightly younger and credibility intervals narrowed substantially, thus making the estimates more precise. However, the most basal relationships could not be resolved and it remains open whether (1) the most southern population of baboons diverged first or (2) a major split occurred between southern and northern clades. Our study shows that complete mitochondrial genome sequences are more effective to reconstruct robust phylogenies and to narrow down estimated divergence time intervals than only short portions of the mitochondrial genome, although there are also limitations in resolving phylogenetic relationships. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Keywords: Papio ; Evolution ; Africa
    ISSN: 0002-9483
    E-ISSN: 1096-8644
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  • 10
    Language: English
    In: Behavioral ecology and sociobiology, 2016, Vol.70, pp.323-336
    Description: One key question in social evolution is the identification of factors that promote the formation and maintenance of stable bonds between females and males beyond the mating context. Baboons lend themselves to examine this question, as they vary in social organisation and male-female association patterns. We report the results from the first systematic observations of individually identified wild female Guinea baboons. Guinea baboons live in a multilevel society with female-biased dispersal. Although several males could be found within 5 m of females, each female chiefly associated with one "primary" male at the 2 m distance. Social interactions occurred predominantly with the primary male, and female reproductive state had little influence on interaction patterns. The number of females per primary male varied from 1 to 4. During the 17-month study period, half of the females transferred between different males one or multiple times. A subset of females maintained weaker affiliative nonsexual relationships with other "secondary" males. Units composed of primary males with females, and occasional secondary males, apparently form the core of the Guinea baboon society. The social organisation and mating patterns of Guinea and hamadryas baboons may have a common evolutionary origin, despite notable differences in relationship quality. Specifically, Guinea baboon females appear to have greater leverage in their association patterns than hamadryas baboon females. Although we cannot yet explain the lack of overt male control over females, results generally support the notion that phylogenetic descent may play an important role in shaping social systems.
    Keywords: Intersexual Relationships ; Mating System ; Pair Bond ; Papio Papio ; Social Organisation
    ISSN: 0340-5443
    E-ISSN: 14320762
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