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Difference between Fundamental and Realized Niche

Difference between Fundamental and Realized Niche

A niche is a specific category or group of consumers that a business targets its products and services to. There are two different types of niches: fundamental and realized. Fundamental niches exist independently of consumer behavior, while realized niches are created by consumer demand. In this blog post, we will explore the difference between these two types of niches and how they impact businesses. We will also provide examples to help illustrate these concepts.

What is Fundamental Niche?

The fundamental niche of a species is the set of environmental conditions under which it can persist and reproduce. This can include both the physical environment (such as temperature, humidity, or sunlight) and the biological environment (such as the availability of food or mates). The concept of the fundamental niche was first proposed by ecologist Joseph Grinnell in 1917, who used it to explain why some species are found in certain areas but not others.

While the fundamental niche is often thought of as static, it can also change over time in response to changes in the environment. For example, a species that was once restricted to a tropical climate may expand its range into temperate regions if the global climate becomes warmer. Understanding the fundamental niche is important for conservation efforts, as it can help biologists identify habitats that are critical for a species’ survival.

What is Realized Niche?

Realized niche is the range of environmental conditions under which a species can persist and produce viable offspring. The concept of a realized niche is important because it emphasizes that a species is not necessarily restricted to the idealized or “potential” conditions that define its fundamental niche. Instead, a species’ realized niche is determined by the myriad interactions between the species and its environment, including both biotic (e.g., predation, competition) and abiotic (e.g., temperature, moisture) factors. As such, the realized niche is often narrower than the fundamental niche, and it can change over time as environmental conditions change. Nevertheless, the concept of a realized niche provides an important framework for understanding how species interact with their environments.

Difference between Fundamental and Realized Niche

  • The fundamental niche is the range of all environmental conditions under which a species is able to persist and maintain a population. The realized niche is the subset of the fundamental niche that is actually utilized by a species in a particular area.
  • The fundamental niche is determined by the physiological requirements of a species, such as the range of temperature or food availability that it can tolerate. The realized niche is determined by both the physiological limits of the species and the competition from other species present in the same area. For example, if two species compete for the same limited resource, only one will be able to occupy the realized niche for that resource.
  • The fundamental niche is usually much larger than the realized niche. This is because most areas already have a diverse range of resident species, so there are few open niches available. In order to expand its realized niche, a species must be able to out-compete the other residents for resources.


The fundamental niche is the starting point, and it’s what you build your business on. The realized niche is where you take your business once it’s established. It’s important to understand the difference so that you can focus your efforts in the right areas and grow your online presence.

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