International Journal of Primatology

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 529–558 | Cite as

Ecological Partitioning of Cercopithecus campbelli, C. petaurista, and C. diana in the Taï Forest

  • Paul J. Buzzard


I determined the degree of ecological partitioning among 3 species of guenons (Cercopithecus campbelli, C. petaurista, and C. diana) in the Taï Forest, Côte d’Ivoire and used the partitioning data to understand competitive relationships among them. Over a 13-mo period, I measured ecological partitioning in terms of food and canopy stratum use for 2 habituated groups of each guenon species and also collected data on food availability. I found that the study species diverged primarily in food items consumed and vertical strata occupied. Cercopithecus petaurista ate much more foliage than the other species did and used mostly the middle strata (5–20 m). Cercopithecus diana ate primarily fruit and used mostly the upper strata (>20 m). Cercopithecus campbelli ate mostly fruit together with large amounts of animal matter and primarily occupied the ground and low strata (<5 m). Of the specific pairs, the diets of Cercopithecus campbelli/C. diana overlapped the most overall and decreased during the season of low fruit availability. Cercopithecus campbelli and C. diana age/sex classes also overlapped more than the age/sex classes of other species pairs. The results suggest that the potential for competition was more intense for Cercopithecus campbelli/C.diana relations than it is for other species pairs. I compare my results from Taï with those from other primate and guenon communities and demonstrate that dietary overlaps and seasonal dietary divergence are lower in Taï than in most other guenon communities.


ecological partitioning Cercopithecus, guenons interspecific competition Taï forest 



I thank the minister of the environment and the forest, the minister of scientific research, the director of the center for ecological research at Taï and the PACPNT of Côte d’Ivoire for permission to work at Taï National Park. I also thank the directors of the Taï Monkey Project (TMP), Ronald Noë, Klaus Zuberbühler, Scott McGraw, and Johannes Refisch or the opportunity to study with the TMP. I thank my advisor, Marina Cords, members of my dissertation committee (John Oates, Don Melnick, Fred Koontz, and Cliff Jolly), Peter Fashing, and 2 anonymous reviewers for their comments and input toward the development of this manuscript. The field work was possible through a dissertation improvement grant from the Leakey Foundation.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyColumbia University, New York Consortium in Evolutionary PrimatologyNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.AltamontUSA

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