Tropical warming and the dynamics of endangered primates

Ruscena Wiederholt, Eric Post

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Many primate species are severely threatened, but little is known about the effects of global warming and the associated intensification of El Niñ o events on primate populations. Here, we document the influences of the El Niñ o southern oscillation (ENSO) and hemispheric climatic variability on the population dynamics of four genera of ateline (neotropical, large-bodied) primates. All ateline genera experienced either an immediate or a lagged negative effect of El Niñ o events. ENSO events were also found to influence primate resource levels through neotropical arboreal phenology. Furthermore, frugivorous primates showed a high degree of interspecific population synchrony over large scales across Central and South America attributable to the recent trends in large-scale climate. These results highlight the role of large-scale climatic variation and trends in ateline primate population dynamics, and emphasize that global warming could pose additional threats to the persistence of multiple species of endangered primates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)256-260
Number of pages5
JournalBiology Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 23 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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