Habitat Vs Niche: Definition, 15+ Differences, Examples

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Habitat Definition

A habitat is a natural setting in which a certain organism lives and relies on its surroundings for survival, food, shelter, protection, and mating.

  • The word habitat comes from the Latin word ‘habitare,’ which meaning ‘to occupy.’
  • The physical and biological aspects of an organism’s habitat define it.
  • The nature of the soil, land availability, sunlight, temperature, and climatic variables are all physical factors. Food availability and the presence or absence of predators are examples of biological factors.
  • As demonstrated with parasitic organisms, where the habitat can be the host’s body, sections of the host body, or a single cell, habitat does not always have to be a place.
  • Space, shelter, food, and water are the four fundamental components of habitat. The ideal environment would have the right amount of each of these elements, however this isn’t always the case.
  • Animals and plants require different amounts of space to flourish, and the quantity of space required varies by species. Carpenter ants, for example, may require only a few square inches of area for an entire colony to build colonies and obtain food.Cougars, on the other hand, are solitary, territorial animals who require approximately 455 square kilometres of land to hunt and find a mate.
  • Plants, like animals, require room in both diameter and height. As a result, a giant plant with a thick trunk and massive height may not be able to grow or survive in a park or yard.
  • The availability of food has a significant impact on the habitat or location that animals choose to inhabit.
  • Even though there is enough space, water, and shelter, if there isn’t enough food, it isn’t a viable habitat.
  • Water is another component of a habitat that all animals require in some manner, however the amount of water required varies by species.
  • Organisms require shelter in order to defend themselves from predators and the elements. The shelter can also be used for cooking, sleeping, hunting, and rearing a family.
  • Habitats may change throughout time as a result of severe environmental disturbances such as volcanoes or tornadoes, or as a result of long-term climate changes.
  • Human activities such as deforestation, urbanisation, and pollution may cause further changes.

Habitat Vs Niche: Definition, 15+ Differences, Examples

Niche Definition

A species’ niche is its functional role and position in its habitat, describing how it responds to resource distribution and competitors or predators.

  • The niche, like habitat, is determined by both biotic and abiotic elements in the specific environment.
  • A niche, on the other hand, is the result of a population’s interactions with these elements and their impact on the environment and other species within it.
  • For example, in a habitat, a population uses resources and breeds to create more creatures, increasing the resources available to predators.
  • Because it involves the interaction of creatures with the ecosystem, the phrase “ecological niche” is widely used when dealing with living entities.
  • A niche is an element of an organism’s habitat that deals with what it does to live in that ecosystem.
  • Because niche involves the transfer of energy from one species to another, it’s crucial to know how one species eats or interacts with other animals.
  • If a niche remains unfilled, it can be filled by another species.
  • Some creatures, on the other hand, may carve out a niche for themselves, reducing resource competition with other species.
  • It is, however, critical for species to be able to adapt to changes in the ecosystem in order to avoid extinction. As a result, many species adapt or evolve to flourish in a wide range of environmental situations.
  • The type and number of variables that define an ecological niche differ by species, and the relative relevance of these variables varies by geographical and biotic contexts.
  • The fundamental niche is made up of all of the biotic and abiotic factors that species use to survive, while limiting factors are things like competition and predation that limit the population.
  • Niches are divided into three categories based on how species interact with the physical and biological world: spatial or habitat niche, trophic niche, and multidimensional niche.
  • The spatial or habitat niche is the physical area that a species occupies within its habitat.
  • The trophic level occupied by a species in the food chain or ecological chain is referred to as its trophic niche.
  • The underlying niche concept and the limiting variables make up the multidimensional niche.

Differences Between Habitat and Niche

(Habitat vs Niche)

Basis for ComparisonHabitatNiche
DefinitionA habitat is a natural environment in which a certain organism lives and relies on its resources for survival, food, shelter, protection, and mating.

A species’ niche is its functional role and position in its habitat, describing how it responds to resource distribution and competitors or predators.

Composed of

One or more niches may exist in a habitat.

A niche is a unit that has no further components.

Deals with

A habitat is concerned with the impact of temperature, climate, and other environmental conditions on an organism’s survival.

The movement of energy from one species to another, as well as its interaction with abiotic elements, is the subject of a niche.

At any given time, a habitat may host multiple species.

A niche is exclusive to a species and can only support one type of life.


A species’ habitat is a physical location in which they live.

The activities and interactions that a species has with other species and the environment are referred to as niche.


An organism’s address is represented by its habitat.

The term “niche” refers to an organism’s vocation or occupation.


Habitat is not a species-specific factor.

A species’ niche is unique to that species.

What is it?

Habitat is a subset that includes other elements.

A habitat’s niche is a subset of it.


The size of the habitat is larger.

A niche is a subset of a habitat.
Trophic levelThe trophic level of a species in an ecosystem is not determined by its habitat.

A species’ trophic level in an environment is defined by its niche.


For a longer period of time, an organism’s habitat remains the same.

Seasons allow living beings to shift their niche in a shorter amount of time.


