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Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Behavioral Flexibility and the Evolution of Primate Social States
Authors: Strier, Karen B
Lee, Phyllis C
Ives, Anthony
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Keywords: phylogenetic constraint
social state evolution
dispersal regime
Issue Date: 3-Dec-2014
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Citation: Strier KB, Lee PC & Ives A (2014) Behavioral Flexibility and the Evolution of Primate Social States, PLoS ONE, 9 (12), Art. No.: e114099.
Abstract: Comparative approaches to the evolution of primate social behavior have typically involved two distinct lines of inquiry. One has focused on phylogenetic analyses that treat social traits as static, species-specific characteristics; the other has focused on understanding the behavioral flexibility of particular populations or species in response to local ecological or demographic variables. Here, we combine these approaches by distinguishing between constraining traits such as dispersal regimes (male, female, or bi-sexual), which are relatively invariant, and responding traits such as grouping patterns (stable, fission-fusion, sometimes fission-fusion), which can reflect rapid adjustments to current conditions. Using long-term and cross-sectional data from 29 studies of 22 species of wild primates, we confirm that dispersal regime exhibits a strong phylogenetic signal in our sample. We then show that primate species with high variation in group size and adult sex ratios exhibit variability in grouping pattern (i.e., sometimes fission-fusion) with dispersal regime constraining the grouping response. When assessing demographic variation, we found a strong positive relationship between the variability in group size over time and the number of observation years, which further illustrates the importance of long-term demographic data to interpretations of social behavior. Our approach complements other comparative efforts to understand the role of behavioral flexibility by distinguishing between constraining and responding traits, and incorporating these distinctions into analyses of social states over evolutionary and ecological time.
Type: Journal Article
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Rights: © 2014 Strier et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Affiliation: University of Wisconsin-Madison
University of Wisconsin-Madison

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