Patterns of Habitat Partitioning by Eight Species of Territorial Caribbean Damselfishes (Pisces: Pomacentridae)
Aspects of the habitat distributions of eight species of territorial Caribbean damselfishes of the genera Eupomacentrus and Microspathodon were examined at Puerto Rico and at Panama. Substrate and depth partitioning by various species was demonstrated with the use of transects in various reef and depth zones in Puerto Rico, although there was much multispecific use of habitats. Habitats of exclusive usage were defined for some Eupomacentrus species in Panama and, in most, for certain size classes of the one species. Removal experiments suggest differences in the preference of different species for a given habitat. Habitat partitioning can account for the large-scale coexistence of most Eupomacentrus species. The coexistence of adult Microspathodon chrysurus and several Eupomacentrus spp. depends on the ability of M. chrysurus to aggressively dominate them and force them to share feeding areas with it.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1980-03-01
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