Evol Ecol Res 10: 517-536 (2008)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

Time management in great apes: implications for gorilla biogeography

Julia Lehmann,1,2* Amanda H. Korstjens1,3 and R.I.M. Dunbar1,4

1 British Academy Centenary Research Project, School of Biological Sciences, University of Liverpool, Liverpool,  2School of Human and Life Sciences, Roehampton University, London, 3School of Conservation Sciences, Bournemouth University, Poole and 4Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

Address all correspondence to Julia Lehmann, School of Human and Life Sciences, Roehampton University, Whitelands College, Holybourne Avenue, London SW15 4JD, UK.
e-mail: j.lehmann@roehampton.ac.uk


Question: Do individual time budgets constrain a species’ biogeographical distribution and group size?

Data studied: We used published data on gorilla behaviour and ecology as well as published climate variables to model their spatial distribution across Africa.

Method: We develop a mathematical model, based on the assumption that time is a fundamental ecological constraint. This novel approach uses the relationships between climatic variables and gorilla ecology and behaviour to calculate maximum ecological tolerable group sizes (and, from these, biogeographical distribution) for gorillas throughout Africa.

Results: We show that the most critical variable limiting the distribution of gorillas is resting time, which in turn is related to the composition of their diet. Thus, the model demonstrates that time constraints on individual behaviour can explain species’ biogegraphical distributions as well as group sizes.

Keywords: activity budget, biogeography, gorilla, group size, time budget model.

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