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Relations Between Spatial Distribution, Social Affiliations And Dominance Hierarchy In A Semi-Free Mandrill Population

By Alexandre eNaud, Alexandre eNaud, Alexandre eNaud, Eloise eChailleux, Yan eKestens, Céline eBret, Dominic eDesjardins, Odile ePetit, Odile ePetit, Barthélémy eNgoubangoye and Cédric eSueur and Cédric eSueur


Although there exist advantages to group-living in comparison to a solitary lifestyle, costs and gains of group-living may be unequally distributed among group members. Predation risk, vigilance levels and food intake may be unevenly distributed across group spatial geometry and certain within-group spatial positions may be more or less advantageous depending on the spatial distribution of these factors. In species characterized with dominance hierarchy, high-ranking individuals are commonly observed in advantageous spatial position. However, in complex social systems, individuals can develop affiliative relationships that may balance the effect of dominance relationships in individual’s spatial distribution. The objective of the present study is to investigate how the group spatial distribution of a semi-free ranging colony of Mandrills relates to its social organization. Using spatial observations in an area surrounding the feeding zone, we tested the three following hypothesis: (1) does dominance hierarchy explain being observed in proximity or far from a food patch? (2) Do affiliative associations also explain being observed in proximity or far from a food patch? (3) Do the differences in rank in the group hierarchy explain being co-observed in proximity of a food patch? Our results showed that high-ranking individuals were more observed in proximity of the feeding zone while low-ranking individuals were more observed at the boundaries of the observation area. Furthermore, we observed that affiliative relationships were also associated with individual spatial distributions and explain more of the total variance of the spatial distribution in comparison with dominance hierarchy. Finally, we found that individuals observed at a same moment in proximity of the feeding zone were more likely to be distant in the hierarchy while controlling for maternal kinship, age and sex similarity. This study brings some elements about how affiliative networks and dominance hierarchy are related to spatial positions in primates

Topics: Dominance, spatial distribution, Social network, Feeding competition, Mandrill, Affiliative relationships, Psychology, BF1-990
Publisher: Frontiers Media S.A.
Year: 2016
DOI identifier: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00612
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