Molecular Adaptation to Folivory and the Conservation Implications for Madagascar’s Lemurs

UNCW Author/Contributor (non-UNCW co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Elaine Gomez Guevara (Creator)
The University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW )
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Abstract: The lemurs of Madagascar include numerous species characterized by folivory across several families. Many extant lemuriform folivores exist in sympatry in Madagascar’s remaining forests. These species avoid feeding competition by adopting different dietary strategies within folivory, reflected in behavioral, morphological, and microbiota diversity across species. These conditions make lemurs an ideal study system for understanding adaptation to leaf-eating. Most folivorous lemurs are also highly endangered. The significance of folivory for conservation outlook is complex. Though generalist folivores may be relatively well equipped to survive habitat disturbance, specialist folivores occupying narrow dietary niches may be less resilient. Characterizing the genetic bases of adaptation to folivory across species and lineages can provide insights into their differential physiology and potential to resist habitat change.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2021
lemur, conservation, folivory

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