Niche  - A habitat is a place where anybody can live.  A niche is a habitat, or portion of it, that has been altered as a result of an organism, microorganism or organisms living in it.  The alterations usually enhance the protection of the organisms or microorganisms,  thus increasing the chances for continued survival.  A nurse log is a key habitat, which is suitable for niches.  A habitat is not a niche but it could be.  As fallen trees progress from decay class I to class II, the scavengers are replaced by competitors with the enzyme systems needed to decompose the more complex compounds in wood. The fungi involved in this activity are often mutually antagonistic, so that a given part of the tree may be occupied by only one fungus that excludes others by physical or chemical means (Maser and Trappe, 1984).   (We call this altered area a niche) In other words, a niche is a habitat that has been altered so that it is no longer a habitat, for anybody else. (E.g., "Wetwood")  In other words when an organism or microorganism gets in and alters the habitat so no one else can get in, we call this a niche.  (See A NEW TREE BIOLOGY DICTIONARY, SHIGO, 1986, pg 72)  Man has tried to make a human niche of earth, but as we are learning, people who try to play games with Mother Nature invariably lose in the end - Alex L. Shigo.  New shopping malls next to new shopping malls, roads, roads, roads.  Boy, do we know how to build roads.  Also bigger and bigger machines to get the wood out and the list goes on. 

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