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What does a niche refer to in science?

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Quick Answer

A niche is a scientific term used to describe the relationships between a species and the elements in its ecosystem. It is determined primarily by the way a species reacts to environmental factors, such as food sources and predators.

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These factors are divided into biotic, or living, factors and abiotic, or non-living, factors. Examples of biotic factors include animals, plants and fungi. Abiotic factors encompass a wide range of elements, such as water, sunlight, minerals and natural gases. A species that has limited interactions with its ecosystem may become endangered from environmental changes, such as habitat reduction or loss of specific food sources.

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