Ecological niche

A niche is a simple term for the life style of a particular species, the manner in which it utilizes the resources in its environment (sources of food and also shelter from predators), how much it is harmed by the individual physical, chemical or biological factors of the environment. The niches of various species can partly overlap; however, two species that have completely overlapping niches cannot survive for long in the same place. In addition, there is a negligibly small chance that two species will have exactly the same niches. Ecologists are divided into two groups with different opinions. Part of them state that first the species is created and that the term “empty niche” doesn’t have any meaning. Another group of ecologists are of the opinion that an empty (unoccupied) niche is a logically incorrect term but simultaneously easy to understand intuitively and highly necessary.

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The classical Darwinian theory of evolution can explain the evolution of adaptive traits only in asexual organisms. The frozen plasticity theory is much more general: It can also explain the origin and evolution of adaptive traits in both asexual and sexual organisms Read more