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Spatial and temporal patterns in resource dispersion and the structure of range use and co-existence in a social omnivore Chlorocebus Aethiops

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dc.contributor.advisor Brown, L. R.
dc.contributor.advisor Henzi, S.Peter
dc.contributor.advisor Barrett, L. Barrett, Alan Sean 2010-06-09T07:18:06Z 2010-06-09T07:18:06Z 2009-11
dc.description.abstract The movements of two vervet monkey troops were studied to determine whether they optimize their rate of food intake in relation to seasonal energy availability. The effect of variation in habitat structure on the troops’ foraging strategies while utilizing temporally and spatially distributed resources was determined. Troop home range boundaries were delineated, the various plant communities and species utilised by the troops identified and classified, and variations in home range and vegetation structure were reported. The diets of the troops were determined and compared. Effects of coexistence on competition were assessed. Vervet food trees were randomly selected, marked and seasonal phenological data collected. Samples of food items constituting the two troops diets were collected for energy analysis. Using geostatistical interpolation techniques, monthly energy values were extrapolated onto home range grids for the two vervet monkey troops. Grids were stored as database files that were interrogated through GIS simulation models. Using the stochastic processes inherent in Markov chain theory, a series of non-returning random walks were simulated for comparison to original routes taken by the two troops. Results from comparisons of home range energy, day range lengths and areas, shortest route energy to actual route energy, time spent in high energy areas, and energy utilisation from actual and randomly generated routes indicated that the two troops optimize resource energy available to them by adopting flexible foraging strategies. In environments where temporal and spatial variations in habitat structure affect the distribution of resources, it is essential that animals develop optimal foraging strategies to survive. For the two troops investigated, foraging strategies fluctuate between being time minimizers in more heterogeneous environments where resources are abundant, and energy maximisers in homogeneous environments where resources are constrained by low diversity and seasonality. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Animal movement en
dc.subject Plant communities en
dc.subject Phytosociology en
dc.subject Phenology en
dc.subject Bootstrapping en
dc.subject Vervet monkey en
dc.subject Interpolation en
dc.subject Foraging strategies en
dc.subject Caloric content en
dc.subject Energy
dc.subject Range use
dc.subject Diet
dc.subject.ddc 599.862
dc.subject.lcsh Home range (Animal geography)
dc.subject.lcsh Cercopithecus aethiops -- Behavior
dc.subject.lcsh Cercopithecus aethiops -- Habitat
dc.subject.lcsh Cercopithecus aethiops trapping
dc.subject.lcsh Cercopithecus aethiops -- Food
dc.title Spatial and temporal patterns in resource dispersion and the structure of range use and co-existence in a social omnivore Chlorocebus Aethiops en
dc.type Thesis en
dc.description.department Environmental Sciences (Department) D.Litt et Phil (Environmental Management)

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