What is the difference between an organism's fundamental and realized niche?

Two similar organisms competing for resources when one has a slight reproductive advantage which leads to the elimination of the other organism. A fundamental niche potentially occupied by that species. A realized niche is a portion of the fundamental niche it actually occupies in a certain environment.
A.

Can a realized niche can be larger than a fundamental niche?

No, because it neither gains nor loses from the commensual relationship. Habitat is where an organism lives. Its niche is the role it plays in that habitat. The realized niche can be smaller than, or the same size as, the fundamental niche, but never larger.
B.

Why is the realized niche smaller than the fundamental niche?

A niche may be defined as the way in which an organism utilizes its environment. Interspecific interactions may cause a species' realized niche to be smaller than its fundamental niche. If resources are limiting, two species normally cannot occupy the same niche indefinitely.
  • Can a realized niche can be larger than a fundamental niche?

    No, because it neither gains nor loses from the commensual relationship. Habitat is where an organism lives. Its niche is the role it plays in that habitat. The realized niche can be smaller than, or the same size as, the fundamental niche, but never larger.
  • What is an example of a fundamental niche?

    For example, a garden spider is a predator that hunts for prey among plants, while an oak tree grows to dominate a forest canopy, turning sunlight into food. The role that a species plays is called its ecological niche. A niche includes more than what an organism eats or where it lives.
  • What is a keystone predator species?

    A keystone species is often a dominant predator whose removal allows a prey population to explode and often decreases overall diversity. Other kinds of keystone species are those, such as coral or beavers, that significantly alter the habitat around them and thus affect large numbers of other organisms.
C.

What is the definition of a fundamental niche?

A niche includes more than what an organism eats or where it lives. Environmental factors, such as climate, soil chemistry, and elevation, also play a role in defining a niche. A fundamental niche is the term for what an organism's niche would be in the absence of competition from other species.
  • What is meant by an organism's niche?

    An organism free of interference from other species could use the full range of conditions (biotic and abiotic) and resources in which it could survive and reproduce which is called its fundamental niche.
  • What is the difference between fundamental and realized niche?

    Fundamental niche is the entire set of conditions under which an animal (population, species) can survive and reproduce itself. Realized niche is the set of conditions actually used by given animal (pop, species), after interactions with other species (predation and especially competition) have been taken into account.
  • What is the difference between a niche specialist and a niche generalist?

    A generalist species is able to thrive in a wide variety of environmental conditions and can make use of a variety of different resources (for example, a heterotroph with a varied diet). A specialist species can thrive only in a narrow range of environmental conditions or has a limited diet.

Updated: 28th November 2019

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