Slide 7: Principles: Fundamental niche
What is a fundamental niche?
It is defined as the n-dimensional hypervolume described by n environmental and resource constraints within which a species can maintain a viable population. Or, to put it in simpler terms, it is the combination of conditions and resources required by an individual species defines the area in which it is able to live. For a single factor, a species will exists within a specific linear range; for two factors such as temperature and humidity, we can visualise this as a two dimensional space of amenable characteristics, and for three factors this space becomes a 3D box. For more factors, more complex diagrams would be required, but these are hard to visualise, hence the concept of a hypervolume is just a term used to visualise this niche as a space in which the species can exist, as shown on the diagram.