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A morphological approach provides vital information on community structure and ecological adjustments among different species that occupy in the same habitat. The coexistence of competing species in a diverse community results in niche partitioning in order to increase stabilization. Tonle Sap Biosphere Reserve, one of the world’s most productive inland wetlands is a tropical river ecosystem so dynamic that supports high biodiversity, especially fish population. This study tests the relationship between morphology and niche partitioning to understand the coexistence of diverse fish assemblages in the Tonle Sap Biosphere Reserve. By measuring 31 morphological variables and gathering ecological data of the collected 27 fish species, this study applies principal component analysis and cluster analysis to examine the influence of morphology on the ecological niches of the fish assemblage. The results of the study demonstrate that the diversifications in morphological characters directly determine niche partitioning of the fish assemblage in the Prek Toal core area of the Tonle Sap Biosphere Reserve.


The author, Lan Nguyen, received the Distinguished Student Researcher award from the School for Field Studies for her work on this research project.