Article

Niches

Dan L. Warren and Nichole Bennett

in Ecology

ISBN: 9780199830060
Published online May 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199830060-0056
Niches

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  • Applied Ecology (Environmental Science)
  • Ecology and Conservation
  • Plant Ecology
  • Zoology and Animal Sciences

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The concept of the niche is one of the most important ideas in ecology, and yet it is one of the most muddled and confused concepts we have. The niche has been defined and redefined numerous times, with many of these definitions resting on very fine distinctions that are difficult to grasp and sometimes poorly done. The difficulty of measuring the niche in real systems has also led to many operational definitions that are only peripherally related to the more idealized niche definitions that are used in the theoretical development of ecology. For all the confusion and debate it has generated, however, the concept of the niche has been instrumental in the development of the field of ecology, as its multitudinous definitions include almost any interaction an organism may have with its environment.

Article.  7730 words. 

Subjects: Applied Ecology (Environmental Science) ; Ecology and Conservation ; Plant Ecology ; Zoology and Animal Sciences

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