Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 4
  • Cited by
    This chapter has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Radespiel, U. Schulte, J. Burke, R. J. and Lehman, S. M. 2018. Molecular edge effects in the Endangered golden-brown mouse lemur Microcebus ravelobensis. Oryx, p. 1.

    Setash, Casey M. Zohdy, Sarah Gerber, Brian D. and Karanewsky, Caitlin J. 2017. A biogeographical perspective on the variation in mouse lemur density throughout Madagascar. Mammal Review, Vol. 47, Issue. 3, p. 212.

    Singh, J. S. and Chaturvedi, R. K. 2017. Tropical Dry Deciduous Forest: Research Trends and Emerging Features. p. 149.

    Malcolm, Jay R. Valenta, Kim and Lehman, Shawn M. 2017. Edge effects in tropical dry forests of Madagascar: additivity or synergy?. Landscape Ecology, Vol. 32, Issue. 2, p. 327.

  • Print publication year: 2016
  • Online publication date: March 2016

25 - Factors determining Microcebus abundance in a fragmented landscape in Ankarafantsika National Park, Madagascar

from Part V - Cheirogaleidae: conservation biogeography


A fundamental issue in conservation biogeography is determining how and why population density (the number of individuals per unit area) and abundance (number of individual animals) vary across the geographic range of plant and animal species (Whittaker et al., 2005). Understanding these relationships is critical because they provide information on population dynamics and extinction probabilities (Wilcox and Murphy, 1985; Lima and Zollner, 1996). For example, Davidson et al. (2009) conducted a meta-analysis of 4500 mammal species and found that population density was one of the main predictors of extinction risk. Consequently, researchers have explored numerous covariates to primate density and abundance, including food quality and amount (Stevenson, 2001; Chapman et al., 2004), temporal distribution of key food resources (Terborgh, 1986), habitat structure such as basal area, stem density, tree height and size (Rovero and Struhsaker, 2007; Pozo-Montuy et al., 2011; Grow et al., 2013), habitat quality such as plant productivity (Janson and Chapman, 1999), rainfall and temperature (Pinto et al., 2009), distribution (Harcourt and Doherty, 2005), fragment area and isolation (Anzures-Dadda and Manson, 2007), and anthropogenic disturbance (Peres, 1990; Ganzhorn and Schmid, 1998; Anzures-Dadda and Manson, 2007; Peres and Palacios, 2007). Despite the wide range of species and habitats studied, few consistent patterns have emerged that explain spatial variations in primate density and abundance. Moreover, those patterns that have found statistical support tend to have been focused on large-bodied, diurnal species, leaving many unanswered questions on the conservation biogeography of small-bodied, nocturnal taxa (McGoogan et al., 2007).

Food availability

Food availability typically refers to temporal and spatial variations in food quantity and quality, and has long been considered one of the main drivers of primate abundance and density. Despite extensive investigations into the relationship between food quality and amount and primate density and abundance (Hanya and Chapman, 2012), it is often difficult to determine quantitatively rigorous measures of food availability. This issue arises due to the high plant diversity at many primate research sites in the tropics, as well as stochastic variations in the temporal availability of food resources. Many researchers have employed plant dendrometrics as proxies for food availability, such as diameter at breast height (DBH), basal area, and stem density (e.g., Wieczkowski, 2004; Anzures-Dadda and Manson, 2007; Grow et al., 2013).

Recommend this book

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this book to your organisation's collection.

