Ecological Niche

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Related to Ecological Niche: ecological succession

Ecological Niche


the role of a species (more precisely, its population) in a biological community (biocenosis). The interaction of a given species (population) with other members of the community establishes its role in the cycle of matter, determined by food and competition ties in the biocenosis.

The term “ecological niche” was proposed by the American scientist J. Grinnell (1917). The interpretation of the ecological niche as the position of a species in the food chain of one or several biocenoses was proposed by the British ecologist C. Elton (1927). Such an interpretation makes it possible to assign a quantitative value to the ecological niche of each species or its individual populations. In order to accomplish this, a comparison is made, within a system of coordinates, between the abundance of a species (the number of individuals or the biomass) and an indicator of the temperature, humidity, or some other environmental factor. In this way, it is possible to establish the optimum zone and the limits tolerated by a species (the maximum and minimum for each factor or combination of factors).

As a rule, every species occupies a specific ecological niche, to which it has become adapted by the entire course of evolutionary development. The location that a species (population) occupies in space (spatial niche) is usually called the habitat.


Odum, E. Osnovy ekologii. Moscow, 1975. (Translated from English.)
Hutchinson, G. E. The Ecological Theater and the Evolutionary Play. New Haven, 1965. Pages 26–78.


References in periodicals archive ?
They believe that the development of traditional media should be put in the new media ecology and reformed and reviewed through a new perspective of ecological niche (Huang, 2013).
Instead, it seems that the species inhabits more humid coastal regions of Brazil year-round and periodically expands its geographical distribution and ecological niche to include the Caatinga as well, in spite of apparent disparity between the habitats available in these two regions.
Biogeography of the Amazon molly: ecological niche and range limits of an asexual hybrid species.
edu/~schapire/ maxent/), to create ecological niche models of monkeypox transmission by using localities where the 2 recognized clades (Congo Basin and West African) were identified in human samples.
A species' niche is the way it makes its living; thus, an ecological niche is a set of adaptive problems, and a species is a set of adaptations dedicated to addressing those problems.
Otherwise, the result confuses the environmental limitations inherent in the ecological niche of a species with the environmental limitations of the input data and calibration process.
Bluebells chose to flower at this time of year so they can take advantage of an ecological niche.
Many fungi occupy the hugely important ecological niche of accelerating the degradation of dead organic matter, which releases nutrients bound up in dead plants and animals, making them available to be taken up by other forms of life.
Rats, on the other hand, do bite, do cause damage and do spread disease because they share our ecological niche.
Errington applauds the biological fitness of the mink for its ecological niche, but like Seton he also incorporates the pathetic fallacy: where Seton's mink was a "Hound," Errington's becomes a "real pro" and "general practitioner.
These techniques are commonly referred to as ecological niche modeling or species distribution modeling.
Although a particular recombinant "product" may be well characterized in terms of its genotype as well as a variety of phenotypical attributes, the new ecological niche (also a "product") that it will fill is always a matter for prediction.

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