The overgrowth interactions and spatial relationships amongst 7 interacting bryozoan species in the coastal waters of Bombay were studied. All interspecific encounters involved overgrowth, there being a total absence of ties. On the other hand, in intraspecific encounters, occurrence of ties was quite high. It was observed that a superior overgrowth of any species did not determine its relative abundance. None of the 7 species studied won in all its overgrowth interactions with the others. It was further observed that the success of cheilostome species to dominate over the others did not depend on their ability to grow over through any one particular encounter angle. Ranking of competitive overgrowth abilities amongst the 7 species studied did not form a simple hierarchial sequence but instead formed a competitive network.
Epibenthic bryozoa competitive interactions community structure
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