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(Holco-1 .51 Betuletum)

I Fig. 4.3.24. Ecogramme based on the moisture and reaction indicator values (mF, mR) for forest communities in southern Germany described by Oberdorfer 1957. (After Böcker et al. 1983, from Glavac 1996)

| Fig. 4.3.25. Diagram of the relative abundance of light or nutritional limitation of species (A-E) in succession. (After Tilman 1994)

a mathematical model to describe the effects of neighbours on plants and patterns of distribution in competitive situations, showing that coexistence of many species and individuals is not only possible, but actually the rule (see the following paragraphs concerning coexistence).

Concept of Ecological Niches

The term "ecological niche" brings together the concepts of competition and coexistence. The concept of niches was developed in connection with questions of coexistence of organisms, and modified several times over the years. Niches refer to a synecological phenomenon, namely the coexistence of individuals and species in communities. They are regarded as important as they provide links between various areas of ecology-

A niche was first understood to be the habitat, but even then the question was asked whether all habitats in the observed communities are occupied, and whether several species

Quercion pubescenti-p.

German forest communities

Quercion\ Dicrano-robori-p. Piniob

Erico-Pinion

Carpinion

Luzulo- T\ a13„ and | »9 \ C*J2j c ■ \ \ v „c • \

17 i-agion : ,7\ Abieti-Fagion a21 \^29) (Ceph.-Fag.)J

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