The Dwarf and Mouse Lemurs of Madagascar
  • Online ISBN: 9781139871822
  • Book DOI:
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to *
Alonso, LE, Schulenberg, TS, Radilofe, S, Missa, O. 2002. A Biological Assessment of the Réserve Naturelle Intégrale d'Ankarafantsika, Madagascar. RAP Bulletin of Biological Assessment, Vol. 23. Conservation International, Washington, DC.
Anzures-Dadda, A, Manson, RH. 2007. Patch- and landscape-scale effects on howler monkey distribution and abundance in rainforest fragments. Animal Conservation 10(1):69–76.
Arroyo-Rodríguez, V, Dias, PAD. 2010. Effects of habitat fragmentation and disturbance on howler monkeys: a review. American Journal of Primatology 72(1):1–16.
Atsalis, S. 1999. Diet of the brown mouse lemur (Microcebus rufus) in Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. International Journal of Primatology 20(2):193–229.
Balko, EA, Underwood, HB. 2005. Effects of forest structure and composition on food availability for Varecia variegata at Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. Journal of Primatology 66(1):45–70.
Bloesch, U. 1999. Fire as a tool in the management of a savanna/dry forest reserve in Madagascar. Applied Vegetation Science 2(1):117–124.
Burke, RJ, Lehman, SM. 2014. Edge effects on morphometrics and body mass in two sympatric species of mouse lemurs in Madagascar. Folia Primatologica 85(5):277–291.
Chiarello, A, Melo, FR. de 2001. Primate population densities and sizes in Atlantic forest remnants of northern Espirito Santo, Brazil. International Journal of Primatology 22(3):379–396.
Chapman, C, Chapman, L, Naughton-Treves, L, Lawes, MJ, McDowell, LR. 2004. Predicting folivorous primate abundance: validation of a nutritional model. American Journal of Primatology 62:55.
Chevan, A, Sutherland, M. 1991. Hierarchical partitioning. The American Statistician 45(2):90–96.
Connor, E, Courtney, A, Yoder, J. 2000. Individuals–area relationships: the relationship between animal population density and area. Ecology 81(3):734–748.
Corbin, GD, Schmid, J. 1995. Insect secretions determine habitat use patterns by a female lesser mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus). American Journal of Primatology 37(4):317–324.
Dammhahn, M, Kappeler, PM. 2008. Small-scale coexistence of two mouse lemur species (Microcebus berthae and M. murinus) within a homogeneous competitive environment. Oecologia 157(3):473–483.
Davidson, AD, Hamilton, MJ, Boyer, AG, Brown, JH, Ceballos, G. 2009. Multiple ecological pathways to extinction in mammals. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106(26):10702–10705.
Eichmueller, P, Thorén, S, Radespiel, U. 2013. The lack of female dominance in golden-brown mouse lemurs suggests alternative routes in lemur social evolution. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 150(1):158–164.
Fa, JE, Purvis, A. 1997. Body size, diet and population density in afrotropical forest mammals: a comparison with neotropical species. Journal of Animal Ecology 66(1):98–112.
Fahrig, L. 2003. Effects of habitat fragmentation on biodiversity. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics 34:487–515.
Fernández, C, Acosta, FJ, Abellá, G, López, F, Díaz, M. 2002. Complex edge effect fields as additive processes in patches of ecological systems. Ecological Modelling 149:273–283.
Gade, DW. 1996. Deforestation and its effects in highland Madagascar. Mountain Research and Development 16(2):101–116.
Ganzhorn, JU, Schmid, J. 1998. Different population dynamics of Microcebus murinus in primary and secondary deciduous dry forests of Madagascar. International Journal of Primatology 19(5):785–796.
Ganzhorn, JU, Fietz, J, Rakotovao, E, Schwab, D, Zinner, D. 1999. Lemurs and the regeneration of dry deciduous forest in Madagascar. Conservation Biology 13(4):794–804.
García, G, Goodman, SM. 2003. Hunting of protected animals in the Parc National d'Ankarafantsika, north-western Madagascar. Oryx 37(1):115–118.
Gerber, BD, Arrigo-Nelson, S, Karpanty, SM, Kotschwar, M, Wright, PC. 2012. Spatial ecology of the endangered Milne-Edwards' sifaka (Propithecus edwardsi): do logging and season affect home range and daily ranging patterns?International Journal of Primatology 33(2):305–321.
Grow, N, Gursky, S, Duma, Y. 2013. Altitude and forest edges influence the density and distribution of pygmy tarsiers (Tarsius pumilus). American Journal of Primatology 75(5):464–477.
Guschanski, K, Olivieri, GL, Funk, SM, Radespiel, U. 2007. MtDNA reveals strong genetic differentiation among geographically isolated populations of the golden brown mouse lemur, Microcebus ravelobensis. Conservation Genetics 8(4):809–821.
Hanya, G, Chapman, CA. 2012. Linking feeding ecology and population abundance: a review of food resource limitation on primates. Ecological Research 28(2):183–190.
Harcourt, AH, Doherty, DA. 2005. Species–area relationships of primates in tropical forest fragments: a global analysis. Journal of Applied Ecology 42(4):630–637.
