Department of Primatology
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Deutscher Platz 6
phone.: +49 (341) 3550 - 200
fax: +49 (341) 3550 - 299
Resource competition among females
by Niina Nurmi
Socio-ecology provides models that link characteristics of food resources to different modes of competition within and between groups. In addition the model predicts differential net energy gain to characteristics of dominance hierarchies and social relationships. In short, food resources that are defendable and worth defending lead to direct (or contest) competition that will take place within and/or between groups depending on patch size. On the other hand, indirect (or scramble) competition occurs over resources that are limited but indefensible. Different modes of competition lead to specific combinations of negative or positive individual net energy gain when associated with group size and dominance rank. This will select for behavioral kin biases, cooperation, and matrilineal hierarchies in some cases and egalitarian societies or social tolerance in others. The aim of this project is to evaluate socio-ecological models that link characteristics of the main food resources that females compete over with differential net energy gain.