How are niches and habitats different?

1 Answer
Jan 7, 2016

A niche includes a species' habitat but a habitat does not include a species' niche.


A habitat is the geographical area a species lives in. Examples include the Greater Hinggan pine forest in China, the Arctic tundra, the Amazon rainforest, the Mongolian-Manchurian grassland, and so forth.

A niche is defined as the role and position an organism has within its environment. Thus, a niche would include the habitat but a description of an organism's niche would also include position in the food chain, how the organism alters the habitat, and what effect the organism has on other organisms (what does it eat, what other species does it compete with, and so forth).

Many animals may have the same habitat, but they will have different niches.

Each of the finches below may occupy the same exact habitat. Consuming different food items is one factor that contributes to each species having its own unique niche.