Core area quality is associated with variance in reproductive success among female chimpanzees at Kibale National Park

Melissa Emery Thompson, Sonya M. Kahlenberg, Ian Gilby, Richard W. Wrangham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

109 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Female East African chimpanzees, Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii, tend to range apart from each other in dispersed core areas, and they have dominance interactions with each other so rarely that it is difficult for observers to assess a dominance hierarchy. Nevertheless female chimpanzees can have high variance in fitness. Here, we test the hypothesis that female chimpanzee fitness variance is associated with variation in the foraging quality of their ranges. We studied range usage of 21 wild adult female chimpanzees within the Kanyawara community, Kibale National Park, Uganda. Core areas of individuals remained stable over a 9-year period and varied in their density of preferred foods. Females in neighbourhoods containing more preferred foods had elevated ovarian hormone production, shorter birth intervals and higher infant survivorship. Our results thus suggest that superior access to food may have enabled some community females to reproduce more successfully than others. Although dominance interactions are less frequent among females than among males of this species, we propose that the intensity of selection on intrasexual competition may be similar between the sexes. We discuss potential applications to other fission-fusion species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)501-512
Number of pages12
JournalAnimal Behaviour
Volume73
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Pan troglodytes
reproductive success
national parks
national park
dominance (genetics)
food
fitness
birth interval
selection intensity
Uganda
survivorship
hormone
survival rate
hormones
foraging
gender
testing

Keywords

  • chimpanzee
  • endocrinology
  • habitat ecology
  • intrasexual competition
  • Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii
  • ranging
  • reproductive ecology
  • reproductive success

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Core area quality is associated with variance in reproductive success among female chimpanzees at Kibale National Park. / Thompson, Melissa Emery; Kahlenberg, Sonya M.; Gilby, Ian; Wrangham, Richard W.

In: Animal Behaviour, Vol. 73, No. 3, 03.2007, p. 501-512.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Thompson, Melissa Emery ; Kahlenberg, Sonya M. ; Gilby, Ian ; Wrangham, Richard W. / Core area quality is associated with variance in reproductive success among female chimpanzees at Kibale National Park. In: Animal Behaviour. 2007 ; Vol. 73, No. 3. pp. 501-512.
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