Sunday, October 19, 2014

Ecological Niches



  1. If you want to move people out from a place, make changes to the 'environment' of that place so as to make its properties beyond the tolerable conditions of the 'ecological' niche of those people.
  2. Ecological niche dimensions for agriculture.


  1. I would love to play with the computer modeling of ecological niches.
  2. Niche dimensions for plants.


  • Ecological niche vs. habitat:
    • A habitat of an organism is the sort of place in which it lives.
    • An ecological niche of an organism is "a summary of the organism’s tolerances and requirements."
    • "Each habitat provides many different niches and with quite different lifestyles."
  • Charles Sutherland Elton, in 1933, was the first to write about ecological niche in its current scientific meaning.
  • Hutchinson, in 1957, proposed the modern concept of niche to address the ways in which tolerances and requirements interact to define conditions and resources needed by a species.
  • Niche dimensions: "The ecological niche of a species [is] the boundaries that limit where it can live, grow and reproduce."
    • One-dimensional: temperature (plants)
    • Two-dimensional: temperature, salinity (sand shrimp)
    • Three-dimensional: temperature, pH, availability of a particular food (aquatic organism)
    • N-dimensional: the real niche of a species must be multidimensional
  • fundamental and the realized niche.
    • the overall potentialities of a species
  • Fundamental vs. realized niches:
    • Fundamental niches: "describes the overall potentialities of a species"
    • Realized niches: "describes the more limited spectrum of conditions and resources that allow it to persist, even in the presence of competitors and predators.


  1. The concept of ecological niche seems to be cool!
  2. It would be cool to explore what computer modeling has to do with the various dimensions of ecological niches.