Quantitative Estimates of Glacial Refugia for Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) since the Last Interglacial (120,000 BP)

Journal article


Carvalho, J. S. 2021. Quantitative Estimates of Glacial Refugia for Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) since the Last Interglacial (120,000 BP). American Journal of Primatology. 83 (10), pp. 1-18. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajp.23320
AuthorsCarvalho, J. S.
Abstract

Paleoclimate reconstructions have enhanced our understanding of how past climates have shaped present-day biodiversity. We hypothesize that the geographic extent of Pleistocene forest refugia and suitable habitat fluctuated significantly in time during the late Quaternary for chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Using bioclimatic variables representing monthly temperature and precipitation estimates, past human population density data, and an extensive database of georeferenced presence points, we built a model of changing habitat suitability for chimpanzees at fine spatio-temporal scales dating back to the Last Interglacial (120,000 BP). Our models cover a spatial resolution of 0.0467° (approximately 5.19 km2 grid cells) and a temporal resolution of between 1000 and 4000 years. Using our model, we mapped habitat stability over time using three approaches, comparing our modeled stability estimates to existing knowledge of Afrotropical refugia, as well as contemporary patterns of major keystone tropical food resources used by chimpanzees, figs (Moraceae), and palms (Arecacae). Results show habitat stability congruent with known glacial refugia across Africa, suggesting their extents may have been underestimated for chimpanzees, with potentially up to approximately 60,000 km2 of previously unrecognized glacial refugia. The refugia we highlight coincide with higher species richness for figs and palms. Our results provide spatio-temporally explicit insights into the role of refugia across the chimpanzee range, forming the empirical foundation for developing and testing hypotheses about behavioral, ecological, and genetic diversity with additional data. This methodology can be applied to other species and geographic areas when sufficient data are available.

KeywordsPaleoclimate reconstructions; biodiversity and climate; Pleistocene forest
Year2021
JournalAmerican Journal of Primatology
Journal citation83 (10), pp. 1-18
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons Ltd
ISSN1098-2345
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1002/ajp.23320
Web address (URL)https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ajp.23320
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online16 Aug 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted28 Jul 2021
Deposited05 Sep 2022
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