Harper, KA, Macdonald, SE, Burton, P, et al. 2005. Edge influence on forest structure and composition in fragmented landscapes. Conservation Biology 19(3):768–782.
Irwin, MT. 2008a. Diademed sifaka (Propithecus diadema) ranging and habitat use in continuous and fragmented forest: higher density but lower viability in fragments?Biotropica 40(2):231–240.
Irwin, MT. 2008b. Feeding ecology of Propithecus diadema in forest fragments and continuous forest. International Journal of Primatology 29(1):95–115.
Isaac, NJB, Jones, KE, Gittleman, JL, Purvis, A. 2005. Correlates of species richness in mammals: body size, life history, and ecology. The American Naturalist 165(5):600–607.
Janson, CH, Chapman, CA. 1999. Resources and primate community structure. In Fleagle, JG, Janson, CH, Reed, KE (eds.), Primate Communities (pp. 237–267). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Lahann, P. 2007. Feeding ecology and seed dispersal of sympatric cheirogaleid lemurs (Microcebus murinus, Cheirogaleus medius, Cheirogaleus major) in the littoral rainforest of south-east Madagascar. Journal of Zoology 271(1):88–98.
Lahann, P, Schmid, J, Ganzhorn, JU. 2006. Geographic variation in populations of Microcebus murinus in Madagascar: resource seasonality or Bergmann's rule?International Journal of Primatology 27(4):983–999.
Laurance, WF, Camargo, JLC, Luizão, RCC, et al. 2011. The fate of Amazonian forest fragments: a 32-year investigation. Biological Conservation 144(1):56–67.
Lehman, SM. 2006. Conservation biology of Malagasy strepsirrhines: a phylogenetic approach. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 130(2):238–253.
Lima, SL, Zollner, PA. 1996. Towards a behavioral ecology of ecological landscapes. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 11(3):131–135.
MacArthur, RH. 1967. The Theory of Island Biogeography, Vol. 1. Princeton University Press, Chicago.
Nally, R. Mac 1996. Hierarchical partitioning as an interpretative tool in multivariate inference. Australian Journal of Ecology 21 (2):224–228.
Nally, R. Mac 2000. Regression and model-building in conservation biology, biogeography and ecology: the distinction between – and reconciliation of – ‘predictive’ and ‘explanatory’ models. Biodiversity and Conservation 9(5):655–671.
Nally, R. Mac 2002. Multiple regression and inference in ecology and conservation biology: further comments on identifying important predictor variables. Biodiversity and Conservation 11(8):1397–1401.
McGoogan, K, Kivell, T, Hutchison, M. 2007. Phylogenetic diversity and the conservation biogeography of African primates. Journal of Biogeography 34(11):1962–1974.
Michalski, F, Peres, CA. 2007. Disturbance-mediated mammal persistence and abundance–area relationships in Amazonian forest fragments. Conservation Biology 21(6):1–15.
Müller, P, Velo, A, Raheliarisoa, EO. 2000. Surveys of sympatric lemurs at Anjamena, north-west Madagascar. African Journal of Ecology 38:248–257.
Murcia, C. 1995. Edge effects in fragmented forests: implications for conservation. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 10(2):58–62.
Olea, PP, Mateo-Tomás, P, Frutos, A. de 2010. Estimating and modelling bias of the hierarchical partitioning public-domain software: implications in environmental management and conservation. PLoS ONE 5(7):e11698.
Paciulli, L. 2010. The relationship between nonhuman primate densities and vegetation on the Pagai, Mentawai Islands, Indonesia. In Gursky-Doyen, S, Supriatna, J (eds.), Indonesian Primates. Springer, New York.
Peres, CA. 1990. Effects of hunting on western Amazonian primate communities. Biological Conservation 54 :47–59.
Peres, CA, Dolman, PM. 2000. Density compensation in neotropical primate communities: evidence from 56 hunted and nonhunted Amazonian forests of varying productivity. Oecologia 122(2):175–189.
Peres, CA, Palacios, E. 2007. Basin-wide effects of game harvest on vertebrate population densities in amazonian forest: implications for animal-mediated seed dispersal. Biotropica 39(3):304–315.
Pinto, N, Lasky, J, Bueno, R, Keitt, TH, Galetti, M. 2009. Primate densities in the Atlantic forest of southeast Brazil: the role of habitat quality and anthropogenic disturbance. In South American Primates (pp. 413–431). Springer, New York.
Plumptre, AJ, Reynolds, V. 1994. The effect of selective logging on the primate populations in the Budongo Forest Reserve, Uganda. Journal of Applied Ecology 31(4):631–641.
Pozo-Montuy, G, Serio-Silva, JC, Bonilla-Sánchez, YM. 2011. Influence of the landscape matrix on the abundance of arboreal primates in fragmented landscapes. Primates 52(2):139–147.
Pyritz, L, Büntge, A, Herzog, S. 2010. Effects of habitat structure and fragmentation on diversity and abundance of primates in tropical deciduous forests in Bolivia. International Journal of Primatology 31:796–812.
Quinn, GP, Keough, MJ. 2002 Experimental Design and Data Analysis for Biologists. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
