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Ecological NichesLinking Classical and Contemporary Approaches$
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Jonathan M. Chase and Mathew A. Leibold

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780226101798

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226101811.001.0001

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Revising the Niche Concept: Definitions and Mechanistic Models

Revising the Niche Concept: Definitions and Mechanistic Models

(p.19) Chapter Two Revising the Niche Concept: Definitions and Mechanistic Models
Ecological Niches

Jonathan M. Chase

Mathew A. Leibold

University of Chicago Press

This chapter proposes a quantitative definition of niche that includes a species' requirements from and impacts on a factor. Requirements refer to the conditions where an organism's birth rates exceed its death rates on a particular factor, whereas impact refers to the effect that species has on the factor. The explicit recognition of both requirement and impact components of the niche provides a general framework for understanding the problems of species interaction and coexistence, which form the basis of much ecological inquiry.

Keywords:   niche concept, species niche, birth rates, organisms, species interaction, coexistence

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