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A niche is a term describing the relational position or place of an agent in the system, for example the place of a species or population in its ecosystem, or the position of a company in the economy. It is a place suited to contain or maintain a certain individual or species. In ecology, a niche is a term describing the way of life of a species in nature, or in other words a place a species occupies in an environment: the home of the species. Each species is thought to have a separate, unique niche where it is able to live and survive. A geographical nice is a habitat: the natural home or environment of an animal, plant, or other biological organism.

A niche can be filled by an organism, or it can be empty or vacant. Extinction of a species leaves a vacant niche. In biology, biologcal organisms and species can exist if they occupy an ecological niche. In the economy, firms and corporations can exist if they occupy a market niche.

Species and organisms which are well adapted to their niche have a high fitness and a good chance for survival and reproduction. Similar species may compete to occupy the same niche.



  • Evelyn Fox Keller and Elisabeth A. Lloyd, "Keywords in Evolutionary Biology", Harvard University Press, 1992
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