What is a buffalo's niche?

1 Answer
Jun 26, 2016

Grassland ecosystem for the plains buffalo - aspen parkland to boreal forest for wood buffalo.


Plains buffalo are adapted to living in the grassland ecosystems that were established about 10,000 years ago after the glaciers left North America. They are grazers and eat the grass and also defecate out grass seeds that help in their dispersal. This also fertilizes the grassland with nutrients from their poop! This is an example of two species co-evolving and somewhat interdependent on each other.

Unfortunately, humans have almost hunted the plains buffalo to extinction, except for a few wildlife preserves in North America. Domesticated cattle now serve the same ecosystem function as bison used to perform.