This is the definition of a niche from Crash Course:
An area of the environment that requires a special set of skills or traits to extract food and reproduce.
Obviously, this version of the definition has been dummed so that it appeals to mass audiences, but after some research, I believe that the general concept remains the same.
Here is what I've learnt about species living in a niche:
- The more the competition, the slower the evolutionary process.
- Lack of competition provides an ideal environment rapid evolution.
But these points seem non-intuitive to me, because:
- Why would a increased competition slow down the evolutionary process? Shouldn't it speed it up, as different species will try to evolve the fastest in order to beat adversaries?
- Why does a lack of competition promote rapid evolution? Won't it slow down the evolution, as there is no reason to evolve?
I know that there is a logical reasoning behind this, and I would very much like to understand it.
My source is Crash Course, specifically this video. I've found it to be extremely reliable over the past, and highly doubt that they are supplying incorrect information. If anything, it is probably my inability to understand the concept.