The structure and dynamics of primate social groups are shaped by the social relationships of its members. These relationships are based on different types of interactions and vary in relation to the identity of the interactants and over time. Social network analysis tools represent a powerful and comprehensive method to characterise social interactions and recent methodological advances now allow the study of the multidimensionality of sociality via multilayer networks that incorporate multiple types of interactions. Here, we use a multidimensional network approach to investigate the multidimensionality of sociality of females in a captive group of mandrills. We constructed two multiplex networks based on agonistic, proximity and grooming interactions of 6-7 mature females to analyse the multidimensionality of relationships within two independent observation periods; and three multiplex networks (one for each interaction type) to examine how relationships changed between periods. Within each period, different individuals were the most central in each layer and at the multiplex level, and different layers (i.e., interaction types) contributed non-redundant information to the multilayer structure. Across periods, relationships based on the same interaction type also contained non-redundant information. These results indicate that female mandrills engage in multidimensional and dynamic relationships, suggesting that in order to represent the full complexity of relationships, networks need to be constructed from more than a single type of interaction and across time. Our results provide evidence for the potential value of the multilayer network approach to characterise the multidimensionality of primate sociality.
Bibliographical noteFunding: ASP received funding from the School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, https://www.abdn.ac.uk/sbs/, and was awarded the Watt Fund via the University of Aberdeen https://www.abdn.ac.uk. These funders do not provide grant numbers. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Data Availability: All relevant data are within the manuscript and its Supporting Information files.