Niche / Food Web

Niches and Food Web s
Name: ______________________ Per: ___
One way organisms reduce competition for food and other resources is to occupy a
specific niche within a habitat. A niche is the special role that an organism plays within
its habitat. An animal’s niche includes where it finds shelter, what it eats, and who it is
eaten by. Different species may share the same habitat, but no two can have exactly the
same niche. For example, deer, rabbits, and squirrels may live in the same forest, but
because deer browse higher up on trees, rabbits graze on grasses, and squirrels eat acorns,
each animal occupies a different niche. Since these animals are not competing with each
other for food this helps to keep everything in balance.
1) In Alaska the predator niche is occupied by the wolf. Wolves feed primarily on
Caribou. What other niches exist in Alaska which are related to the wolf-caribou
2) The word niche also means small space or opening. Notice any niches you see in
the classroom.
3) Niches can also describe stereotypical human roles like, brainiac, bully, flirt, jock,
etc. List some of the niches you have observed at HRMS.
4) In a business sense, the word niche can apply to an opportunity for a business to
open and do well. Name several niches for businesses which already exist or could
exist in Hood River.
5) While the word niche obviously has many uses and different meanings, we will
use its scientific meaning as an organism’s role in an ecosystem. Organize the
animals which live or could live in the Culvert Creek Ecosystem into niches. You
should include land and water plants and animals.
Explain how having many niches can reduce competition for limited resources.
Illustrated Food Web
Now that you have a big list of organisms that live in the stream habitat your
task is to organize these into a food web. Webs need to satisfy the
requirements below:
 Both aquatic and terrestrial (land) plants and animals need to be
 Food webs should be in color.
 Plants and animals in the web need to be hand drawn or pictures taken
from the internet.
 An energy pyramid must summarize the energy flow in the stream
 For an A the webs need to be reasonably complex.
 Hint: Using macroinvertebrates in your web will produce the best
most realistic result