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Influence of predation risk on the formation of mixed-species groups of Callithrix kuhlii and Leontopithecus chrysomelas

Grant number: 11/18079-7
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2011
Effective date (End): July 31, 2012
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology
Principal Investigator:Renata Pardini
Grantee:Karina Campos Tisovec Dufner
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Mixed-species groups, interspecific associations where individuals from two or more species forage together, can result from a mutualism or commensalism relationship. The main advantages of these associations are related to the use of resources and anti-predatory strategies, and disadvantages are linked to the competition for resources. In Brazil, the association between Wied's marmoset (Callithrix kuhlii) and golden-headed lion-tamarin (Leontopithecus chrysomelas) is the only case of mixed troops formed by primates in Atlantic biome. These species have the same natural predators and much of their diet consists of fruits and insects. However, because the species have important differences regarding the items consumed and foraging sites, predation risk should play the stronger influence on the formation of the mixed troops.The two species are endemic to the Atlantic forest of Southern Bahia, where much of the original vegetation was replaced by cocoa agroforests (cabrucas). When compared to original forests, the cabrucas have lower tree density and absence of lianas, which are used by arboreal species for locomotion and escape, and this simplification of the vegetation became more pronounced with management intensification of the plantations. Both primates use cabrucas as habitat, and the above mentioned factors may contribute for an increase in the predation risk and a decrease in resource availability. The two processes would lead to opposite results regarding the frequency of mixed-species groups formation. This study aims to test if the simplification of the vegetation structure increases the formation of mixed species groups, being an evidence of higher predation risk for these primates. Photographic records collected from seven cabruca-forest pairs and 21 cabrucas with different intensities of management will be used to ascertain if: (1) the proportion of mixed-species groups is greater in cabrucas than in forests, and (2) the proportion of mixed-species groups increases in cabrucas with a more thinned canopy layer, a consequence of management intensification.

Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
TISOVEC, KARINA C.; CASSANO, CAMILA R.; BOUBLI, JEAN P.; PARDINI, RENATA. Mixed-species Groups of Marmosets and Tamarins Across a Gradient of Agroforestry Intensification. Biotropica, v. 46, n. 2, p. 248-255, MAR 2014. Web of Science Citations: 7.

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