Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Ecol Evol. 2012 Nov;2(11):2829-42. doi: 10.1002/ece3.395. Epub 2012 Oct 9.

Primate DNA suggests long-term stability of an African rainforest.

Author information

  • 1Florida Museum of Natural History, Dickinson Hall, Museum Road and Newell Drive, University of Florida Gainesville, Florida, 32611 ; Department of Biology, University of Florida Box 118525, Gainesville, Florida, 32611-8525.

Abstract

Red colobus monkeys, due to their sensitivity to environmental change, are indicator species of the overall health of their tropical rainforest habitats. As a result of habitat loss and overhunting, they are among the most endangered primates in the world, with very few viable populations remaining. Traditionally, extant indicator species have been used to signify the conditions of their current habitats, but they have also been employed to track past environmental conditions by detecting previous population fluctuations. Kibale National Park (KNP) in Uganda harbors the only remaining unthreatened large population of red colobus. We used microsatellite DNA to evaluate the historical demography of these red colobus and, therefore, the long-term stability of their habitat. We find that the red colobus population throughout KNP has been stable for at least ∼40,000 years. We interpret this result as evidence of long-term forest stability because a change in the available habitat or population movement would have elicited a corresponding change in population size. We conclude that the forest of what is now Kibale National Park may have served as a Late Pleistocene refuge for many East African species.

KEYWORDS:

Coalescent theory; conservation biology; historical demography; microsatellites; red colobus

PMID:
23170217
[PubMed]
PMCID:
PMC3501634
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (6)Free text

Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
Figure 4
Figure 5
Figure 6
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk