, Volume 45, Issue 1, pp 89-94

Depth-related differences in territory size and defense in the herbivorous cichlid,neolamprologus moorii, in lake tanganyika

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Abstract

Neolamprologus moorii, a small herbivorous cichlid of Lake Tanganyika, defends its territory against food competitors. Territory size and territorial defense were compared between two sites at different depths. In the shallow site, more fishes intruded into the territories than in the deep site, owing to the higher density fish population in the former. The territory holders in the shallow site attacked intruders more often, although the ratio of attacks to number of intruders was similar to that of the deep site. The territories in the deep site were larger and contained a greater amount of algae than the shallow site. The larger territory size in the deep site may have resulted from the lower cost of territory defense due to the lower competitor density and from the need to maintain a greater amount of food resources to compensate for lower algal productivity.