Volume 39 Issue 4
Jul.  2018
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Zhen-Hua Guan, Chang-Yong Ma, Han-Lan Fei, Bei Huang, Wen-He Ning, Qing-Yong Ni, Xue-Long Jiang, Peng-Fei Fan. Ecology and social system of northern gibbons living in cold seasonal forests. Zoological Research, 2018, 39(4): 255-265. doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.045
Citation: Zhen-Hua Guan, Chang-Yong Ma, Han-Lan Fei, Bei Huang, Wen-He Ning, Qing-Yong Ni, Xue-Long Jiang, Peng-Fei Fan. Ecology and social system of northern gibbons living in cold seasonal forests. Zoological Research, 2018, 39(4): 255-265. doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.045

Ecology and social system of northern gibbons living in cold seasonal forests

doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.045
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  • Corresponding author: Peng-Fei Fan,E-mail:fanpf@mail.sysu.edu.cn
  • Publish Date: 2018-07-18
  • Gibbons in China represent the northernmost margin of present day gibbon species distribution (around N25°). Compared to tropical habitats, northern gibbon habitats are characterized by low temperatures and remarkable seasonal variation in fruit abundance. How gibbons adapt to their cold and seasonal habitats and what ecological factors affect their sociality are key questions for understanding their ecology and social system evolution, the elucidation of which will contribute to the conservation of these special populations/species. According to preliminary short-term studies, northern gibbons consume more leaves and use larger home ranges than tropical gibbons. Interestingly, some Nomascus groups consist of more than one adult female. However, these preliminary results are not well understood or incorporated into current socio-ecological theories regarding gibbon species. To better understand northern gibbons, our team has systematically studied three habituated groups of Nomascus concolor, three groups of N. nasutus, and two habituated groups of Hoolock tianxing since 2002. In this paper, we stress the challenges facing gibbons living in northern habitats and summarize their behavioral adaptations to their harsh environments. We also describe the northern gibbon social system and discuss the potential relationships between their ecology and sociality. Finally, we highlight future research questions related to northern gibbons in China.
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Ecology and social system of northern gibbons living in cold seasonal forests

doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.045
Funds:   
    Corresponding author: Peng-Fei Fan,E-mail:fanpf@mail.sysu.edu.cn

Abstract: Gibbons in China represent the northernmost margin of present day gibbon species distribution (around N25°). Compared to tropical habitats, northern gibbon habitats are characterized by low temperatures and remarkable seasonal variation in fruit abundance. How gibbons adapt to their cold and seasonal habitats and what ecological factors affect their sociality are key questions for understanding their ecology and social system evolution, the elucidation of which will contribute to the conservation of these special populations/species. According to preliminary short-term studies, northern gibbons consume more leaves and use larger home ranges than tropical gibbons. Interestingly, some Nomascus groups consist of more than one adult female. However, these preliminary results are not well understood or incorporated into current socio-ecological theories regarding gibbon species. To better understand northern gibbons, our team has systematically studied three habituated groups of Nomascus concolor, three groups of N. nasutus, and two habituated groups of Hoolock tianxing since 2002. In this paper, we stress the challenges facing gibbons living in northern habitats and summarize their behavioral adaptations to their harsh environments. We also describe the northern gibbon social system and discuss the potential relationships between their ecology and sociality. Finally, we highlight future research questions related to northern gibbons in China.

Zhen-Hua Guan, Chang-Yong Ma, Han-Lan Fei, Bei Huang, Wen-He Ning, Qing-Yong Ni, Xue-Long Jiang, Peng-Fei Fan. Ecology and social system of northern gibbons living in cold seasonal forests. Zoological Research, 2018, 39(4): 255-265. doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.045
Citation: Zhen-Hua Guan, Chang-Yong Ma, Han-Lan Fei, Bei Huang, Wen-He Ning, Qing-Yong Ni, Xue-Long Jiang, Peng-Fei Fan. Ecology and social system of northern gibbons living in cold seasonal forests. Zoological Research, 2018, 39(4): 255-265. doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.045

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