Factors Contributing to the Coexistence of Two Species of Chromis
Kuhnlein, Jerome L.
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Congeneric species of the family Pomacentridae, Chromis cyanea and Chromis multilineata, have been found co-existing around the coral reefs of the island of St. Croix, in the U.S. Virgjn Islands. These two species, throughout evolution, have evolved very closely. This study investigated the factors which have allowed these two species to harmoniously co-exist on the reefs surrounding St. Croix. A study was conducted to quantitatively and qualititively determine the resource partitioning that occurs between C. cyanea and C. multilineata. It appears that both habitat and food partitioning do occur among the congeners. It is this same partitioning of resources that contributes to both species co-existence and overall stability of the coral reef community.