Maternal Investment and Infant Survival in Gray-Cheeked Mangabeys (Lophocebus albigena)
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Differences among females in infant survival can contribute substantially to variance in fitness. Infant survival is a product of external risk factors and investment by kin, especially the mother, and is thus closely tied with the evolution of behavior and life history. Here we present a 9-yr study (2004–2012) of infant survival and sex ratio relative to age and dominance ranks of mothers and the presence of immigrant males in a free-ranging population of gray-cheeked mangabeys (Lophocebus albigena) in Kibale National Park, Uganda. We consider immigrant males because they are known to increase infant mortality in several other species. We found that infants of older mothers had higher survival than those of younger mothers but that high rank did not confer a significant benefit on infant survival. Female infants had higher survival than male infants. Young, low-ranking females had more male infants than young, high-ranking females, which had slightly more daughters, but this difference declined as females aged because low-ranking females had more daughters as they aged. With limited data, we found a significant relationship between the presence of male immigrants and infant mortality (falls and unexplained disappearances) to 18 mo. Our results suggest that infant survival in gray-cheeked mangabeys is most precarious when mothers must allocate energy to their own growth as well as to their infants, that sons of young mothers are at greatest risk, and that immigrant males can negatively affect infant survival.
KeywordsFitness Kibale National Park Life history Primates Reproductive strategies
We thank the Uganda Wildlife Authority, Uganda National Council for Science and Technology, and personnel at the Makerere University Biological Field Station in Kanyawara for permission to work in Kibale National Park. The study complied with all current laws of Uganda. We thank all the field assistants who worked with us during these years for their invaluable help: Kaseregenyu Richard, Katusabe Swaibu, Irumba Peter, Sabiti Richard, Akora Charles, and Koojo John. We thank Richard Wrangham and field assistants of Kibale Chimpanzee Project who informed us on chimpanzee predation on mangabeys. Thanks also to Linda-Liisa Veromann for help in entering behavioral data. This research was supported by the Leakey Foundation and the University of California, Davis, Department of Anthropology (to R. L. Chancellor), by NIH/NIA grants PO1 A6022500 and PO1 A608761 (to J. R. Carey), by the European Union through the European Social Fund (Mobilitas postdoctoral grant MJD56, to M. E. Arlet). R. Mänd and F. Molleman were supported by the Estonian Ministry of Education and Science (targeted financing projects number 0180004s09 and 0180122s08 and ESF 9215,7406, 7699, 7522, 8413, and GD6019), and the European Regional Development Fund (Center of Excellence FIBIR). Finally, we appreciate the diligent efforts of Joanna Setchell and two anonymous reviewers to improve this manuscript.
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