A species’ niche may be influenced by its habitat.

Niche is a product of habitat, and it rarely impacts the species’ habitats.


Forests, grasslands, deserts, mountains, polar areas, and aquatic habitats are the five major types of habitat.

Space or habitat niche, trophic niche, and multidimensional niche are the three main forms of niche.
ExamplesGrasslands, lakes, mountains, deserts, and other habitats are examples. Birds in New Zealand, as well as panda niches, are examples of niches.

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Habitat Examples

(a) Grassland

  • Grasslands are made up of places that receive more rain than deserts but less than woods.
  • The majority of the plants in these places are grasses, which require less water than the huge trees in the forests.
  • Except for Antarctica, grasslands can be found all around the planet. These are most commonly found in the dry interiors of continents, surrounded by hills and mountains.
  • Tropical grasslands and temporal grasslands are the two types of grasslands.
  • Tropical grasslands often have fewer trees dispersed throughout them, whereas temporal grasslands may have more.
  • Tropical grasslands are primarily located in East Africa and Australia, while temporal grasslands are primarily found in North America and Europe.
  • Giraffe, Buffaloes, Hyenas, Ground squirrels, Zebras, Bees, and other grassland animals are common.
  • Purple needlegrass, wild oats, foxtail, ryegrass, and buffalo grass are some of the frequent plants found in grassland settings.

(b) Marine habitat

  • Oceans have the most diversity of any ecosystem on the planet. From the cold arctic regions to the warm deep sea to diverse thermal vents, animals and plants can be discovered.
  • Plants and animals that live in such environments adapt to a variety of factors such as water flow, light intensity, water temperature, and pressure.
  • Coastal and open ocean environments are the two types of marine ecosystems where species can be found. Coastal habitats are made up of places that are remote from the ocean’s tides as they approach the beach.
  • Coastal environments are home to the majority of the animals and plants that live in marine ecosystems.
  • Marine habitats are altered based on the kind of species that live in the area, which reshapes habitats for other animals.
  • Fish such as sharks, stingrays, and rockfish, as well as mammals such as blue whales, seals, walruses, and otters, are commonly found in maritime areas. Molluscs and various arthropods are among the invertebrates present in this habitat.
  • In marine settings, plants such as sea cabbages, marsh grasses, coral reefs, algae, and mosses can be found.

Niche Examples

(a) Birds in New Zealand

  • In New Zealand, there are a variety of niche birds.
  • Because New Zealand is an isolated island from the rest of the world, it serves as a niche for certain unusual plants and animals.
  • Given the distance between this location and the rest of the globe, there are few species capable of flying or swimming.
  • In the past, when there were no animals, the native animals of the area, such as flying birds, filled these voids.
  • The first known predators in this area were flying birds. However, in the lack of land animals, these birds finally flew down to the ground to fill the void, becoming flightless in the process.
  • Enormous birds, such as the Giant Moa, grew up to 12 feet tall and weighed around 500 pounds, taking the place of large mammals.
  • Kiwi birds graze on seeds and insects and live on land, occupying niches once occupied by tiny animals like as mice and moles.
  • The South Island takah, the Kakapo Parrot, and the Giant Moa are all common birds in New Zealand.

(b) Panda bears

  • Panda bears have restricted niches where they eat only bamboo and have a limited diet.
  • Pandas do not travel far in order to save the limited energy they obtain from such bamboos.
  • They avoid interspecific and intraspecific competition in order to conserve available energy.
  • There have no natural predators, and they only breed every two years to keep the population small and prevent competition.
  • Because its niche is so specific, it is also extremely susceptible to human activity.
  • They eat and reside primarily in the vicinity of bamboo trees, which are increasingly being cut down for agriculture or mining by people.
  • These are currently primarily restricted to South Western China’s temperate or humid bamboo forests.




Habitat Vs Niche Citations 

  • https://www.nps.gov/subjects/oceans/ocean-habitats.htm
  • https://quizlet.com/330789066/env-chapter-4-review-flash-cards/
  • https://infogalactic.com/info/Ecological_niche
  • https://eco-intelligent.com/2016/09/28/habitat-and-niche/
  • https://brainly.com/question/10530042
  • http://kids.nceas.ucsb.edu/biomes/grassland.html
  • https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/what-is-the-difference-between-habitat-and-niche.html
  • https://www.tripsavvy.com/new-zealand-dangerous-plants-and-animals-4156675
  •  https://www.coursehero.com/file/pk3g12/Habitat-The-physical-space-occupied-by-an-organism-Niche-The-ecological-role-of/
  • https://www.britannica.com/science/niche-ecology
  •  https://www.askdifference.com/environment-vs-habitat/
  • https://wwf.panda.org/knowledge_hub/teacher_resources/webfieldtrips/hab_adaptation/
  • https://sciencing.com/names-of-plants-that-live-in-grasslands-12418332.html
  •  https://sciencing.com/characteristics-dry-climate-4878.html
  •  https://quizlet.com/510462/energy-flow-flash-cards/
  • https://pediaa.com/difference-between-habitat-and-niche/


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