Anthropology, University of Texas at Austin
April 16, 2016 , Atrium Ballroom A/B
Habitat loss and fragmentation may lead to significant changes in species biology, ranging from shifts in behavior to changes in diet, home range utilization, and movement patterns. Habitat degradation can also potentially affect body condition and reproductive success. Understanding how habitat characteristics influence intra-specific variation in body mass and morphometrics may help researchers identify species specific responses to habitat fragmentation and set conservation priorities in human-modified landscapes. In this study we examine variation in body size and morphopmetrics from live-captured wild silvery-brown tamarins inhabitating different forest types in Caldas, Colombia (degraded: n=12; conserved: n=19). Overall, adult tamarins inhabiting early succesional forests were smaller and weighed less than those inhabiting secondary forests (487 ± 53 gm and 502 ± 56 gms respectively, Χ2=0.647, p=0.42). However, the sexes responded differently to habitat degradation. While the average mass of both females and males was slightly smaller in degraded forests than in conserved forests, this difference was not significant (p = 0.90 and p = 0.40, respectively). Females in disturbed forests were smaller in some linear dimensions, while males showed no morphometrics differences between forest types. Despite the fact that we did not find significant differences in body mass and size between habitat types, this may be due to our small sample size. Data from more individuals in different forest types are needed to further evaluate whether habitat type has an effect on tamarin morphometrics and body mass.
Margot Marsh Biodiversity Foundation, PCI, ASP, the University of Texas at Austin, Conservation Leardership Program and NSF BSC-1540270.