July 2020

Fijian coral reefs are located at the Pacific Ocean, where fish diversity thrives. Within reefs, amid coral branches, colourful tubular sponges and delicate algae, fishes engage in aggressive disputes. These are known as agonistic interactions, and might represent competition for resources, such as food or space. And space is a fundamental resource for territorial species, which is the case for many damselfishes (Pomacentridae species). Despite large differences in species richness, the structure of agonistic interactions is very similar across locations. Atlantic damselfishes differ from those of the Indo-Pacific, yet they share characteristics, such as territorial behaviour and herbivorous diet, which places this group at the core of the interaction networks on coral reefs. Photo by Thomas Hay. Full paper here.

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