Ecology and evolution of primates shaped by the two most consumed botanicals

Red colobuses (Piliocolobus tephrosceles) feeding on the leaves (Fabaceae) of the leguminous plant (Albizia). Credit: Julie Kearney Wasserman

By analyzing the relative proportions of the various plant parts consumed by primates, researchers may find that primates are complex and subtly shaped by two major plant families, Moraceae and Legumes. It suggests that there is. Led by researchers at the University of Amsterdam and Indiana, this study underscores the importance of detailed dietary studies to better understand the ecology and evolution of primates.The results are currently published in scientific journals Bulletin of the Royal Society B..

Plant parts such as leaves, fruits and seeds have been an integral part of the primate diet for millions of years, but the relative importance of the various botanical families remains unclear.Therefore, researchers created a large database to investigate which plant families are consumed by the wild. Primates, And which botanical family is most important to the diet of primates around the world.


“We conducted a structured literature review and edited data from more than 230 published studies to analyze the relative proportions of the various plant parts consumed by primates,” said UvA Biodiversity. Dr. W. Daniel Kisling, a senior researcher and senior at the Institute for Sexual Ecosystem Dynamics, explains. Author of the study. From all these studies, researchers record the portion eaten and the taxonomic identity of each plant, and therefore Large database 112 Relative consumption of the entire plant family Primate species..

Researchers have discovered that the two plant families that are primarily consumed by primates are mulberries. family Widely known figs (Moraceae), and legumes including peas (Fabaceae).Moraceae was eaten by a wide variety of primates seed,including Spider monkey, Chimpanzees, gibbons, howler monkeys, colobus monkeys, gorillas, mainly as fruits. The legume, the third largest botanical family in the world, with about 20,000 known species, was eaten primarily in the form of leaves and by many different primates.

Ecology and evolution of primates shaped by the two most consumed botanicals

A common chimpanzee (Pantroglodytes) that eats fig fruits (Moraceae). Credit: Julie Kearney Wasserman

Primate diet

“Of the 205 botanical families recorded in the diet of 112 primates, I was surprised that more than half of the primates consume only 10 families. More surprisingly, two Only the botanical family is prominently eaten. Over 75% of primates make, on average, about 13% of primate diets together, “says Kissling.

“I was first interested in this study because I wanted to know if the plant group I’ve worked with for many years, the tropical palm, is one of the most important food items for primates. “Kissling explains. A database collected by researchers recorded about 40 species of primates in the world that actually ate palm fruits, flowers, and leaves. “I was impressed that some primate species, such as Arabian baboons and Tana River Manga Bay, consist of more than 20% of their food in a single palm species,” Kissling said. I will. “But for the entire diet of 112 primates, we found that the palm was not in the top 10 primate foods. Botanical.. “

Data science in ecology

This study shows that synthesis based on large global databases has great potential to gain new insights into the ecology and evolution of animals and other organisms. “There is so much collective knowledge there, but the data has not yet been assembled in a standardized way to make it easy to find, access, interoperable, and reusable. Therefore, it is often not available, “says Kissling. Such standardization is needed as humans become increasingly dependent on computational support to process data as a result of increased data volume, complexity, and speed of creation. Therefore, data science and scientific data management are becoming increasingly important in ecology and evolution. “It is recommended that primatologists and other ecologists continue field research on animal diets and report information on collected diets in a well-organized and standardized manner. Ideally. Follows existing data and metadata standards, “says Kissling. “This will allow future comparisons between studies and extend such studies on diet to other species, including humans,” Kisling concludes.

Diet is less important than evolutionary relationships in the formation of the gut microbiota

For more information:
Jun Ying Lim et al, the ecological and evolutionary importance of the most consumed botanicals of primates, Bulletin of the Royal Society B: Biological Science (2021). DOI: 10.1098 / rspb.2021.0737

Quote: Https: // Two of the Most Consumed Plant Families Obtained on June 16, 2021 (June 2021) 16th) Ecology and evolution of primates formed by

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Ecology and evolution of primates shaped by the two most consumed botanicals

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