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Primate DNA suggests long-term stability of an African rainforest

Primate DNA suggests long-term stability of an African rainforest
Primate DNA suggests long-term stability of an African rainforest
Red colobus monkeys, due to their sensitivity to environmental change, are indicator species of the overall health of their tropical rainforest habitats. As a result of habitat loss and overhunting, they are among the most endangered primates in the world, with very few viable populations remaining. Traditionally, extant indicator species have been used to signify the conditions of their current habitats, but they have also been employed to track past environmental conditions by detecting previous population fluctuations. Kibale National Park (KNP) in Uganda harbors the only remaining unthreatened large population of red colobus. We used microsatellite DNA to evaluate the historical demography of these red colobus and, therefore, the long‐term stability of their habitat. We find that the red colobus population throughout KNP has been stable for at least ~40,000 years. We interpret this result as evidence of long‐term forest stability because a change in the available habitat or population movement would have elicited a corresponding change in population size. We conclude that the forest of what is now Kibale National Park may have served as a Late Pleistocene refuge for many East African species.
2045-7758
2829-2842
Allen, Julie M.
e6caa18d-edd6-489a-8da5-81e2cb54e84b
Miyamoto, Michael M.
54e4d75b-568b-4c5c-a754-3af57d4048cd
Wu, Chieh-Hsi
ace630c6-2095-4ade-b657-241692f6b4d3
E. Carter, Tamar
80a72091-3479-418f-ac70-9a2075ca4cdc
Ungvari-Martin, Judit
06699c6b-f285-435f-880e-8becc7569002
Magrini, Kristin
040d7607-246b-4376-b269-ca8d396b71b0
Chapman, Colin A.
dad5aa89-b8f9-48b1-bdff-ba3266cacf4a
Allen, Julie M.
e6caa18d-edd6-489a-8da5-81e2cb54e84b
Miyamoto, Michael M.
54e4d75b-568b-4c5c-a754-3af57d4048cd
Wu, Chieh-Hsi
ace630c6-2095-4ade-b657-241692f6b4d3
E. Carter, Tamar
80a72091-3479-418f-ac70-9a2075ca4cdc
Ungvari-Martin, Judit
06699c6b-f285-435f-880e-8becc7569002
Magrini, Kristin
040d7607-246b-4376-b269-ca8d396b71b0
Chapman, Colin A.
dad5aa89-b8f9-48b1-bdff-ba3266cacf4a

Allen, Julie M., Miyamoto, Michael M., Wu, Chieh-Hsi, E. Carter, Tamar, Ungvari-Martin, Judit, Magrini, Kristin and Chapman, Colin A. (2012) Primate DNA suggests long-term stability of an African rainforest. Ecology and Evolution, 2 (11), 2829-2842. (doi:10.1002/ece3.395).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Red colobus monkeys, due to their sensitivity to environmental change, are indicator species of the overall health of their tropical rainforest habitats. As a result of habitat loss and overhunting, they are among the most endangered primates in the world, with very few viable populations remaining. Traditionally, extant indicator species have been used to signify the conditions of their current habitats, but they have also been employed to track past environmental conditions by detecting previous population fluctuations. Kibale National Park (KNP) in Uganda harbors the only remaining unthreatened large population of red colobus. We used microsatellite DNA to evaluate the historical demography of these red colobus and, therefore, the long‐term stability of their habitat. We find that the red colobus population throughout KNP has been stable for at least ~40,000 years. We interpret this result as evidence of long‐term forest stability because a change in the available habitat or population movement would have elicited a corresponding change in population size. We conclude that the forest of what is now Kibale National Park may have served as a Late Pleistocene refuge for many East African species.

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e-pub ahead of print date: 9 October 2012
Published date: November 2012

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 437888
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/437888
ISSN: 2045-7758
PURE UUID: 9404c628-6bd2-4951-9ae4-354379661ec5

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Date deposited: 21 Feb 2020 17:31
Last modified: 21 Feb 2020 17:31

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Contributors

Author: Julie M. Allen
Author: Michael M. Miyamoto
Author: Chieh-Hsi Wu
Author: Tamar E. Carter
Author: Judit Ungvari-Martin
Author: Kristin Magrini
Author: Colin A. Chapman

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