Niche (Edexcel International A Level Biology)

Revision Note

Test Yourself
Naomi H


Naomi H



The Concept of Ecological Niche

  • The place where a species lives is known as its habitat
  • Species will occupy a specific niche within a habitat
  • The term niche can be defined as the role of a species within its habitat
  • The role of a species includes
    • What it eats
    • Which other species depend on it for food
    • What time of day a species is active
    • Exactly where in a habitat a species lives
    • Exactly where in a habitat a species feeds
  • No two species can fill the same niche within a habitat; if this ever happens the two species will be in direct competition with each other for resources, and one of the two species will out-compete the other, causing it to die out in that particular habitat
    • It can sometimes seem as though species are occupying the same niche, but there will still be subtle differences in their role; e.g. they might feed at different times of day, or have different food sources
  • The niche filled by a species determines its abundance within a habitat
    • The term abundance can be defined as the number of individuals of a particular species living in a habitat
    • If two species occupy a similar niche within a habitat they will be competing with each other, so their populations will be smaller, and their abundance will therefore be lower
  • The niche filled by a species determines its distribution
    • The term distribution can be defined as where a species lives
    • Species can only survive in habitats to which they are well adapted; if they are not well suited to a habitat's biotic and abiotic factors then they will move to a more suitable habitat and their distribution will change

Warbler niches

Feeding location is an example of a feature that may differ between niches.

You've read 0 of your 0 free revision notes

Get unlimited access

to absolutely everything:

  • Downloadable PDFs
  • Unlimited Revision Notes
  • Topic Questions
  • Past Papers
  • Model Answers
  • Videos (Maths and Science)

Join the 100,000+ Students that ❤️ Save My Exams

the (exam) results speak for themselves:

Did this page help you?

Naomi H

Author: Naomi H

Naomi graduated from the University of Oxford with a degree in Biological Sciences. She has 8 years of classroom experience teaching Key Stage 3 up to A-Level biology, and is currently a tutor and A-Level examiner. Naomi especially enjoys creating resources that enable students to build a solid understanding of subject content, while also connecting their knowledge with biology’s exciting, real-world applications.

Join over 500 thousand students
getting better grades