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Nicola Bryson-Morrison, Andy Beer, Aly Gaspard Soumah, Tetsuro Matsuzawa, Tatyana Humle
Agricultural expansion encroaches on tropical forests and primates in such landscapes frequently incorporate crops into their diet. Understanding the nutritional drivers behind crop‐foraging can help inform conservation efforts to improve humanprimate coexistence. This study builds on existing knowledge of primate diets in anthropogenic landscapes by estimating the macronutrient content of 24 wild and 11 cultivated foods (90.5% of food intake) consumed by chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) at Bossou, Guinea, West Africa. We also compared the macronutrient composition of Bossou crops to published macronutrient measures of crops from Bulindi, Uganda, East Africa. The composition of wild fruits, leaves, and pith were consistent with previous reports for primate diets. Cultivated fruits were higher in carbohydrates and lower in insoluble fiber than wild fruits, while wild fruits were higher in protein. Macronutrient content of cultivated pith fell within the ranges of consumed wild pith. Oil palm food parts were relatively rich in carbohydrates, protein, lipids, and/or fermentable fiber, adding support for the nutritional importance of the oil palm for West African chimpanzees. We found no differences in the composition of cultivated fruits between Bossou and Bulindi, suggesting that macronutrient content alone does not explain differences in crop selection. Our results build on the current understanding of chimpanzee feeding ecology within forest‐agricultural mosaics and provide additional support for the assumption that crops offer primates energetic benefits over wild foods.
Am J Primatol. 2020;82:e23102
2020/03/05 Primate Research Institute