Ecological niche

  • ecological niche
  • 1) The space occupied by a species, which includes both the physical space as well as the functional role of the species. 2) Ecological niche refers to the characteristics of an environment that provides all the essential food and protection for the continued survival of a particular species of flora or fauna. In addition to food and shelter, there is no long-term threat to existence in that place from potential predators, parasites and competitors. The concept of the ecological niche goes a long way beyond the idea of the species habitat.
Abstract from DBPedia
    In ecology, a niche is the match of a species to a specific environmental condition. It describes how an organism or population responds to the distribution of resources and competitors (for example, by growing when resources are abundant, and when predators, parasites and pathogens are scarce) and how it in turn alters those same factors (for example, limiting access to resources by other organisms, acting as a food source for predators and a consumer of prey). "The type and number of variables comprising the dimensions of an environmental niche vary from one species to another [and] the relative importance of particular environmental variables for a species may vary according to the geographic and biotic contexts". A Grinnellian niche is determined by the habitat in which a species lives and its accompanying behavioral adaptations. An Eltonian niche emphasizes that a species not only grows in and responds to an environment, it may also change the environment and its behavior as it grows. The Hutchinsonian niche uses mathematics and statistics to try to explain how species coexist within a given community. The concept of ecological niche is central to ecological biogeography, which focuses on spatial patterns of ecological communities. "Species distributions and their dynamics over time result from properties of the species, environmental variation..., and interactions between the two—in particular the abilities of some species, especially our own, to modify their environments and alter the range dynamics of many other species." Alteration of an ecological niche by its inhabitants is the topic of niche construction. The majority of species exist in a standard ecological niche, sharing behaviors, adaptations, and functional traits similar to the other closely related species within the same broad taxonomic class, but there are exceptions. A premier example of a non-standard niche filling species is the flightless, ground-dwelling kiwi bird of New Zealand, which feeds on worms and other ground creatures, and lives its life in a mammal-like niche. Island biogeography can help explain island species and associated unfilled niches.

    ニッチ(英: niche、フランス語読み:ニーシュ)は、生物学では生態的地位を意味する。1つの種が利用する、あるまとまった範囲の環境要因のこと。