Nutritional Differences between Two Orangutan Habitats: Implications for Population Density

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From: PLoS ONE(Vol. 10, Issue 10)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Document Type: Report
Length: 8,942 words
Lexile Measure: 1560L

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Abstract :

Bottom-up regulatory factors have been proposed to exert a strong influence on mammalian population density. Studies relating habitat quality to population density have typically made comparisons among distant species or communities without considering variation in food quality among localities. We compared dietary nutritional quality of two Bornean orangutan populations with differing population densities in peatland habitats, Tuanan and Sabangau, separated by 63 km. We hypothesized that because Tuanan is alluvial, the plant species included in the orangutan diet would be of higher nutritional quality compared to Sabangau, resulting in higher daily caloric intake in Tuanan. We also predicted that forest productivity would be greater in Tuanan compared to Sabangau. In support of these hypotheses, the overall quality of the diet and the quality of matched dietary items were higher in Tuanan, resulting in higher daily caloric intake compared to Sabangau. These differences in dietary nutritional quality may provide insights into why orangutan population density is almost two times greater in Tuanan compared to Sabangau, in agreement with a potentially important influence of diet quality on primate population density.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A431677157