HomeArticlesEcology: what is a niche? | Biology for All | FuseSchool
Ecology: what is a niche? | Biology for All | FuseSchool
September 21, 2019
what_is_a_niche? An ecological niche is a role an organism or population plays in an ecosystem Each species has a different set of adaptations and so they do not directly compete for all the same resources of the species. They have their own niche. So lots of different species can coexist because they occupy different niches. For example, some species may be able to live in a small range of temperatures, while others might exist within a certain range of elevations or salinities. Rainforests provide a massive number of niches because of their immense diversity. The trend for most niches is related to Vertical Positioning in the forest. For example, some plants invest lots of energy into growing really tall. They spread out their branches and absorb light without competition. But their leaves are small, because the majority of energy is brought into growing upwards. Further down, the plants are every size, taking all the energy they can in order to compete with other plants. Then below the canopy, their is specialized plants, such as vines and carnivorous plants, such as the Pitcher plant. Each species responds differently to distribution of resources and competitors, til they each occupy their own niche. The canopy of the rainforest has provided the niche of the tree frog. Red eyed tree frogs live in tall trees. They lay eggs on leaves up in the trees, where the leaves overhang a pond, so that when the tadpoles hatch, they are washed into the water, where they must develop until they are ready to climb up trees. Red eyed tree frogs are permanently green to camouflage against leaves. for they have blue and orange features which are used for warning predators (Warning colouration). To understand what the niche of an organism is, you have to consider all the relationships that the organism with its environment, with other organisms, and the populations of it’s environment.