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Do Javan gibbons (Hylobates moloch) use fruiting synchrony as a foraging strategy?
- Do Javan gibbons (Hylobates moloch) use fruiting synchrony as a foraging strategy?
- Jang H.; Oktaviani R.; Kim S.; Mardiastuti A.; Choe J.C.
- Ewha Authors
- SCOPUS Author ID
- Issue Date
- Journal Title
- American Journal of Primatology
- American Journal of Primatology vol. 83, no. 10
- figs; foraging strategy; fruiting synchrony; Javan gibbons; tropical rainforest
- John Wiley and Sons Inc
- SCIE; SCOPUS
- Document Type
- Tropical rainforests are characterized by a high diversity of plant species. Each plant species presents with differential phenological patterns in fruit production. In some species, all individual trees produce fruit simultaneously within clustered periods; whereas in others, each individual tree fruits at irregular time intervals. By observing this pattern, some primate species use the presence of fruits in one tree as a cue to find fruit in other trees of the same synchronously fruiting tree species. Here, we investigated whether the highly frugivorous Javan gibbons (Hylobates moloch) in Gunung Halimun-Salak National Park in Indonesia have knowledge of synchronous characteristics of fruiting trees and whether they can further distinguish fruit species with different synchrony levels, that is, tree species with highly synchronous fruiting patterns versus tree species with less synchronous fruiting patterns. Across 12 months we collected biweekly phenological data on 250 trees from 10 fruit species and observed Javan gibbons' visits to those species. We found that a fruit discovery in the beginning of fruiting seasons triggered gibbons to visit trees of the same fruit species. However, gibbons' visit rates did not differ between highly synchronous and asynchronous species. Our results suggest that Javan gibbons have knowledge of synchronous characteristics of fruiting trees in general, but they do not differentiate highly synchronous versus asynchronous fruit species. We speculate that Javan gibbons, who live in relatively small ranges with very low tree density of preferred fruit species, are likely able to track and remember fruiting states of individual trees without needing to distinguish fruit species with different synchrony levels. Moreover, gibbons may make little benefit of distinguishing highly synchronous versus asynchronous fruit species, probably due to gibbons' heavy use of asynchronous figs. Our study provides an insight into how gibbon's foraging strategies may have been shaped in response to their ecological environment. © 2021 Wiley Periodicals LLC
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