Help Privacy Policy Disclaimer
  Advanced SearchBrowse




Journal Article

Discovery of a secular trend in Cayo Santiago macaque reproduction

There are no MPG-Authors in the publication available
External Resource
No external resources are shared
Fulltext (restricted access)
There are currently no full texts shared for your IP range.
Fulltext (public)
There are no public fulltexts stored in PuRe
Supplementary Material (public)
There is no public supplementary material available

Hernández-Pacheco, R., Rawlins, R. G., Kessler, M. J., Delgado, D. L., Ruiz-Lambides, A. V., & Sabat, A. M. (2016). Discovery of a secular trend in Cayo Santiago macaque reproduction. American Journal of Primatology, 78(2), 227-237. doi:10.1002/ajp.22502.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002C-0EED-C
Reproductive synchrony and the consequent clustering of births are hypothesized to be regulated by seasonal changes in rainfall and food availability. Such climate-related seasonality is, however, questionable in tropical populations occupying temporally invariant habitats year round. Using the long-term data of the Cayo Santiago rhesus macaques from 1973 to 2013, this study distinguishes synchrony (a greater than chance clustering of births) from seasonality (a cluster of births during a period of the year when abiotic conditions are favorable) and shows that females are highly synchronized (>72% of births in a 3-month period) but the effects of environmental zeitgebers on reproduction are overridden by biological factors. Specifically, biotic and abiotic factors including (i) loss of immature offspring; (ii) population density; (iii) age at delivery; (iv) rainfall; and (v) changes in colony management were modeled in relation to the annual onset of births and the median birth date. Females experiencing loss of immature offspring had an interbirth interval of <365 days in average and the proportion of these females increased up to 48% due to changes in colony management overtime, although reproductive synchrony increased with increasing population density. A secular trend in both the onset of births and the median date of birth is documented and the model predicts that the median birth date will advance across all calendar-based seasons by 2050. The secular trend in reproduction appears to be triggered by changes in the age at delivery of females, the absence of physiological constraints from maternal investment due to offspring loss, shorter interbirth interval, and a higher degree of coordination due to increasing population density. This study challenges the reproductive phenology previously described for rhesus macaques highlighting the importance of long-term studies in addressing the ultimate causes of reproductive synchrony. Am. J. Primatol. 78:227–237, 2016. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.