Niche

Pink skunk clownfish
Pink skunk clownfish. Photo © Kim Yusuf / Getty Images.

The term niche is used to describe the role an organism or population plays within its community or ecosystem. It encompasses all relationships that the organism (or population) has with its environment and with other organisms and populations in its environment. A niche can be viewed as a multi-dimensional measurement or range of conditions within which the organism operates and interacts with other components of its environment.

In that sense, a niche has boundaries. For example, a species may be able to survive in a small range of temperatures. Another might live only within a certain range of elevations. An aquatic species may be successful only when they live in a certain range of water salinity.

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Klappenbach, Laura. "Niche." ThoughtCo, Jun. 11, 2015, thoughtco.com/what-is-a-niche-p2-130450. Klappenbach, Laura. (2015, June 11). Niche. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-a-niche-p2-130450 Klappenbach, Laura. "Niche." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-a-niche-p2-130450 (accessed January 19, 2018).