Jan 23, 2015

Chimpanzee population structure in Cameroon and Nigeria is associated with habitat variation that may be lost under climate change

BMC Evolutionary Biology
Paul R Sesink CleeMary Katherine Gonder

Abstract

The Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes ellioti) is found in the Gulf of Guinea biodiversity hotspot located in western equatorial Africa. This subspecies is threatened by habitat fragmentation due to logging and agricultural development, hunting for the bushmeat trade, and possibly climate change. Although P. t. ellioti appears to be geographically separated from the neighboring central chimpanzee (P. t. troglodytes) by the Sanaga River, recent population genetics studies of chimpanzees from across this region suggest that additional factors may also be important in their separation. The main aims of this study were: 1) to model the distribution of suitable habitat for P. t. ellioti across Cameroon and Nigeria, and P. t. troglodytes in southern Cameroon, 2) to determine which environmental factors best predict their optimal habitats, and 3) to compare modeled niches and test for their levels of divergence from one another. A final aim of this study was to examine the ways that climate change might impact suitable chimpanzee habitat across the region under various scenarios. Ecological niche models (ENMs) were created using the software package Maxent for the three populations of chimpanzees that have been inferred to ...Continue Reading

  • References28
  • Citations7

References

Mentioned in this Paper

Computer Software
Study
Abnormal Fragmented Structure
Pangolin protein, Drosophila
Environment
Genetics, Population
Pan troglodytes
Genetic Hotspot
Environmental Model
Structure

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