Revising the Niche Concept: Definitions and Mechanistic Models

Jonathan M. Chase and Mathew A. Leibold

in Ecological Niches

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2003 | ISBN: 9780226101798
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226101811 | DOI:
Revising the Niche Concept: Definitions and Mechanistic Models

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This chapter proposes a quantitative definition of niche that includes a species' requirements from and impacts on a factor. Requirements refer to the conditions where an organism's birth rates exceed its death rates on a particular factor, whereas impact refers to the effect that species has on the factor. The explicit recognition of both requirement and impact components of the niche provides a general framework for understanding the problems of species interaction and coexistence, which form the basis of much ecological inquiry.

Keywords: niche concept; species niche; birth rates; organisms; species interaction; coexistence

Chapter.  11680 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Animal Pathology and Diseases

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