Territoriality is a widespread and key component to the fitness of many organisms, providing exclusive access to limited resources, such as food, mates and shelter. Although competition for resources is often more intense within species, individuals of different species with similar ecological requirements may compete by defending interspecific territories. Understanding interspecific territoriality and why it occurs is important because individuals which defend interspecific territories can impact the fitness of other species limiting access to important food resources, shelter from predators and suitable breeding areas.
To date, a limited number of studies have investigated the significance of interspecific territorial defence in marine fishes and the underlying reasons for territorial defence strategies between species. Damselfishes provide an ideal model system for investigations of interspecific territoriality, as many are strongly territorial defending territories from both conspecifics (members of the same species) and heterospecifics (individuals of different species). This study aims to investigate damselfish interspecific territoriality by quantifying and comparing the aggressive territorial responses of the temperate damselfish White-ear Damselfish (Parma microlepis) towards two novel tropical vagrant species, the Indo-Pacific Sergeant (Abudefduf vaigiensis) and the Australian Sawtail (Prionurus microlepidotus).
This study will provide a novel way to investigate interspecific territoriality, by using species not commonly found within the community and will provide an initial investigation into behavioural interactions between tropical vagrants and temperate species and will have important implications for understanding how behavioural interactions are likely to structure the redistribution of tropical species to higher latitudes.
You go girl!
This is an important thing to bring to light as most people have no idea about underwater ecosystems, even the ones they live right beside!
Damsels in distress! Amazing work Shona!
Great work Shona
Super interesting! Great work.
Awesome work ??