Author(s): Wich SA, Schel AM, de Vries H, Wich SA, Schel AM, de Vries H
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Abstract Geographic variation in primate vocalizations has been described at two levels. First, at the level of acoustic variation within the same call type between populations and, second, at the level of presence or absence of certain call types in different populations. Acoustic variation is of interest because there are several factors that can explain this variation, such as gene flow, ecological factors and population density. Here we focus on the first level in a Southeast Asian primate, the Thomas langur. We recorded male loud calls in four populations that differed in their geographic distances from each other and had varying geographic barriers in between them, such as rivers and mountain ranges. The presence of these barriers leads to expectations of loud call variation under the gene flow model, which are examined here. We conducted a principal components analysis to condense the number of acoustic variables. With a subsequent discriminant function analysis on the six principal component scores, we found that the percentage of loud calls that were correctly assigned to a population was relatively high (50.0-76.2\%) when three randomly selected loud calls from each male were used. Using the discriminant functions from this analysis to predict population membership of the remainder of the loud calls yielded lower, but still relatively high correct assignment percentages (26.2-66.7\%). Analyses to examine the influence of barriers on similarities between populations confirm our expectations. We discuss that differences in loud calls are probably most parsimoniously explained by gene flow (or the lack thereof) between the populations and that future studies of genetic differences are crucial to test this hypothesis. Copyright 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
This article was published in Am J Primatol
and referenced in Journal of Bioengineering & Biomedical Science