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image of Journal of Crustacean Biology

ABSTRACT The swimming behaviours of two sibling species of Tisbe (Copepoda: Harpacticoida) were analyzed. Interference competition for copepod- (encounter-) free space, a behaviourally defined resource, led to vertical habitat displacement of one of the competitors. This swimming adaptation may facilitate the coexistence of two or more (sibling) species of Tisbe observed in contemporary situations. On an evolutionary time scale, such competitive displacement could lead to sexual isolation. Such interactions provide a paradigm for the origin of planktonic copepods from (a) benthic ancestor(s). The resource utilization curves of these species inferred from the frequency distributions of their swimming behaviours were highly leptokurtic. Differing degrees of leptokurtosis in resource utilization curves were shown to account for patterns of speciation in the genus Tisbe.

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Oceanography, McGill University. 3620 University Street, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3A 2B2.


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