What are the effects of the loss of an ecological niche?

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Transcript What are the effects of the loss of an ecological niche?

Every species occupies an ecological
niche, which is a role in an ecosystem.
Only one species at a time can occupy
a particular niche. If more than one
species occupy one niche, there will be
The concept of an ecological niche can
not be mentioned without Darwin’s
Finches. These finches illustrated
adaptive radiation.
Adaptive radiation is where species all
deriving from a common ancestor have
over time successfully adapted to their
environment via natural selection,
creating new ecological niches for each
breed to occupy.
Each species' ecological niche includes
their spot in the food chain. If an species
is missing from an ecosystem’s food
chain, then it may cause the entire
ecosystem to fail, and ultimately die.
… a sudden plague strikes all salmon,
then the birds that eat salmon will start to
die out if they don’t adapt or migrate, as
will the foxes that feed on the birds. The
sudden emptiness of multiple ecological
niches would affect the entire
However, this is not always the case. If a
certain type of salmon began to die out,
then only one ecological niche would
empty and predators who feed off
salmon would adapt to eating another
type of salmon. This is natures back up
plan for such incidents.
Like every other species, humans occupy
their own ecological niche, although no
animals rely on humans for food.
However, humans do not serve a part in
the food chain as they grow their own
food. They do, however destroy food
Humans destroy food chains and
ecosystems by suddenly adding exotic
 An example of this would be the national
bird of Hawaii- the Nene goose.
Mongoose were brought to eat the rats,
but they ended up eating the eggs of
the Nene geese instead. There are now
less than 800 Nene geese left in Hawaii.
The Karner blue butterfly illustrates an
effect that humans have on the balance
of the ecosystem.
 Karner butterflies feed off of lupines- a
weed that humans often kill off, and thus
endangering the butterflies.
The loss of one ecological niche can
cause the destruction of an entire