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Temporal patterns in the social network of core units in Rwenzori Angolan colobus monkeys: effects of food availability and inter-unit dispersal
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  • Frances Adams,
  • T. Jean Arseneau-Robar,
  • Tyler Bonnell,
  • Samantha Stead,
  • Julie Teichroeb
Frances Adams
University of Toronto Scarborough Department of Social Sciences
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T. Jean Arseneau-Robar
University of Toronto Scarborough Department of Social Sciences
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Tyler Bonnell
University of Lethbridge
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Samantha Stead
University of Toronto Scarborough Department of Social Sciences
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Julie Teichroeb
University of Toronto Scarborough Department of Social Sciences
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Abstract

Multi-level societies are complex social systems where basic core units associate in a hierarchical manner, allowing animals to adjust group size in response to local conditions. Each tier of multi-level societies may have evolved under different selective pressures and understanding the effect of temporal variation in these pressures may help determine why these types of social systems form. Our goal was to examine the degree of temporal variability in inter-unit associations in a multi-level society of Rwenzori Angolan colobus monkey (Colobus angolensis ruwenzorii), and to determine whether social or ecological factors correlated with association patterns. Using social network analyses, we described the association patterns of 12-13 core units over 21-months and investigated the effect of changes in rainfall, food availability, and inter-unit dispersals. We found that core unit networks were denser and more clustered when fruit was abundant, likely due to reduced food competition. Male dispersals also occurred more at these times, suggesting that greater band cohesion allowed males to prospect for dispersal opportunities. Within the band, we observed the formation of an all-male unit and the transfer of one core unit between clans. Our findings highlight how ecological conditions can influence association patterns, interunit relationships, and ultimately social organization.

Peer review status:UNDER REVIEW

21 Aug 2020Submitted to Ecology and Evolution
22 Aug 2020Assigned to Editor
22 Aug 2020Submission Checks Completed
24 Aug 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending