Interaction networks in tropical reefs

Mauricio Cantor, Guilherme O. Longo, Luisa Fontoura, Juan P. Quimbayo, Sergio R. Floeter, Mariana G. Bender

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Tropical reefs are, figuratively, the underwater counterparts of tropical rainforests. Both complex, three-dimensional natural systems harbour an impressive diversity of species. The diversity of ecological interactions taking place among these species is no less striking: their intricate webs add another level of complexity to these natural systems. In this chapter, we dive into the ecological networks of tropical reefs to present an overview of some of the negative, positive, and neutral interactions among inhabitants of rocky and coral reef ecosystems. We discuss trophic interactions among species as food webs; territorialism and chasing behaviour as competitive networks of reef fish; cleaning behaviour illustrating mutualistic networks, and following associations exemplifying commensalistic networks among fish species. We close the chapter with a biogeographical perspective of interaction networks in tropical reefs across the globe to discuss how human activities have been threatening their plentiful life.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEcological networks in the tropics
Subtitle of host publicationan integrative overview of species interactions from some of the most species-rich habitats on Earth
EditorsWesley Dáttilo, Victor Rico-Gray
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
PublisherSpringer, Springer Nature
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9783319682280
ISBN (Print)9783319682273
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


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