R Core Team. 2014. R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria.
Rabesandratana, AZ, Rakotondravony, R, Zimmermann, E. 2012. Distribution and abundance of Milne Edwards' sportive lemur Lepilemur edwardsi in the Ankarafantsika National Park, northwestern Madagascar. Lemur News 16:57–59.
Radespiel, U, Bruford, MW. 2014. Fragmentation genetics of rainforest animals: insights from recent studies. Conservation Genetics 15(2):245–260.
Radespiel, U, Cepok, S, Zietemann, V, Zimmermann, E. 1998. Sex-specific usage patterns of sleeping sites in grey mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus) in northwestern Madagascar. American Journal of Primatology 46:77–84.
Radespiel, U, Ehresmann, P, Zimmermann, E. 2003. Species-specific usage of sleeping sites in two sympatric mouse lemur species (Microcebus murinus and M. ravelobensis) in northwestern Madagascar. American Journal of Primatology 59(4):139–151.
Rakotondravony, R, Radespiel, U. 2009. Varying patterns of coexistence of two mouse lemur species (Microcebus ravelobensis and M. murinus) in a heterogeneous landscape. American Journal of Primatology 71(11):928–938.
Randrianambinina, B, Rasoloharijaona, S, Rakotondravony, R, Zimmermann, E, Radespiel, U. 2010. Abundance and conservation status of two newly described lemur species in northwestern Madagascar (Microcebus danfossi, Lepilemur grewcockorum). Madagascar Conservation & Development 5(2):95–102.
Fara, L. Razafy 2003. Rapport sur l'actualisation de la carte de végétation du parc national à Ankarafantsika. ANGAP, GFA, Antananarivo, Madagascar. p. 26.
Remis, MJ, Robinson, CAJ. 2012. Reductions in primate abundance and diversity in a multiuse protected area: synergistic impacts of hunting and logging in a Congo Basin forest. American Journal of Primatology 74(7):602–612.
Rendigs, A, Radespiel, U, Wrogemann, D, Zimmermann, E. 2003. Relationship between microhabitat structure and distribution of mouse lemurs (Microcebus spp.) in northwestern Madagascar. International Journal of Primatology 24(1):47–64.
Ries, L, Sisk, T. 2004. A predictive model of edge effects. Ecology 85(11):2917–2926.
Robinson, JG, Redford, KH. 1986. Body size, diet, and population density of neotropical forest mammals. The American Naturalist 128(5):665–680.
Rovero, F, Struhsaker, TT. 2007. Vegetative predictors of primate abundance: utility and limitations of a fine-scale analysis. American Journal of Primatology 69(11):1242–1256.
Schwitzer, C, Mittermeier, RA, Johnson, SE, et al. 2014. Conservation. Averting lemur extinctions amid Madagascar's political crisis. Science 343(6173):842–843.
Shapiro, S, Wilk, M. 1965. An analysis of variance test for normality (complete samples). Biometrika 52(3–4):591.
Skole, D, Tucker, C. 1993. Tropical deforestation and habitat fragmentation in the Amazon: satellite data from 1978 to 1988. Science 260(5116):1905.
Smith, RJ, Jungers, WL. 1997. Body mass in comparative primatology. Journal of Human Evolution 32(6):523–559.
Stevenson, PR. 2001. The relationship between fruit production and primate abundance in Neotropical communities. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 72:161–178.
Teelen, S. 2007. Primate abundance along five transect lines at Ngogo, Kibale National Park, Uganda. American Journal of Primatology 69(9):1030–1044.
Terborgh, J. 1986. Keystone plant resources in the tropical forest. In Soule, ME, Wilcox, BA (eds.), Conservation Biology: an evolutionary–ecological perspective (pp. 330–344). Sinauer Associates, Sunderland, MA.
Thorén, S, Quietzsch, F, Radespiel, U. 2010 Leaf nest use and construction in the golden-brown mouse lemur (Microcebus ravelobensis) in the Ankarafantsika National Park. American Journal of Primatology 72(1):48–55.
Thorén, S, Quietzsch, F, Schwochow, D, et al. 2011. Seasonal changes in feeding ecology and activity patterns of two sympatric mouse lemur species, the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) and the golden-brown mouse lemur (M. ravelobensis), in northwestern Madagascar. International Journal of Primatology 32: 566–586.
Whittaker, RJ, Araújo, MB, Paul, J, et al. 2005. Conservation biogeography: assessment and prospect. Diversity and Distributions 11(1):3–23.
Wieczkowski, J. 2004. Ecological correlates of abundance in the Tana mangabey (Cercocebus galeritus). American Journal of Primatology 63(3):125–138.
Wilcox, BA, Murphy, DD. 1985. Conservation strategy: the effects of fragmentation on extinction. The American Naturalist 125(6):879–887.
Wright, PC, Razafindratsita, VR, Pochron, ST, Jernvall, J. 2005. The key to Madagascar frugivores. In Dew, J, Boubli, J (eds.), Tropical Fruits and Frugivores: The Search for Strong Interactors (pp. 121–138). Springer, Dordrecht.
Zimmermann, E, Cepok, S, Rakotoarison, N, Zietemann, V, Radespiel, U. 1998. Sympatric mouse lemurs in north-west Madagascar: a new rufous mouse lemur species (Microcebus ravelobensis). Folia Primatologica 69:106–114.