Thu December 08, 2011 By:

what is a niche?

Expert Reply
Fri December 09, 2011
Niche is the status of an organism within its environment and community (affecting its survival as a species). Ecological niche describes how an organism or population responds to the distribution of resources and competitors (e.g., by growing when resources are abundant, and when predators, parasites and pathogens are scarce) and how it in turn alters those same factors (e.g., limiting access to resources by other organisms, acting as a food source for predators and a consumer of prey).
Different species cannot occupy the same niche. A niche is a very specific segment of ecospace occupied by a single species.
When plants and animals are introduced into a new environment, they have the potential to occupy or invade the niche or niches of native organisms, often outcompeting the indigenous species. Introduction of non-indigenous species to non-native habitats by humans often results in biological pollution by the exotic or invasive species.
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