Ecological Niches and Competition

by Jason Amores Sumpter
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the role that an organism or a population plays in its environment is called its ecological niche. Now not every niche is going to be glamorous. As you can see with this dung beetle right here, however, the point is Maura, about finding a niche that isn't occupied by anyone else so that you can best exploit the resource is available there now organisms. They're gonna have a range of conditions that they can survive in, and we call this an organism's fundamental niche. This is just all the environmental conditions suitable to the organism ignoring the inter specific interactions. Now the realized niche is going to be the part of the fundamental niche that an organism will actually occupy due to the limiting factors imposed upon it. So this outer ring represents the fundamental niche and this inner ring. It's the organisms realized. Niche or, I should say, inner area. Now. Species in a community are going to compete. Both individuals within a species are going to compete and specie individuals from different species are going to compete with each other in trust. Specific competition is going to occur between individuals of the same species and because these individuals are of the same species, they're gonna have the same niche, which means they're going to compete for the same resource. Is which is why this is a density dependent competition. As density goes up, so does competition. Now inter specific competition is when individuals of different species have overlapping niches. And this can result in either symmetric competition where both species air negatively affected by the competition or a symmetric competition where one is much more negatively affected than the other. Now it's common for one species to out compete, another due to certain fitness tradeoffs. For example, organisms might have, you know, uh, develop certain traits that make it really efficient at gathering some type of food. For example, uhh. However, there is a trade off for this, you know, by gaining that skill, they're sacrificing an opportunity elsewhere. So it should note that species that excel a competing for certain resource is will be lacking in other areas. And here you can just see a really cool type of inter specific interaction. I mean, that's a bear. Fighting a tiger does not get much cooler than that. And this, of course, is just ridiculous. E mean that poor prairie dog. Anyhow, let's flip the page