Journal of Tropical Ecology



Short Communication

The role of clumped defecation in the spatial distribution of soil nutrients and the availability of nutrients for plant uptake


Kenneth Feeley a1
a1 Department of Biology, Duke University, PO Box 90338, Durham NC 27708, USA. (Email: feeley@duke.edu)

Article author query
feeley k   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 

Many types of primate, particularly species of the genus Alouatta (howler monkey) defecate as a social group and tend to defecate repeatedly in specific locations (sometimes referred to as latrines; Andresen 2001, 2002; Gilbert 1997). The importance of these clumped defecations in the dispersal of seeds has been well investigated (Andresen 2001, 2002; Estrada & Coates-Estrada 1984, 1991; Julliot 1996). In contrast, no study has yet looked at the role of clumped defecation in the spatial distribution of soil nutrients and the availability of nutrients for plant uptake.

(Accepted February 15 2004)


Key Words: Alouatta seniculus; clumped defecation; howler monkeys; Lake Guri; latrine; nutrient cycling; Venezuela.